When one goes to Cape Verde for a holiday one usually goes for the sun or the wind. The sun, because you like to relax at the pool or on the beach and the wind because you’re a kite- or windsurfer. But do you know the highlights of Sal, Cape Verde too?
Whenever I told people I had plans of going to Sal on holiday I received replies such as: “Sal? That’s a really ugly island. Dry, withered and nothing to do”. But that’s not (entirely) true! Sure, Sal is pretty dry and withered but it’s a matter of taste whether you think that’s ugly or not. But there’s definitely lots to do! For everyone who’s thinking of going on holiday to Sal I’ve made a TOP 5 of the highlights you definitely should not miss.
Highlights of Sal, Cape Verde
1. Experience the WOW factor at Blue Eye
Blue eye is located at Baracunda, on the north-west side of Sal. It’s a beautiful natural phenomenon. After you pay the €5 pp entrance fee (small kids are free of charge). You walk to the Blue Eye on wooden decking. You go down a short flight of stairs and.. wow! Blue Eye is an 80 metre deep hole in the rocks, straight into the ocean. Between 11:30 and 13:30 the sun is directly above the hole giving the ocean a beautiful deep blue colour. Hence the name “Blue Eye”. The hole is not very well fenced off so be sure to hold on to your kids!
2. Enjoying the sea in Murdeira
We made a short stop with the car to have a look in the bay and bury our feet in the sand. The kids enjoyed taking a break from the ride. The beach is full of pebbles so a game of “who can throw the pebble the furthest into the sea” was born. Floris even found pieces of coral on the beach he wanted to take home but unfortunately customs thinks otherwise.
3. Floating on the salt lake in Pedra de Lume
On the east side of the island you’ll find Pedra de Lume. A village that is known for its salt mine. The mine was active until 1999. After you pay the €5 pp entrance fee and walk into the mine you see wooden structures that were used to transport the wood back when the mine was active. Now the mine is mainly used as a tourist attraction. The lake in the mine is so salty you can float on it. It is said when you take a dive into the lake, let the water dry and scrub your skin clean with the salt, you will look 10 years younger. Always worth the try ;). Rightfully one of the highlights of Sal.
4. Shark spotting at Shark Bay
Just a 10 minute drive over a dirt road from Pedra de Lume, you will find Shark Bay. When you see a bunch of parked 4×4’s, used for transporting tourists across the island, you know you’re at the right place. From there it’s just a short walk over the slippery stones into the sea. You can bring your own water shoes or rent a pair right there. When you’ve slithered across the wet rocks for about 50-100 meters. You can spot the lemon sharks swimming along the coast. This highlight is less suitable for kids of a very young age. As soon as the kids are old enough to walk, you can guide them carefully by the hand.
5. Eating the most delicious ice cream in Santa Maria
Santa Maria is located in the far south of Sal. It’s a small fisherman’s village with a very cosy atmosphere. We were very lucky because it was carnival! Turns out carnival is celebrated abundantly in Sal; all the kids are dressed up. On top of a float stood a girl dressed in a fantastic outfit complete with crown and feathers. It feels a little like carnival in Brazil, but for kids. In Santa Maria you’ll find lots of cosy restaurants, terraces AND of course an ice cream salon. Where they sell regular ice cream and frozen yoghurt (a kind of soft ice cream). Our kids are real ice cream monsters so after a day of exploring Sal in a 4×4 this was the perfect ending.
Enough to see on Sal!
So everyone who says there is “nothing to see” on Sal is wrong. Are you missing any good spots on this list of highlights of Sal?
Did you like this article? You might like this too “Holiday to Cape Verde with kids“