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Find information on Sao Vicente in our Travel Guide covering sights, foods and nightlife plus more...
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Sao Vincente is one of the islands in the Cape Verde Archipelago six hundred miles off the Senegalese coast of West Africa. It is a flat volcanic island only 725metres at its highest point. A Sao Vincente holiday offers relaxation on sandy beaches in very pleasant surroundings.
Sao Vincente provides beaches for soaking up the guaranteed sunshine, water conditions that are perfect for wind surfing, an eighteen hole course for golfers and beautiful old towns and villages.
A Sao Vincente holiday has broad appeal. The beaches attract families with young children wielding buckets and spades, while the water attracts aqua sport enthusiasts who find the Atlantic offers perfect conditions for surfing and sailing as well as a host of other water sports. Couples come to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and the delightful small towns and villages.
The temperature in Sao Vincente is constant throughout the year ranging from twenty-five to thirty degrees. November to July is dry and windy while August to October is the rainy season. Most rain falls in September when the average rainfall is thirty millilitres.
Sao Vincente off the North West coast of Africa offers year-long sunshine on an island that enjoys an unhurried lifestyle. Low barren hills frame the capital, Mindelo, which lies around a deep natural harbour. Its architecture reflects its colonial past with large Georgian style buildings on streets lined with shady palms.
The large marina attracts many yachts and pleasure crafts.
The sandy beaches are never overcrowded and privacy is easily found. Baia das Gatas is a lagoon in the northeast of the island and is the safest beach for swimmers. The lagoon forms a natural swimming pool that is calm and sheltered and is popular with those learning new aqua sport skills. San Pedro beach offers ideal conditions for wind and speed surfing.
The waters around Sao Vincente can be dangerous and sailors and water sports enthusiasts should take the advice of locals before entering the ocean.
Opportunities exist for exploring Sao Vincente on foot using the walking trails or by cycling or even on horse back.
Golfers have a choice of courses and more are planned for the future.
Nightlife on Sao Vincente is fairly low-key. Mindelo has some lively bars and clubs but it is not known as a party capital unless, that is, you visit during the colourful February carnival or the August music festival. At such times it becomes very lively indeed. Evenings can be spent in the large number of restaurants around the bay watching the sun descending into the ocean.
Mindelo has a shopping mall with a good number of retailers including craft and souvenir shops. Many of the crafts have an African flavour with wooden carvings and jewellery. Market stalls sell local produce.
Sao Vincente food is a mixture of Creole and Portuguese and is predominantly fish based. Tuna, lobster and octopus are popular items on the menu. There are also a number of restaurants serving international cuisine.
The local drink, ‘grogue’, is made from locally grown sugar cane and has a high alcohol level.