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Ilha Do Sal is always a sunny and picturesque island in Cape Verde. Sal is a popular holiday destination for many, but its relaxed lifestyle and tranquil beachfront atmosphere can also tempt you for a longer visit.
Sal is one of the ten islands of Cape Verde and here you will find a beautiful light sandy coastline with clear turquoise ocean water shining in the background. In the wintertime the island is windy, but temperatures still remain favorable for beach vacations throughout the year. The capital of the island is called Espargos, where I also visited quickly, but my own trip was mainly on the beaches and the colourful small streets of the lovely beachfront city of Santa Maria.
My own journey ended up being anything but what I had originally planned. Usually when I travel I try to get to know the places as well as possible, but this time I was totally caught up with the stress-free and relaxed atmosphere of Sal and ended up taking it really easy on this trip. I found myself enjoying the no stress -life to the fullest.
Cape Verde has been popular with many tourists this spring, but my own reason for the trip was primarily to get to meet one of my best friends after a long time, because she is currently living in Sal for work. My friend and I met here in Portugal when we started working together in the same job at the same time and have been an inseparable crazy duo ever since. The reunion at the sunny heat of Sal was really wonderful and was followed by an almost two-week adventure with beach life, exploring places and partying with new local acquaintances until the late night.
ILHA DO SAL – WHAT AND WHY?
Sal is the oldest island in the Cape Verde archipelago off the coast of West Africa in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, born about 50 million years ago after a volcanic eruption (source: Wikipedia). The size of Sal is around 216 km² and it is only a little over 30 km long from the north to the south. The local currency is Escudo, but the euro also works well and local money can be easily withdrawn from the ATM, so it is not necessary or worth exchanging money in advance. Various half-day and full-day excursions are organized on the island, where you can easily explore the best pieces of the island from end to end in one day with a professional tour guide. You can also get around the island with your own rental car or public transport options, but be careful when considering renting your own car, as the roads are really bad in some places.
The most popular places to visit in Sal are the town of Santa Maria and its relaxed beach life, the capital Espargos, the blue eye of Buracona, the coastal village of Murdeira, the fishing village of Palmeira, Shark Bay and of course the old Pedra Lume salt mine, where you can still visit and float on the salt water lake created in an old volcanic crater. This was a very fun experience and this also is really good for the skin.
In Sal, water sports are really popular and in addition to lounging on the beach, you can easily find yourself trying out, for example, surfing or kite surfing, which is a big hit on the island. Diving and snorkelling, as well as dolphin and whale watching, can also be done here.
IS SAL A SAFE DESTINATION?
Travelling in Sal is safe, but common sense should be used here as well. Pocket thefts are quite common, especially in bars, so it is a good idea to keep your valuables in your home or safety deposit box and not give the thieves a chance. It is also not advisable to wander the dark streets alone at night, if it is not absolutely necessary and you should keep an eye on your own drink so that no one can slip anything there even half-accidentally. Also don’t leave with strangers whether it is an acquaintance found in the nightlife or a merchant who tries to attract you to his boutique during the day, but these are of course choices that everyone can make for themselves and decide what to do.
The highlights of my own trip, instead of doing a lot of sightseeing, were spending time with my dear friend, and getting to know new wonderful people on the island. Through my friend who has already lived on the island for a longer time, I had the opportunity to get to know many fun and nice locals and these encounters and new friendships really made the trip the best it could be.
Sal left me with such a big desire to travel back, that a new trip to Cape Verde is already under planning, and I can’t wait to see what the next time will bring. <3
TRAVELLING TO SAL? EXPERIENCE THESE AT LEAST:
- The capital city Espargos
- The relaxed beach vibes of Santa Maria
- Palmeira fishing town
- The Blue Eye of Buracona
- Shark Bay – Go chill in the water with Lemon sharks!
- The old salt mine of Pedra da Lume
In the next post, I’ll tell more deeply about the island’s attractions and different cities, so stay tuned for more about Sal Island!
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HAVE YOU BEEN TO CAPE VERDE AND ILHA DO SAL? SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS AND EXPERIENCES ON THE COMMENTS BELOW! 🙂
<3: Tiina Johanna
*Photos: Tiina Johanna, blogger
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