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.
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.
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.