Cape Verde honeymoon experience

Guest submission: Last year I ventured to the Cape Verde islands with my beautiful wife to be for our honeymoon. We wanted somewhere remote, far removed from the usual hassle of many traditional holiday destinations. Armed with a few months of research and the convenience of a direct flight route from Manchester, we settled on the island of Sal. The Cape Verde Islands are a 10 island archipelago around 300 miles west of Senegal on the African mainland and 900 miles south of the Canary Islands. They’ve become increasingly popular over the last decade as a tourist destination with many holidaymakers travelling as part of their honeymoon drawn to the islands by their rugged remote natural beauty, world class beaches and new luxury resort developments.

We arrived at Sal International airport (also known as Amílcar Cabral International) mid afternoon and stepped out into the mid-day sun. Two things the islands are noted for, strong winds and barren landscapes, were both in evidence. The airport was very small but relatively new. It didn’t bear much resemblance to a standard European holiday destination arrival and it began to sink in we were in Africa. We knew in advance that Sal was not noted for greenery but had the vista not contained some cars, people and an airport you could be excused for thinking you had just stepped off one of 1070s Viking Landers probes to Mars. A car was waiting for us, pre-booked, and we made our way through a remote dead landscape along a straight apparently newly laid four lane highway to the main tourist town on the island, Santa Maria.

Santa Maria is a small fishing town about 25 kilometres south of the airport. The area is synonymous with the recent growth in Cape Verde tourism and associated development boom. The resort is notable for is beautiful sandy beaches and various watersport activities but before we could visit the beach we had to check into our catered beach villa at Tortuga Beach Resort. This was located just north of Santa Maria town centre further round the coast heading west and was nestled perfectly on the edge of another one of Cape Verde’s endless pristine white beaches. Our stay in the resort for 10 days was serene and most days we spent relaxing on beach sun loungers and most nights watched the sun set from the beach also.

We ate some nights in the resort complex and others made our way into Santa Maria by taxi to eat at one of the local restaurants. Santa Maria is not a mature tourist destination yet and we knew we wouldn’t find a plethora of gourmet restaurants but one we did find and grow to love was La Prive. Hidden away and set around a secret walled garden, it was gem which we returned to on several occasions during our stay. The food was excellent but the outside dining set up in the garden was the perfect setting for romantic dinners during our honeymoon.

During our stay, whilst we wanted to relax as we were on honeymoon, we did enjoy many of the watersport activities on offer in Santa Maria, by learning to windsurf and enjoying some snorkelling. Cape Verde winds are legendary so you can always windsurf whilst choppy seas make surfing possible as well.

All in all we loved our stay in Cape Verde and it made for the perfect honeymoon; no unnecessary travel, completely stress free, great weather and beaches and complete relaxation. We intend to return to Cape Verde as soon as we can and next time want to explore some of the other islands like Sao Vincente and Santo Antao.

Filed Under: Wedding & honeymoon travel

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