Articles

LV= travel guides: Cape Verde 

2 minutes

About 500km off the coast of West Africa is a number of small islands that make up Cape Verde. This isolated, volcanic archipelago offers an adventurous take on the tropical island experience.

  • Currency: Cape Verdean escudo (CVE)
  • National Language: Portuguese
  • Time difference: Cape Verde is typically 1 hour behind UK time
  • Flight time: UK to Cape Verde is approximately 6 hours 15 minutes

Cape Verde facts 

Independence

First colonised by Portuguese settlers in 1462, the Cape Verde archipelago became independent from Portugal in 1975. Until 1980, Cape Verde shared its independence with Guinea-Bissau.  

Its nearest neighbours are Western Sahara to the northeast, Mauritania, Senegal and Gambia to the east and Guinea-Bissau to the southeast.

Portuguese is the official language but people also speak Crioulo, an Africanised Creole Portuguese. 

 

Volcanic islands

There are still many volcanic islands in Cape Verde, including the Sao Vicente volcano, which is extinct. However, on the nearby island of Fogo, a volcanic eruption occurred in 2014. 

Even though eruptions are rare, it's worth checking your travel insurance covers you for delays and cancellations caused by volcanic ash.

Today, more people of Cape Verdean origin live abroad than in the country.

Activities

The natural winds and the beautiful crystal clear sea around the islands make Cape Verde one of the best spots for windsurfing, kite surfing and deep sea fishing and diving.

Cape Verde is named after Cap Vert (or 'Green Cape') in Senegal, the westernmost point of continental Africa. It's also known as Cabo Verde. 

The island of San Miguel, Cape Verde

The Cape Verde Experience

Located in the Atlantic about 500km west of Senegal, the Cape Verde archipelago offers travellers a heady mix of mountains, beaches and pretty seaside villages.

Santo Antão is ideal for long hikes, while São Vicente is home to Mindelo, known as the island's cultural capital because of its trendy clubs and bars.  

On Sal and Maio, find gorgeous beaches with pristine white sands, and on far-flung Fogo and Brava, check out dramatic volcanic landscapes and stunning turquoise bays.  

Temperatures are almost always warm, with an average of 24C in January and up to 30C in September. The rainy season is from July to the end of October. 

For further information about Cape Verde visit capeverde.com.

As a responsible travel insurer we always recommend you check for the latest Foreign Office advice before visiting any country, the latest FCO advice for Cape Verde can be found here.