Cape Verde Holidays, Events, Climate and Sightseeing

Cape Verde: holidays, climate

Date Holiday
January 01 New Year
January 20 Heroic day
10th of April Good Friday
May 01 May Day/Labor Day
May 03 Praia Day (in Praia)
June 10 Anniversary of the death of the poet Luis Vaz de Camoes
June Festa dos tambores in Boca Ribeira/Praia Branca
July 5 Independence Day (1975)
15th of August National holiday
November 01 All Saints Day
24th of December Christmas eve
25 December Christmas holiday

Source: Countryaah – Cape Verde Holidays

Cape Verde: climate

The island state of Cape Verde is located between the equator and the tropic, in other words in the tropics. The ideas of what is meant by a particularly favorable travel climate depend on a number of factors. Cultural travelers are sure to see the climate differently than people who come to the country as business travelers or development workers, for example. The state of health or age can also play an important role.

For people who do not have any problems with higher temperatures and often high humidity, they can visit the island nation all year round with a clear conscience. However, people who prefer a moderate climate and lower temperatures or who need it for health reasons should consult their family doctor or a tropical medicine doctor beforehand for a stay in Cape Verde.

Climate table

The following table shows some important climatic data for the country. However, it must be taken into account that the values shown are mean values that have been determined over a number of years and are of little significance for the current weather to be expected.

Month Average number of rainy days Mean maximum temperatures in (°C) Mean minimum temperatures in (°C)
January 0-01 24-26 19-21
February at 0 24-26 18-20
March at 0 25-27 19-21
April at 0 25-26 20-21
May at 0 25-27 20-21
June at 0 27-29 21-23
July 0-01 27-29 23-25
August 07-09 29-31 23-25
September 06-07 29-31 24-26
October 02-03 29-31 23-25
November 0-01 27-29 22-24
December 0-01 25-27 21-23

Cape Verde: Sightseeing

  • Abbreviationfinder.org: Presents the way that CV stands for the nation of Cape Verde as a two-letter acronym.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Cidade Velha

Cidade Velha is the former capital of Cape Verdes. It is located on the island of Santiago.

In 1462, Ribeira Grande was the first settlement on the Cape Verde Islands and was also the first European settlement in the tropics.

In 1466 the place got the royal monopoly for the slave trade, so that soon the slaves were imprisoned in the great valley of Ribeira Grande. Vasco da Gama and Christoph Columbus docked in the port of Ribeira Grande in 1497. Sir Francis Drake raided the city in 1585 and 1586.

The place later became a bishopric. In 1712, the slave trade was ended by a French man after he sacked the city. On the Pelourinho square from 1512 you can still visit the slave market as well as the church Nossa Senhora do Rossario from 1495.

The old town of Ribeira Grande was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2009.

Cities

Mindelo

Mindelo is the second largest in Cape Verde with around 70,000 residents and is located on the island of São Vicente. The cultural center of the country, with the Porto Grande, is not only the port of call for large cruise ships, but also the cultural (and a little bit the secret) capital of the island kingdom. Famous is the city’s colorful carnival, which is somewhat reminiscent of the Brazilian carnival. The city is surrounded by mountains such as the Vigia Mountains, Monte Cara and Morro Branco. Another characteristic is the Ilhéu dos Pássaros, an island at the entrance to the Porto Grande. It has an 82 meter high lighthouse.

Pedra Badejo

Pedra Badejo (also Santiago Mayor) spreads out on the east coast of the island of Santiago, a town with 10,000 residents. There is also a modern Catholic and the New Apostolic Church.

Praia

Praia, Portuguese for “beach”, is the largest and capital of Cape Verdes with around 127,000 residents. It is located on the island of Santiago and is the economic center of the archipelago. Coffee, sugar cane and tropical fruits are shipped abroad from the city’s port. The city is also the center of the Cape Verdean fishing industry and the seat of the Roman Catholic diocese of Santiago de Cabo Verde. The city is a remarkable contrast to the rest of the more conservative and traditional island of Santiago.

The quite cosmopolitan city should therefore offer the best opportunities to study the cultural differences in the country. Tourists will surely like to stick to the many show houses and also visit the Palace of Culture. The ethnographic museum, the former presidential palace and the national historical archive are also recommended.

Santa Maria

The 17,000-resident town of Santa Maria is located on the island of Sal and is increasingly becoming the tourist center of the island. The third largest Cape Verdean city in the south of Sal is picturesquely located and famous for its booming tourism and is dominated by numerous new hotels.

Special structures

Barragem de Poilão near Pedra Badejo

Near the town of Pedra Badejo, the Barragem de Poilão was completed in 2006, the first dam in Cape Verde, financed by China. It is located between Poilão and Lavada dos Orgãos and holds back a reservoir with a capacity of 1.7 million m³. An information pavilion in the south of the reservoir provides information about the technical structure.

Fort Real de Sao Felipe near Cidade Velha

The picturesque remains of Fort Sao Felipe are located near Cidade Velha on the island of Santiago. During the slave trade, the fortress was used for defense purposes.

