The beaches in Cabo Verde are stunning
If the gloomy British weather is proving too much for you to handle, with raincausing flooding and snow expected to fall any day now, then you might be thinking of jetting off in search of some winter sun.
And if that’s what you’re after then Cape Verde could be the perfect destination for you.
The Cape Verde islands, also known as Cabo Verde, is an archipelago and island country of West Africa in the central Atlantic Ocean.
There are 10 islands; São Vicente, São Nicolau, Santo Antão, Santa Luzia, Maio, Sal, Boa Vista, Santiago, Fogo, and Brava.
Boa Vista and Sal are perhaps the two you’ll most commonly see on TikTok or Instagram, as tourists snap pictures and videos of the dazzling beaches.
Speaking of social media users, those who’ve visited Cape Verde, such as @raretares claim it’s ‘literal paradise’, while @kaynamerica on TikTok described it as ‘heavenly’.
Is that selling it to you? If not, this might… The underrated holiday spot is cheaper than a number of other stunning winter sun locations, including the Caribbean. Yay!
With warm temperatures, a fascinating history, and plenty of beaches to flop down on to, Cape Verde will make for a fabulous getaway.
Here’s what you need to know about the archipelago…
How to get to Cape Verde
Cape Verde is located 2,875 miles away from the UK in the Atlantic Ocean and direct flights take around six hours to get there.
Currently TUI is the only airline that offers direct flights to Cape Verde, with flights to and from London Gatwick, Manchester, and Birmingham.
At the time of writing, TUI is offering a four-day holiday to Boa Vista in January, all-inclusive, for £613 per person. This includes direct flights from Gatwick to Boa Vista, with a duration of six hours and 15 minutes.
However, flights on Skyscanner start from £318 for return flights from London in February.
The beaches in Boa Vista are some of the most popular in Cape Verde
The best time to visit Cape Verde
With its dry, tropical climate with low rainfall and sunshine year round, there isn’t really a bad time to visit Cape Verde.
This is why it’s perfect for those looking to escape the dreary new year and kick January off with a bang.
But if you did want something a little more specific, then according to the pros over at TUI, the best time to visit Cape Verde is ‘between November and June’, as this is during the dry season when the weather is warm and sunny.
The Met Office warns anyone who isn’t keen on rain to avoid going between August and October, as the rainfall during these months can be unpredictable.
What is the weather like?
As we’ve already heard, Cape Verde is fabulously sunny, but what is it like temperature-wise?
Well, in January temperatures reach an average high of 25°c, with the weather getting steadily warmer through February and March, reaching highs of 25.8°c in April.
The weather continues to get warmer until September when it reaches an average daily high of 30°c.
After this it begins to get a little lower again, cooling to an average daily high of 26.4°c by December, according to the Met Office.
The old capital of Cidade Velha village on Santiago Island, Cape Verde (Picture: Getty Images)
Things to do in Cape Verde
Naturally, there are plenty of fabulous beaches to behold, and sunbathe upon across Cape Verde, with Santa Maria, Sal and Santa Monica beach, Boa Vista, being named among the best. Though when it comes to swimming you’ll need to take heed of local advice as sea conditions can become dangerous depending on the weather.
The beaches are also a fantastic place to head if you’re a fan of wildlife, as between July and October, several different species of turtle arrive at Cape Verde to nest and lay their eggs.
Respectful guides will be able to take you to common nesting sites to give you a glimpse at the magnificent creatures.
The beaches are also the place to head for a bucket list must — horseback riding by the sea. Picture yourself trotting along golden sands, the turquoise water misting your face. Sounds dreamy, right?!
Other things to do include diving, surfing, fishing, and boat trips, as well as a visit to Cape Verde’s very own version of the Dead Sea.
The salt ponds at Pedra de Lume are pretty surreal (Picture: Getty Images)
Pedra de Lume is a surreal-looking salt crater of an old extinct volcano on the island of Sal and tourists are able to visit and float in the salt water there.
But if the water isn’t for you and you’d prefer to do something a little more historic and go exploring, you’ll want to head to Santiago. Here you’ll find the old capital of Cape Verde, Cidade Velha, with cobbled streets, traditional stone houses, and a convent.
Throughout the year there are also a number of large festivals and celebrations in Cape Verde, including the São Vicente Carnival, which is held on Shrove Tuesday.
Where to stay
Which island you stay on will depend on the type of holiday you’re after, so it’s worth doing your research before you book, and certain islands might be pricier than others as they are more touristy.
‘It’s literal paradise.’