Island of sal – Cape Verde

On Easter Sunday, myself, my husband and friends met at Gatwick airport early in the morning to head off to the Island of Sal in Cape Verde.

My husband treated us to a private lounge called My Lounge, it was lovely and peaceful, you could help yourself to tea and coffee, soft drinks and even alcohol, whenever you wanted and there was snacks to nibble on.  We all enjoyed sitting in a relaxed atmosphere before boarding our plane.

We boarded our plane, and unfortunately, even though we were facing a 6 hour flight, the plane was very cramped and everyone was complaining of the same thing, but we survived and once we landed in Cape Verde we could not wait to reach our resort.

One thing our travel provider did not warn us (or many others) was that you need to apply for a visa before travelling, luckily due to a Facebook group we found for our resort we found out we needed to apply for this before travelling.  It was very easy to do and took just a few minutes and did not cost anything.  If you do not apply, you just go to a separate queue and apply once landed but you do need to pay at the time (I think it is 25 euros per person but not 100% sure).

We arrived at our resort Sol Dunas and check in was very easy, we were taken to our apartments and told our luggage would follow. One of the sayings in Cape Verde is ‘No Stress’, this was certainly true after waiting an hour for our suitcases to arrive.  Luckily the apartments had toiletries in so we had a quick shower to freshen up, and once our cases had arrived we unpacked and got changed, and then headed to the bar to have our first drink of the holiday. I was also given more birthday presents that our friends brought out with them, one was  a gorgeous handbag I have been eyeing up for ages, that my husband got me and had sent to them to bring out, we made a bit of a mess as all presents and cards had 50 confetti in.

That evening, my husband had arranged for a meal and birthday cake in the Italian restaurant, it was not the best meal and there was some mix up, but we had a good evening

Tuesday morning, we decided to head into the local town of Santa Maria, taxi fare is only 3 euros, it was an experience, and yes I got conned and was teased about this all week, but C loves her turtle and 5 fridge magnets. We also stopped at a gorgeous little bar looking out to the sea.

Tuesday evening myself and my husband (our friends wanted to do their own thing), headed to a bar on the beach called Bikini Beach Bar, and no you do not have to wear bikinis.  We had a package and I happily sipped Cava all evening, before we treated ourselves to a cocktail pitcher, which has to be one of he nicest I have had.

On Wednesday we had a lazy morning on the beach, which was gorgeous and then after lunch we moved to the pool, unfortunately, we got a bit too much sun (even though I sit in the shade most of the time).

Thursday, we had a day out of the sun relaxing as my husband got burnt the day before, and he never burns.  Our friends spent the day on the beach, and we decided to visit the Casino as another birthday treat.

That evening, we joined our friends at the Grill restaurant, to celebrate their anniversary.

On Friday my husband and his friend had already arranged that they would go fishing, yes in my suitcase I had a 2 person travel fishing rod set, they were like excited little school boys.  My husband treated me and my friend to a Bali Bed which is a comfortable bed with sides to shade you from the wind and a package which included cocktails, champagne and canapes.

On Saturday we headed into Santa Maria for lunch as an end of holiday treat

That evening we headed to the Grill Restaurant again, as we had a special request from management inviting us to celebrate my birthday, and yes we had another bottle of champagne and birthday cake number 3.  By this time we had all seen and tried enough birthday cake.

