Cape Verde Holidays
When you feel that you’ve exhausted the traditional family package holiday, a trip to Cape Verde may be ideal. It’s one of the more unusual and exciting destinations for families seeking a ‘different’ sort of holiday. Just off the coast of Senegal and midway between Brazil and Portugal, these islands were first inhabited by the Portuguese in the 15th century, and later became home to many African-born slaves. This mix of cultures has led to intriguing blend of diversity and history, with visitors able to experience the results of a turbulent past on the island’s art and musical expressions. The Micronesian islands have been described as a ‘hidden treasure’ and are now an attraction for hikers, windsurfers and fans of adventure who are drawn to the islands for their rugged landscapes, challenging climbs, ideal surfing conditions and temperate climate. Cheap deals can be discovered on the internet, as some tour operators are now starting to offer package deals to these unique islands. If you’re fancying something different for your family holiday, then consider a family trip to Cape Verde.
Food and Drink
As can be expected of a relatively small island nation, seafood is a speciality in Cape Verde with lagostada‘lobster’ being very popular amongst visitors and locals alike. Servings tend to be large, and eating is a communal experience; with most cafés and restaurants taking a warm and informal approach to dining. Families with children are always made to feel welcome, and special dishes can be adapted for those who have dietary needs or for vegetarians. Alongside authentic local cuisine, European dishes including Italian food remain firm favourites on the islands – with pizza and pasta being widely available and generally well presented. As much food and drink needs to be imported, Cape Verde is not the cheapest destination in which to dine out; but its fabulous terrain and wildlife more than make up for this slight addition to prices.
Society and Culture
The people of Cape Verde are warm and friendly, with many people working in the tourism industry or related fields. As a result, the people of Cape Verde are generally very happy to welcome visitors to the islands and to share their culture and heritage with these travellers. Due to the mixture of European and African cultures, the people of the region have developed a lively and unique philosophy which is represented in their arts, literature, dance and music. The national language is Portuguese and the island’s population are primarily Catholic. Sundays and religious days are observed, although it’s still possible to partake in many activities even on these occasions.
Due to the location of the islands in the Atlantic Ocean, there are many opportunities for fun on the waves. Surfing, kite surfing, fishing, sailing and windsurfing are all popular pastimes and local instructors are able to assist even the most nervous learners. If you’re prepared to get wet, the local diving is superb and there are many sites to suit all abilities.
Back on the land, golfing is incredibly popular and there are some excellent facilities for those who would like to take the opportunity to improve their swing. A more sedate option is to go turtle watching or take one of the many dolphin and whale spotting boat tours.
Cape Verde has a surprising number of places to stay, from basic hostels and family-run guesthouses to luxury villas. Some boast private swimming pools and premier facilities, whilst others are more functional and cater for those who have travelled to the islands to take advantage of the hiking or climbing opportunities. Accommodation should always be booked in advance as the islands can get very busy during peak times, and there are many early booking bargains to be had.