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?