Next day it was time to pack up and say goodbye to Cape Verde

A few things you need to know if travelling to Cape Verde

  • Visa – You need to have a visa on arrival, you can do this before you travel with no extra cost, this is not made clear when you book.  If you have not arranged a visa you can also do this on arrival but there is a cost.
  • Suntan lotion – I know we all take it away with us, but the sun in Cape Verde is a lot stronger than other places we have visited.  Take high factor sun tan lotion and take at least one extra bottle to what you usually take.  You will burn without it, and apply regularly.  My husband who usually only needs to look at the sun and turns brown.  Burnt and was red and sore, and he was applying more lotion than usual.
  • Cooling after sun – This is great as it does cool down the sunburn, also make sure you moisturise more than usual.
  • Hair products – My hair went wild whilst away, honestly nothing would help it, I would style my hair and as soon as I walked out it just went wild and look a complete mess.  So do a bit of research, or make sure you take products to help tame your hair.
  • Money – Cape Verde does have their own currency, but you can only use it on the Island and it can not be changed when you get back home.  You can use euros, but be ware they will give you change in a lot of places in their own money.  We used this when using a taxi
  • Jabs – ours are all up to date, but you do not need these to travel to Cape Verde.
  • Water – do not drink it, do not even use it to brush your teeth ( we didn’t but our friends did and have been unwell since returning home).  On our resort there was plenty of bottled water, either on the bars first thing in the morning for you to help yourself too, or you just ask at the bar for as many bottles as you would like.
  • Wind –  It is windy in Cape Verde, I would recommend getting some towel pegs to keep your beach/pool towel from blowing away.  During the day the wind was warm, but we found in the evening when going out for dinner the wind would be cold, but it would warm up a little later on.  I would take a cardigan or light jacket just to keep the chill off.

Would I return to Cape Verde, yes I would, we had an amazing holiday, the staff were all so friendly and helpful and nothing was too much trouble.  I had heard about the food in the buffet restaurant of our hotel being cold and not that nice.  We found the total opposite, there was always someone checking food with a thermometer and if not up to the correct temperature they would remove it.  Everywhere was spotless whether in the hotel or away from the hotel.

Have you ever been to Cape Verde? What did you think?



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  1. 28th April 2017 / 3:42 pm

    I never knew you had to get a visa for Cape Verde either, great info. This is somewhere I’ve wanted to go for a while but I haven’t done a sun holiday in ages. I’m glad despite a few little blips you had a great trip x

    • admin
      28th April 2017 / 4:12 pm

      We did not know either, it was just by chance my husband found out, we all had a great holiday x

  2. 28th April 2017 / 6:47 pm

    I”m so happy you were able to take this holiday and thrilled that you had such a good time! It seems you had lots of fun activities and even 3 birthday cakes! Cape Verde looks so beautiful, I would love to visit someday.

    • admin
      28th April 2017 / 7:26 pm

      Thank you we did need the break and it was a great holiday, although will quite happily not see another birthday cake for a long time, although the cakes out there were lovely. Cape Verde is lovely and would love to go back again x

  3. 28th April 2017 / 9:20 pm

    I have never been to Cape Verde but your review definitely makes it an option on my travel wishlist. I hope you had a fantastic Birthday x

    • admin
      29th April 2017 / 8:38 am

      I will be honest I had never heard of Cape Verde before we booked to go, and it seems that it is quite popular this year. It is still quite a new holiday destination, but I think give it a few years and it is the new Tenerife in the making x

  4. Ali Rost
    29th April 2017 / 6:03 am

    What a fun way to spend a birthday .. on Island of Sal in Cape Verde! It looks like you guys had such a wonderful time. Kuddos to a great hubby for arranging such an amazing getaway!

    • admin
      29th April 2017 / 8:36 am

      It was an amazing way to celebrate and yes I am lucky to have such a great hubby x

  5. 29th April 2017 / 1:29 pm

    I’ve never been to Cape Verde before but would love to go x

    • admin
      29th April 2017 / 8:25 pm

      We hadn’t before we went, but would love to go back again x

  6. 29th April 2017 / 7:55 pm

    It seems like you had a perfect holiday, I especially like the fact that you even made some profit in the casino 🙂

    • admin
      29th April 2017 / 8:25 pm

      It was a perfect holiday, and I didn’t win but my husband did so we came out in profit x

    • admin
      30th April 2017 / 9:35 am

      He did 🙂 I feel like I could do with another one now x

  7. 30th April 2017 / 12:51 am

    Glad you had fun, thanks for sharing! I’m not a lay-on-the-beach type of person, I prefer active, urban vacation but your post really made me feel like I could go there!

    • admin
      30th April 2017 / 9:35 am

      I am not usually one for just sitting on a beach either, neither is my husband, but this time we both must have needed it x

  8. 30th April 2017 / 12:10 pm

    Lol. You guys had so much fun. You had me cracking at “Water: Do not drink it, do not use it to brush your teeth”

    • admin
      30th April 2017 / 12:24 pm

      We did have a lot of fun, the reason I made that statement is, we never use tap water to brush our teeth when we are away, our friends did, we have been fine since our return, they have been really ill x

  9. 30th April 2017 / 11:12 am

    We went to Sal last year absolutely loved it and definitely plan to go again in the future. What travel company did u go with? We went with Thomas cook and part of the holiday price included the visas. I’m surprised u weren’t told about it. Good job u found out beforehand.

