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If you’re looking for a vibrant, coastal holiday in 2019 / 2020, Cape Verde is the answer. Mile after mile of soft sandy beaches are a seaside playground for beach lovers, water sports fans and families. A virtual paradise just off the coast of Africa, where it hardly ever rains and the spectacular views will take your breath away. With just a 6-hour flight time from Ireland, Cape Verde is a great alternative to the Canary Islands for some winter sun. Whenever you visit you’ll enjoy long sunny days full of sun-blessed beaches, buzzing nightlife, thrilling adventures, volcanic landscapes, lush green mountains, and Creole-African hospitality. With first-class restaurants on every island, foodies will discover a whole new range of flavours and dishes destined to become firm favourites.

Visiting neighbouring islands in this Atlantic archipelago gives you the chance to uncover hidden delights tucked away on Cape Verde’s collection of ten islands. Boa Vista’s 34 miles of coastline is a haven for beach fans, while the island of Sal can boast beautiful beaches too plus the Buracona Lagoon. This seaside cave transforms at midday when the sun hits waters the deepest of blues. Take coastal sightseeing trips, spot whales basking just offshore or simply relax on the beach and admire Cape Verde’s stunning scenery. With a choice of superb hotels, Cape Verde is a relaxing paradise in the sun.

Top attractions

Top attractions

A holiday to Cape Verde is primarily about chilling out on the beach. Whether you’re catching up on the bestseller’s list by the pool or sunbathing on golden sands, Cape Verde is all about relaxation. That said, there are activities on hand to break up the strenuous schedule of laid-back lazing in the sun. Most of Cape Verde’s top attractions revolve around the island’s scenic beauty, abundant wildlife and warm waters. Rich in marine life, Cape Verde’s Atlantic shores are prime spots for catching a glimpse of aquatic visitors to the island. Whales and turtles can be spotted on boat trips. To get a closer look, scuba diving and snorkelling are a great way to see fish, stingrays and turtles. Island hopping gives you a chance to see the different landscapes on Cape Verde’s archipelago. Adrenaline seekers might want to try some of the water-sports, including windsurfing, kite-surfing or game fishing. Away from the beaches, the Cape Verde desert is a playground for petrol heads. Zoom across the sands on a 4x4 safari or quad bike tour.

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Eating out

Eating out

A holiday to Cape Verde gives foodies the chance to experience a culinary adventure. Influenced by Portuguese, African, Creole, and Brazilian gastronomy, the menus are chock full of delicious new dishes and flavours to discover. You’ll definitely find plenty of fresh fish featuring highly on the menu. The island’s freshest catches are regularly used in a national dish called Capucha. A hearty fish stew, Capucha’s robust ingredients include with corn, beans, vegetables and sweet potato. A truly authentic Cape Verde dish, not to be missed if you spot it on the menu. A simpler treat to enjoy, especially from a market stall are the locally grown bananas, mangoes and coconuts. Fresh and complete with low food miles, these sweet fruits are all popular in Cape Verde and considered local specialities. For something more indulgent try a slice of Bol de Cus-Cus. This cake is made with maize and sugar and is typically served with butter, just to add to that all important calorie count!

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Families

Families

Families looking for a sun-filled escape of rest and relaxation will find it on a Cape Verde holiday. Worried about the kids getting bored? Cape Verde has plenty to keep them occupied. Whether you’re scaling the slopes of a volcano, quad biking across a desert or exploring wrecks on shore or beneath the waves - there's an adventure waiting for explorers of all ages. With Cape Verde’s purpose built attractions for young visitors, the island’s want to welcome families to their shores. With surfing, island hopping, horse-riding and turtle spotting all waiting for families to enjoy, Cape Verde is a holiday destination you’ll want to visit again and again.

