You should not miss seeing São Vicente, particularly its capital, Mindelo - the real cultural centre of Cape Verde. The city where Cesaria Evora was born is by far the most attractive in the archipelago, with its lively districts (around the rue de Lisbonne) and its numerous Portuguese colonial houses, its bars (Nella's, Café Lisboa, Café Musique), restaurants (Sodade, Archote) and nightclubs. Things to do include walking along the sea front and its magnificent bay with a replica of the Belém tower in the sunset. Do not miss: the carnival in February. On Sao Vicente, the greys and ochres of the three mountainous ranges dominate the island. If you have the time, various sites are worth going to: Calhau, in the east, with its volcanic landscape and natural swimming pool; Praia Grande, a magnificent and long beach devoid of habitation located just beside it (note: swimming there is not recommended); Baia das Gatas, a pleasant bay for relaxing and where there is a big music festival the week-end of the full moon in the month of August. Another excursion you should not miss: going up the Monte Verde (in a car) - the highest point on the island - allows you to enjoy a splendid panoramic view of Sao Vicente and the neighbouring islands (when there are no clouds on its summit).
Beach, mountains, and music. Sao Vicente is the capital of Cape Verdean music.© Carlos Rodrigues / EASYVOYAGE