Is Sal Island, Cape Verde worth a visit?

Sal Island is very close to the West African coast of Senegal and is the most developed of all the Cape Verde (or Cabo Verde) islands. It is about 30km long and the widest width is 12km. The island of Sal is the flattest island of the Cape Verde archipelago and takes it’s name from the now inactive salt mines.
Home to the first international airport in Cape Verde, the scenery when landing on the island of Sal does not create a love at first sight impression. The landscape is somewhat moon like, arid and grey. But do not be mistaken as Sal is an up and coming tourist destination by excellence. The amazing white sands and many colours of the sea form a delightful backdrop for the beach orientated activities which are the main reasons for visiting the island and it is this combined that creates a wonderful contrast.
Being the most developed island where tourism is concerned, Sal Cape Verde has one of the best beaches in the world. The town of Santa Maria boasts 8km of golden sands with warm sea temperatures all year round. As a result of this, a significant portion of visitors already come here for water sports, offering perfect conditions for surfing, sailing, fishing, snorkelling, windsurfing and kite surfing. Scuba Diving is also becoming a big attraction in Cape Verde because of the oceans fabulous and varied sea life. In Santa Maria, there are ample instructors and equipment for all water sports. There is also mini golf, basketball and tennis courts, volleyball and football pitches as well as excellent swimming pools.
There are several new luxury five star hotels planned, together with many villas, apartments, shops, spas and restaurants, so for the next few years one might expect some disruption from building works. There are also plans for a luxury marina, casino, an aqua park and world class golf courses. The big plus is, however, that all the new and projected buildings are low rise. Due to the development of the tourism industry, there are new venues and facilities opening up regularly.
Whilst visiting Sal, it is worth while taking a trip around the island. In particular you should see the salt lake at Pedra de Lume and the port of Palmeira is a wonderful little place, with lobster farms and salt purifying stations providing and insight into daily life on the island. To see the ‘real’ Sal, pay a visit to Espargos with its picturesque main square. It takes its name from its main crop, asparagus. Other places to visit include Buracona (‘large hole’), a natural tidal pool. There are excellent cruises available following the pretty Sal coastline, or catamaran day trips to other Cape Verde Islands. Trips to Fogo, Santiago, Maio and Boavista are all possible to visit via Sal. Each island has its own unique personality and fascination.
Should you wish to visit the island of Sal, Cape Verde, make the most of your stay by venturing outside of your hotel, villa or apartment complex. Santa Maria and its people are warm and friendly. Santa Maria enjoys fabulous bars and restaurants with a great variety of local and international cuisine at very reasonable prices. Be captivated by the live music and dance, and take a look at the Cape Verdean handicrafts which help support the poorer communities. Exploit the plentiful opportunities to relax in comfort enjoying lazy days in the sun. Cape Verde has an international influence which has resulted in a unique culture.
Cape Verde’s future is looking incredibly exciting and prosperous. In a nutshell, Cape Verde is very much, ‘on the up’ and is preparing to be discovered by international tourists and increasing numbers are flocking to the island of Sal to see what the fuss is about.

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