Thu, Jan 6, 2011
If you are in Africa and are looking for beach fun combined with relaxing vibes, São Vicente is one of the best options. Recognized among the striking islands of the Cape Verde archipelago, this beautiful atoll is nestled at a distance of 600 miles from the West African shore. São Vicente is actually a flat volcanic island that ensures a picturesquely memorable holiday. Among the attractions here, a majority of them are beaches offering some thrilling water sports, some are cultural highlights, and a few are historic landmarks guarantying fun for the people of all ages and likes.
As a tourist destination, São Vicente is very appealing. It is certainly the great beaches that attract thousands of visitors each year. Because of these scenic shores, the island has become a perfect family vacation spot as well as water sport destination. One of the safest as well as ideal beaches here is the Baia das Gatas – it is actually a lagoon that is nestled on the northeast tip. This natural pool is very calm making it good for swimming pool. It is also sheltered from the ocean so that the beginners can learn the water sports very well and that too without any fear. One more famous beach is San Pedro that attracts fans of wind and speed surfing. I strictly recommend confining yourself to the lagoons and beaches for swimming as well as sports as waters around the island are just not apt for these activities. In case of doubt, it would be wise to ask the locals before going into the water.
Besides beaches, São Vicente is popular among the walkers as there are several trails offering a great opportunity to enjoy the scenery as well as do some exercise. These trails around the island are suitable not only for trekking, but also for biking as well as horseback riding. If you are a golf player, the island offers such courses too. While you are here, do also buy some crafts, wooden carvings, and jewelry in the capital, Mindelo. This is the city where only walking can get you to its major attractions.
While you are in the capital, start your walk from Praça Nova (Amilcar Cabral) and continue up to the Alliance Francaise. On the tour, explore Chava d’Ouro for lunch, Rua Libertadores d’Africa leading to the eagle monument, Torre de Belem, Praça Independencia, a church, Mercado Municipal indoor market, Palácio do Povo, and Rua Patrice Lumumba. If you want to dine at a terraced restaurant and bar, head to the Hotel Mindel from where it is easy to explore a small beach at the harbor. If you go in north, the port offers a boat tour to Santo Antão and just do not forget to look back for the best view of the city. If you are still energetic, then walk for more 20 minutes to the headland in north via the port where a loving beach in the next bay is great to spend the evening as well as view the sunset. From here, buses are available to take you back to the town.
Food on this island is purely a blend of Creole and Portuguese flavors. Just taste the local beverage grouge – an intoxicating drink of sugar cane. To enjoy mesmerizing nightlife on São Vicente, come in February when the carnival makes everything rocking around. Alternatively, come in August, when a music festival is just awesome. Although there are many restaurants as well as pubs around, none of them boasts a great party life at night.
Speaking about the climate, Sao Vicente enjoys a warm atmosphere throughout the year so it is surely an idyllic vacation spot no matter which time you go. August to October bring rains here with the most rainy month being September. November to July is quite windy as well as dry making the island ideal for visiting.
São Vicente is just your choice if you are looking forward for a relaxing, cozy trip. So, just plan for it this time!