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Action & Adventure

Action & Adventure

On a holiday to Cape Verde you’ll have plenty of options when it comes to relaxing and unwinding after a busy day exploring. With action and adventure also on the menu, the archipelago is a great destination for holidaymakers wanting a good mix of leisure time and some more high-octane pursuits. Hit the beaches for some water sports, including kite-surfing, big game fishing, windsurfing and surfing. Dive to the depths to discover the many wrecks on the sea-bed - adventurous explorers can even visit the wreck of the Cabo Santa Maria. Lying stricken on the north shoreline of Boa Vista sine 1968, this rusty wreck is a must-see for those prepared to cross the rugged terrain. Inland you can explore the Sahara desert, at least the sands of the desert. Carried over on winds from Africa, the sands of the Viana desert are now a site for 4x4 safaris and quad bike excursions. Hikers will want to head to the breathtaking island of Santo Antão, where the ravines are jaw-droppingly vast, towns teeter on cliff sides and the treks take in everything from volcanic slopes to fruit plantations and caves.

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Beaches

Beaches

Sandy beaches stretch for miles on each of Cape Verde’s islands. From desolate coasts to explore all to yourself, to bustling beaches of families enjoying the hot sun, there’s a beach for everyone on the archipelago. Boa Vista Island has some of the best beaches, with miles of empty sprawling shores and gloriously soft sand dunes to explore or relax on. One of the more picturesque islands, Boa Vista is a relaxed escape, away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist resorts. Nature lovers will want to head back to the beaches when the sun sets. As night falls quiet and patient visitors can catch a glimpse of loggerhead turtles coming ashore. With plenty of options for relaxing, Cape Verde’s sands also know how to kick things up a gear. Many of the larger beaches have excellent water sports and diving options. Snorkelling and swimming are also a great way to explore the waters without needing any scuba lessons and bulky diving gear.

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Nightlife

Nightlife

Your holiday to Cape Verde will be accompanied by the region’s soundtrack - the traditional live music. The chilled out sounds and haunting music spills out from various clubs and bars, providing a backing beat to your evening exploring Cape Verde’s nightlife. Similar to the vibrant Canary Islands’ party scene, you’ll find the usual crop of Irish bars and beachside clubs. With the hotels also offering superb entertainment in-house, you don’t need to go far to enjoy a fantastic evening. For all night raving and fun that spills out onto the beach, Cape Verde’s party capital is Praia. Open air discos and buzzing bars keep the festivities going into the early hours. For something a little more laid-back, many of the island’s restaurants offer the chance to enjoy a leisurely meal before heading to a quiet bar for evening drinks. Whether you fancy a delicious meal or the chance to trot out your dancing shoes, Cape Verde’s nightlife has something for everyone.

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Couples

Couples

Nothing sums up a romantic holiday in the sun better than a moonlit stroll along a beach. With mile upon mile of sandy beaches, Cape Verde gives couples the chance to relax in secluded spots, far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. With fantastic shopping on the various islands, including vibrant markets, there’s plenty of retail therapy on offer in between those crucial tan-topping moments. Holding hands as you hike through lush green mountains or explore UNESCO World Heritage sites, you can lose yourself in Cape Verde’s stunning scenery wherever you go. Finish the day with an intimate, candlelit meal on the beach for one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments you’ll share forever.

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Culture

Culture

Away from the endless beaches and poolside cocktails, there’s plenty of culture to discover on a Cape Verde holiday. Cidade Velha - or Sidadi - is the oldest settlement in the archipelago. Just 15 km from Praia, it’s accessible by water taxi or bus. Cidade Velha, once Cape Verde’s capital is famous for being visited by Sir Francis Drake. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the town’s historic highlights include the impressive remains of two churches and a royal fortress. If quad biking through the desert isn’t for you, a visit to the calm oasis of the Viveiro Botanical Gardens might be just the thing. Shady palms sway in the breeze, towering over fragrant hibiscus and oleander flowers. If you’re looking for a relaxing way to discover Cape Verde’s distant past, a visit the salt pools at Pedra Lume is a must. Formed when Cape Verde itself was born via volcanic activity, these craters boast a salt density higher than the Dead Sea. An effortless float on the buoyant waters will be a moment to remember. The region’s salt mining industry is long forgotten, but the coloured lakes, salt planes and abandoned tower set an eerie landscape in which visitors can picture days gone by.

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