São Vicente

Geography

The island is roughly rectangular in shape with a surface area of ca. 227 km2 (88 sq mi). From east to west it measures 24 km (15 mi) and from north to south no more than 16 km (9.9 mi). The terrain includes mountains in the west, the southwest, the south, the east-central and the north. The urban area of Mindelo is in the northern part. Although volcanic in origin, the island is quite flat. Its highest point is Monte Verde (Portuguese for green mountain) located in the northeast-central part with an altitude of 725 metres (2,379 ft).

Water Areas

The island is also the site of beautiful beaches of clear warm water, namely Salamansa, Baia das Gatas, Praia Grande and São Pedro, for lovers of water sports. On Sundays the city is absolutely dead and all shops are closed.  Perfect to escape the city and visit the beaches of Baia das Gatas, Calhau, Salamansa or São Pedro!  Because that’s where everybody is on Sundays.

Mountains

The terrain includes mountains in the west, the southwest, the south, the east-central and the north. The urban area of Mindelo is in the northern part. Although volcanic in origin, the island is quite flat. Its highest point is Monte Verde(Portuguese for green mountain) located in the northeast-central part with an altitude of 725 metres (2,379 ft).

Transport

Flying to Cape Verde isn’t always expensive.  In low season you can fly from Brussels to the island Sal for €150 one way (www.jetairfly.com).  An additional 1 hour- flight with TACV takes you to  São Vicente (VXE or International Airport Cesaria Evora).

 

Several German airports have connections to Sal (www.tuifly.com).

 

TACV organises direct flights to São Vicente from Amsterdam – Paris – Lisbon – Boston.

 

Don’t hesitate to ask for more information about the time schedules and prices: info@cabocontact.com

Lodging

São Vicente offers a big choice of B&B’s and hotels, from budget to luxury.  Keep in mind that booking your accomodation is always a good idea, especially in the touristic season from October to April.

Sports

São Vicente has a great tradition in sports. From here many sports have spread to the remaining islands. Surfing, for example, relies on the excellent conditions here. The beach of São Pedro is considered one of the best forwindsurfing, as shown by the many world-class champions of the sport.Kitesurfing is popular as well in São Vicente.  Cycling, walking trails and horseback riding are good ways to explore the island. For these reasons, tourism has excellent growth potential on São Vicente and in the rest of the Cape Verde archipelago.

Persons

São Vicente is the cultural island of Cape Verde.  You find live music everywhere.  You should also visit the little ateliers of local artist, where souvenirs and other beautiful objects are manufactured.

– Bela Duarte, artist

– Carlos Veiga, former Prime Minister of Cape Verde

– Cesária Évora, famous Capeverdean singer

– Corsino Fortes, writer

– Dudu Araujo, singer

– João Cleofas Martins, photographer and a humorist

– Luís Ramos Morais, artist

– Onésimo Silveira, poet, diplomat and political activist

– Ovídio de Sousa Martins, poet

– Sergio Frusoni, poet

– Tito Paris, singer

– Vasco Martins, composer

– Yolanda Morazzo, poetess and a fictionalist

– Kiki Lima, painter

Cuisine

You can find traditional restaurants as well as restaurants who offer a mixture of Italian/French/Spanish – creole cuisine.

 

Catchupa, a stew of beans, is very popular and healthy and all pubs and restaurants have it.  You can eat marvellous fresh fish (peixe), chicken (frango) and steak (carne de vaca) everywhere on the island. In the restaurants you will find local wine from the island Fogo as well as French and Italian wines. Check the topic ‘going out’ to find the best restaurants.

 

Tip: Bistro Sto. André in São Pedro

Economy

The economy of the island was always based almost exclusively on commerce and services. Due to lack of rain, agriculture is at a subsistence level. Fishing has some relevance, but conditions prevent it from being more important, not only for the catch — lobster — but also for the associated industries: conserves, drying and salting of fish, and naval construction.

Porto Grande is the main port of Cape Verde. It has a terminal of containers, silos, and refrigeration units that make handling load overflow possible. There is also a modern seawater desalination plant, which provides water for public consumption and for naval shipyards.

In recent years, the National Center of Workmanship of Mindelo supports local craftsmen in the production and commercialization of ceramic parts, articles made of coconut rinds, and necklaces of shells and rocks.

Mindelo

Set around a moon-shaped port and ringed by barren mountains, Mindelo is Cape Verde’s answer to the Riviera, complete with cobblestone streets, candy-coloured colonial buildings and yachts bobbing in a peaceful harbour. Mindelo is the party city of Cape Verde with the town square Praça Nova and the labyrinth of side streets as the focal points. Live music is played in many restaurants.

Fortim d’El Rei

Fort built in the 19th century, on the highest side of the city of Mindelo, with a fantastic view of the city and the bay.

Praça Nova

Also called Praça Amilcar Cabral, built by the British in 1894. It’s a very lively square in the evenings. On Sunday evenings, live music is played. On Praça Nova you also find the Museum of Traditional Art.

Torre de Belém

It’s a replica of the Belem Tower, a monument located at the entry of the bedstead of Lisbon. Inside you can visit an art exhibition.

National Arts & Crafts Centre

Dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. It was the first Highschool of São Vicente.

Municipal Market

The 19th century building underwent restoration work and enlargement. You can buy a variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs and other products on this colorful market.