Catholic Church of Pedra Badejo

In Pedra Badejo, a city on the east coast of the island of Santiago, is the city’s modern Roman Catholic Church. You can find them in the newer, upper part of Pedra Bedejo.

Liceu Ludjero Lima in Mindelo

This middle school in Mindelo is also worth a visit by anyone interested in beautiful colonial architecture.

Nossa Senhora do Rossario in Cidade Velha

The church of Nossa Senhora do Rossario (Eng. Rosary Church) dates from 1495 and is located on the island of Santiago. Africa’s oldest road built by Europeans leads to it. The church on Pelourinho Square dates back to 1495.

Paço do Concelho in Mindelo

This building functions not only as the town hall of Mindelo, but also for the entire island of São Vicente.

Palácio do Povo in Mindelo

The People’s Palace in Mindelo – formerly the Palácio do Governador – rises near a small mountain. The building inspires with its wonderful colonial architecture, which is a little reminiscent of Indian construction. The walls of the palace are designed in pink, with the building itself being surrounded by a flower garden.

Presidential Palace of Praia

The presidential palace of Cape Verde is in Praia, the capital of the archipelago. It was built towards the end of the 19th century to actually accommodate the Portuguese governor.

Museums and universities

Centro Nacional de Artesanato in Mindelo

The Centro Nacional de Artesanato of Mindelo shows, among other things, wonderful paintings, batik works, woodwork and carpets, some of which go back to Bela Duarte.

Universidade Jean Piaget de Cabo Verde in Praia

The Universidade Jean Piaget de Cabo Verde is located in the Cape Verdean capital Praia, which also has a smaller campus in Mindelo on São Vicente. Until 2008 it was Cape Verde’s only university. Africa’s most westerly higher education institution, geographically speaking, is to have additional campuses on the Cape Verdean Islands in the near future. The university was named after the famous French theorist Jean Piaget.

Major islands

Brava

Brava, the smallest of the Cape Verde islands, is a true botanical paradise, because the island is home to a unique flora.

Fogo

The volcanic island of Fogo has the hottest climate of the Cape Verde Islands and is enlivened in the northeast by citrus fruits, mango trees, banana trees and coffee bushes. In the center of the island rises the 2,829 meter high Pico do Fogo, an active volcano. The capital of Fogo is Sao Filipe, a city built on the slope of the volcano. It has a very beautiful old town center.

Sal

The desert island of Sal, one of the eastern islands of Cape Verde, is one of the driest places on earth with around 350 days of sunshine a year. The natives of the island get water at individual water points (Portuguese Fontenarios), which are filled with water from desalination plants. Sal is still the Cape Verdean island that is most visited by tourists, because they love the beautiful sandy beaches and thousands of them cavort along the water.

Santo Antao

Santo Antao is particularly interesting for passionate hikers. The landscape is hilly and sometimes reaches a height of up to 1,600 meters. For the inexperienced hikers, we recommend the paths along the steep coast.

More Attractions

Porto Grande of Mindelo

The Porto Grande is the “big port” of the island of São Vicente. It spreads to the west of Mindelo and Mindelo Bay, about one kilometer from the city center. The port acts as a center for the transshipment of goods with the other Cape Verdean islands and partly with other parts of the world, with most foreign ships coming from North, Latin America, Brazil and Europe. Thanks to the port expansion in 1997 – as part of the Projecto de Modernização do Porto Grande – the Porto Grande was expanded to an area of 45,000 m².

Salt pans near Espargos

There are some salt pans near Padra di Luime. They are located near the capital Espargos and were once exploited for economic purposes. Since the end of the 19th century, however, they have lost their importance, so that today they are exclusively considered a tourist attraction. The area on which the salt pans spread out in a volcanic crater is entered through a tunnel in the crater wall. Similar to the Dead Sea, you can’t go under, so a swim in the salt lakes is worthwhile.

Cidade Velha slave market

The impressive Pelourinho square dates back to 1512. It was once used as a slave market.

Natural beauties

Olho Azul on Sal

The so-called “blue eye” of the island of Sal is a hole in a volcanic rock. When the sun reaches a certain angle, the water shimmers in a shimmering blue, which is always the case around noon.

Pico do Fogo on Fogo

The Cha das Caldeiras is the crater rim of Pico do Fogo, an active volcano, which is framed by fields of ash and high lava tongues. This second highest mountain in the Atlantic has a cone with a diameter of 25 km and can be reached from the capital Fogos via a winding and steep road. Interestingly, right on the edge of the crater of the largest active volcano in the Atlantic, there are two small villages, each with around 700 people living in houses made entirely of lava stones. If you want to climb the Pico, you should plan four to five hours for it and must organize a guide beforehand

Vigia

This volcanic mountain in the northwestern part of the Cape Verdean island of Boa Vista can be reached from a street in the island’s capital, Sal Rei. The mountain, which consists primarily of a desert-like landscape and grassland, also houses a small cave, which is known as the Rotchinha and is overgrown with small palm trees. The mountain itself offers a wonderful view of the northern and eastern parts of the island.

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