    • admin
      30th April 2017 / 12:26 pm

      We want to return again one day, we went with Frist Choice, and it was included in our travel costs, but they did not tell us to apply and on our arrival it seems quite a few others were not told either.

  10. 30th April 2017 / 4:11 pm

    Oh, I did not know that the island has its own coins! Would love to have them for my coin collection, they are kind of unique!

    • admin
      30th April 2017 / 7:14 pm

      They are just like any other currency really, but can only be used in Cape Verde and can not be changed up anywhere apart from there

  11. 30th April 2017 / 4:56 pm

    I love the shot of Cape Verde from the sky. I definitely need to see more of Portugal than just Lisbon!

    • admin
      30th April 2017 / 7:16 pm

      I have to give my husband credit for this shot, I can recommend Cape Verde x

  12. 30th April 2017 / 7:16 pm

    Thank you for the travel tips! It looks like you had an awesome time. Anywhere there’s a casino is a place my hubby wants to be so I’ll definitely have to tell him about Cape Verde.

    • admin
      30th April 2017 / 9:36 pm

      A casino is high on my husbands list as well, he was over the moon when he realised there was a casino just down the road, they are building a hotel (Hilton I think) linked onto it x

  13. 1st May 2017 / 1:26 am

    Awww, how sweet of your husband to give you that huge retreat to Cape Verde. Happy Birthday BTW. I have never traveled outside of the US lol,. So knowing what to expect before heading out saves us so much hassle.

    • admin
      1st May 2017 / 9:27 am

      I have an amazing husband who does treat me very well, was very lucky and we had such an amazing time with so many memories x

  14. 1st May 2017 / 6:08 am

    That sounds like an amazing time! I probably wouldn’t exchange all my money back because I like to have a memento of places I’ve visited.

    • admin
      1st May 2017 / 9:23 am

      We did have an amazing time, we just took euros with us, so it was just the change we got when we got it in our change x

  15. Elizabeth O.
    1st May 2017 / 6:27 am

    It sounds like a wonderful place to celebrate your birthday in. It looks like it was time well spent too! Just look at all your smiles! It’s always nice to travel with the people that you love.

    • admin
      1st May 2017 / 9:23 am

      It was the perfect place to celebrate my birthday and could not have wished for better people to celebrate, we always do have a great time when we are all together x

  16. 1st May 2017 / 9:36 am

    Yay! This looks fun! I can tell you have a loving, supportive husband. 🙂 You’re both lovely.

    • admin
      1st May 2017 / 10:25 am

      Thank you, we had a great time, and yes I have the most amazing husband ever x

  17. 2nd May 2017 / 10:13 am

    I have never been to the Cape Verde Islands before but having read your blog post I would dearly love to explore the Island of Sal. What a wonderful way to spend your birthday and what a great hubby you have to organise such a treat.

    • admin
      3rd May 2017 / 3:56 pm

      We had not been before, but we both had a fantastic time and would love to return again one day. I am very lucky to have him he does treat me very well x

    • admin
      9th October 2017 / 8:24 am

      I think it is one of those holiday destinations that will start to become very popular in the next few years x

  18. Alex
    8th October 2017 / 3:35 pm

    Looks like a lovely relaxing break! I’ve never been to Cape Verde but it looks nice 🙂

    • admin
      9th October 2017 / 8:24 am

      It is a great place to visit and certainly was relaxing x

  19. 8th October 2017 / 8:53 pm

    I’ve never been but it sounds and looks wonderful! What a fab birthday!! ❤


    • admin
      9th October 2017 / 8:23 am

      I really can recommend going, and it was a great way to celebrate x

  20. 8th October 2017 / 9:17 pm

    Cape Verde looks stunning! And such a lovely way to spend your birthday.

    • admin
      9th October 2017 / 8:22 am

      It really is a lovely Island and we have recently looked at going back again x

    • admin
      9th October 2017 / 4:54 pm

      It really is a beautiful country x

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