The scenery of São Vicente is quite simply stunning - Mindelo Bay is considered to be amongst the top ten most beautiful bays in the world, and the mountain Monte Cara is a breathtaking sight with a seemingly human face shaped over time by nature. Mindelo town, with its architecture old and new, invites visitors to lose themselves in the maze of streets, admiring the fine examples of preserved colonial architecture such as the public library and the Palácio do Povo.
Although São Vicente has a dry climate with little rain, the natural landscape is magical. Monte Verde, a green mountain surrounded by arid scenery, is a fantastic place for walking. And, of course, there are many beautiful beaches for swimming, sunbathing and watersports. Diving, fishing and windsurfing are particularlyOne of the most popular sports on Sao Vicente is golf, a legacy of the times when the British lived in Mindelo, controlling communications via telegraph and refuelling the big ships with charcoal. when to visit:
There is one party not to be missed! With the date depending on the Catholic calendar, the end of February is the time for the Carnival, Cape Verde's answer to Rio when Mindelo opens its streets for the island's most important event. Thousands of music fans and partygoers from all over the world descend on Sao Vicente to sing, dance and parade through the streets to show off their flamboyant costumes. Not surprisingly, demand for accommodation is high at this time so come prepared.
And that's not the only time to party. The traditional celebrations of São João in June attract people from the entire archipelago to dance, beat drums and jump the bonfire. In August, São Vicente hosts the biggest three-day music festival of western Africa, when musicians from all over the world arrive to perform.
Another great time to stay in Mindelo is at New Year when everyone takes to the streets and parties all night until the sunrise welcomes the new day - and the new year.
There is an airport on Sao Vicente but it is not open to international flights yet, so the easiest way to get here is to fly via Sal or Santiago. Alternatively, you can get a boat but this can be a slow and arduous journey!
Sao Vicente's climate is typically tropical and mostly dry with temperatures averaging 24°C all year round. November to July is dry and windy whilst August to October is the "rainy season" - an unusual phrase in Cape Verde.
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