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Unveiling the Highlights of Sal, Cape Verde

Visiting Cape Verde for a holiday usually means soaking up the sun or enjoying the wind. Whether you’re lounging by the pool, relaxing on the beach, or engaging in kite or windsurfing, there’s something for everyone. But have you ever wondered about the highlights of Sal, Cape Verde?

When I mentioned my plans to visit Sal, I often heard comments like, “Sal? It’s a barren, desolate island with nothing to do.” However, that’s not entirely accurate! While Sal is indeed arid, whether that’s unattractive or not is subjective. Plus, there’s plenty to do! If you’re considering a holiday to Sal, here’s a top 5 list of highlights you shouldn’t miss.

1. Discover the WOW Factor at Blue Eye

Located at Baracunda on the north-west side of Sal, Blue Eye is a stunning natural phenomenon. After paying the €5 per person entrance fee (children enter for free), you’ll walk to Blue Eye on wooden decking. Descend a short flight of stairs and behold the wonder of Blue Eye. It’s an 80-meter deep hole in the rocks, leading straight into the ocean. Between 11:30 and 13:30, the sun shines directly above the hole, illuminating the ocean with a beautiful deep blue color, hence the name “Blue Eye”. The hole isn’t very well fenced off, so keep a close eye on your children!

2. The Seaside Delight of Murdeira

Our journey took us to a brief stop at Murdeira, where we reveled in the beauty of the bay and the feel of the sand beneath our feet. The children found joy in this respite from the car ride. The beach, abundant with pebbles, sparked a spontaneous game of “who can throw the pebble the furthest into the sea”. Floris even discovered pieces of coral he wished to bring home, but customs had other plans.

3. The Salty Experience at Pedra de Lume’s Salt Lake

On the eastern side of the island lies Pedra de Lume, a village renowned for its salt mine. The mine remained active until 1999. Upon paying the €5 per person entrance fee and stepping into the mine, you’ll notice wooden structures that were once used for transporting wood during the mine’s active days. Today, the mine serves primarily as a tourist attraction. The lake within the mine is so salty that you can float on it. It’s said that if you dive into the lake, let the water dry, and scrub your skin clean with the salt, you’ll look 10 years younger. It’s certainly worth a try and undeniably one of the highlights of Sal.

4. Experience Shark Spotting at Shark Bay

Just a short 10-minute drive over a dirt road from Pedra de Lume, you’ll find Shark Bay. The presence of parked 4x4s, used for transporting tourists across the island, is a clear sign that you’ve arrived. From there, it’s a brief walk over slippery stones into the sea. You can either bring your own water shoes or rent a pair on-site. After navigating across the wet rocks for about 50-100 meters, you’ll be able to spot lemon sharks swimming along the coast. This activity may not be suitable for very young children, but older kids can be carefully guided by hand.

5. Savor the Best Ice Cream in Santa Maria

Santa Maria, located in the far south of Sal, is a charming fisherman’s village with a cozy atmosphere. We were fortunate to visit during carnival season, a time when the village is alive with celebration. Children are dressed up, and the festive atmosphere is reminiscent of a Brazilian carnival, but for kids. In Santa Maria, you’ll find a plethora of cozy restaurants, terraces, and of course, an ice cream salon. They offer both regular ice cream and frozen yogurt, a type of soft ice cream. After a day of exploring Sal in a 4×4, this is the perfect way to end the day.

Discover the Wonders of Sal

Contrary to what some might say, there’s plenty to see and do in Sal. Have you discovered any hidden gems that should be added to this list of Sal highlights?

Did you enjoy this article? You might also like “Holiday to Cape Verde with kids“.


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