The islands that make up Cape Verde draw influence from Portugal, Brazil and Africa and are all great for beach holidays...
Sal island in particular is very popular mainly due to the growth of the resort of Santa Maria. This is the busiest resort on the island and has a vibrant nightlife with bars, restaurants and live music. Although the island is fairly barren, it’s renowned for its salt lakes at Terra Boa and the extinct volcanic landscapes.
If you’re looking for a beach holiday then this is the perfect place to participate in water-sports such as kite-surfing, windsurfing, diving and fishing as well as to observe wildlife such as turtles and dolphins.
Apart from Santa Maria, other places on Sal Island worth exploring are Espargos, the capital of the island and its main urban centre, as well as Palmeira, which is a fishing village and home to the island's port.
The island has approximately 350 days of sunshine a year and, although the rainy season is from July until mid-October, rainfall is low. Flights to Sal Island are popular at any time thanks to the pleasant year-round climate.
Most visitors from the UK will fly to Cape Verde on holiday flights operated by UK tour operators...
Thomson runs regular non-stop services year round from Manchester and Gatwick, which take around six hours to reach Sal. Thomas Cook also has flights from Manchester.
Otherwise the only sensible option is to fly via Lisbon on TAP flights from Manchester and London Heathrow, with total flight times of around eight hours.
Amilcar Cabral Airport is centrally location, and nowhere on Sal is more than 20 minutes away from it...
It’s wise to have transport organised in advance from the airport to your accommodation.
A few shuttle buses run between the airport and main destinations but, as Sal is quite small, taxis are the main form of transport for passengers heading for the resorts and hotels after their flight to Sal Island.
Taxi fares are very reasonable, with a 20-minute journey from the airport to Santa Maria, in the south, costing about €10 (£7.90) during the day and possibly €12 euros at night.
The airport is home to several car rental companies – car hire is inexpensive and gives you the freedom to roam the island.
Although a small island, Sal has a good selection of hotels, apartments and villas...
The accommodation on offer here is mainly made up of all-inclusive resorts lining the long, white sandy beaches.
Much of Sal’s accommodation is clustered around Santa Maria, which shows off what Mother Nature gave it with sparkling clear waters and snow-white sand.
Resort-style hotels and complexes make up most of the places to stay. The main bay – a short walk from the amenities and attractions – is where you’ll find several private hotels and a selection of luxury spas.
A handful of small boutiques and B&Bs can be found in the fishing village of Palmeira, in the north-west, or in the island capital of Espargos.
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Be sure to book as far in advance of your stay as possible to secure the cheapest rates for hotels on Sal Island.