From oceans to mountains, rivers to forests, desert plains to towns – the ten islands that make up Cape Verde are diverse in the most beautiful of ways. While popular Sal island is largely flat and desert-like, nearby Fogo is home to a near 3,000m high volcanic peak, and lush Santo Antão is coated with tropical canyons and towering plants. The vibrant green bay of Faja D’Agua on Brava island couldn’t feel further on earth away from the red-dust plains of Sal, and yet you can hop between these landscapes by boat in mere minutes and hours.
With so many breathtaking scenes to be snapping, it’s hard to know where to begin. You could head just about anywhere in Cape Verde and see some incredible sights, but here’s just a few of our favourites. Grab your camera and let’s go!
A small inlet on the northwest coast of Sal, Buracona is one of the island chain’s caves. While Cape Verde might not have many to offer, this one more than makes up for it. Also known as ‘blue eye’, it’s famous for the distinctive circle of light that shines down into the water from an opening in the cave roof. While the Atlantic waters around here are rough, the inlet at Buracona creates a beautifully calm pool, perfect for a refreshing dip.
Santa Maria Beach (Sal)
It’s hardly surprising that a country of ten islands has a fair few beautiful beaches. But a real standout is Santa Maria Beach. A delightfully long stretch, the real attraction here is the near-crystal-clear waters. In fact, when calm, the sea is so transparent you can barely tell where it starts. Cape Verde’s year-round climate means the waves are always warm and inviting, from January to June and through until Christmas. The rickety little fishing boats that locals leave on the sand make for a fantastic photo opportunity when set to a backdrop of the blue surf.
Pico do Fogo (Fogo)
Standing at a monumental 2,829m above sea level, Pico do Fogo is one heck of a natural landmark. Its black, sooty surfaces make it look more akin to the surface of Mars than Earth, and it remains an extremely active volcano. It’s not all fire and ash though, as much of the lower surfaces of the mountain are used to grow coffee, and its lava is used as a building material. However, whether you choose to set foot on Fogo is entirely up to you, as it’s every bit as beautiful when photographed from on-board a boat.
Beneath the waves (Sal)
Of course, what trip to an island nation would be complete without venturing beneath the surface of the sea? Half of Cape Verde’s beauty lies where the human eye can’t see it – unless you’re prepared to strap on a snorkel or tank and venture into a world of the unknown, that is. What you’ll find when you get down there will amaze you. Cape Verde’s waters are simply teeming with life, from colourful reef fish to giant sea turtles and rays. Grab your GoPro in its waterproof harness and see what you snap.
Whichever (or however) many sides of Cape Verde you’re looking to experience and capture, it couldn’t be easier with flights to Cape Verde from Manchester Airport.