5110 Sal Rei, Cape Verde
GPS: 16.179948748741, -22.917885247113
The islands of Sal and Boa Vista are part of the Barlavento group of islands along with the archipelagos of Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia and São Nicolau. Numbering six entities, this string of desert islands means “the Windward Islands” in Portuguese. It is located in the northern part of the Cape Verde archipelago, off the coast of Senegal and Mauritania. The islands of Sal and Boa Vista are isolated in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and are about 600 kilometres from the African continent.
Formerly Portuguese colonies, the Barlavento Islands have earned the nickname “the Caribbean of Africa” because of their extensive white sand beaches. Of volcanic origin, the islands of Sal and Boa Vista were uninhabited before the arrival of the first contingent of European explorers in 1456. They are dominated by flat terrain and a desert environment swept by ocean winds. Thanks to these natural assets and a favourable climate all year round, the fame of this exotic land quickly spread beyond its maritime borders. Since the end of the 20th century, the islands of Sal and Boa Vista have attracted international travellers in search of adventure, nature and authenticity. In recent years, they have tempted a new audience. Water sports enthusiasts of all kinds (diving, windsurfing, surfing, sport fishing…) come to take advantage of the exceptional natural conditions that the Cape Verdean destination enjoys to practise board and air sports.
Benefiting from an exceptional level of sunshine (350 days a year) and modern tourist infrastructures (including an airport on each island), the volcanic islands of Sal and Boa Vista are a gentle blend of Portuguese, African, Creole and Brazilian cultures with turquoise waters. Cape Verdean hospitality and the unparalleled friendliness of the locals add to the enchantment of the place. The island of Sal is the oldest island in the Cape Verde archipelago from a geological point of view, and was formed 50 million years ago. It owes its nickname to the saline marshes of Pedra de Lume and is full of wrecks, caves and reefs with a high fish content. The island of Boa Vista, less frequented than its neighbour, offers a more peaceful environment to its visitors. Its golden beaches and sand dunes serve as a nesting site for several species of marine turtles.