There are 10 islands in Cape Verde, where do I buy?
Cape Verde is an archipelago of 10 islands, however the islands where most property is purchased by British and Europeans are Sal and Boa Vista. These are followed by São Vicente, Santo Antão and Maio. While Santiago is the Capital of Cape Verde, it does not have many white sandy beaches to attract the touristic market (regardless of having a buoyant residential property market). Both Sal and Boa Vista have been the first islands to be developed for tourism due to their glamorous beaches. Sal is the most advanced of these two islands and is approximately 10 years ahead of Boa vista in its development.
While São Vicente offers a more cultural island and better infrastructure than the rest of Cape Verde islands in terms of its deep water port, international airport and well planned town (Mindelo), the property developers who purchased on the island failed to construct a Resort / hotel to bring in tourists such as that of Sal. While there are nice beaches there it is not classed as a ‘beach island’ like Sal and Boa Vista. São Vicente island is also the gateway to Santo Antão island. Santo Antão island has no airport, and is accessible only by regular ferry between the islands (it’s about the only thing that runs on time on the islands). Santo Antão is the most picturesque of the 10 islands and is very popular with walkers, hikers and outdoor pursuit enthusiasts. It is also the most visited island for French tourists in Cape Verde.
Sal is home to Cape Verde’s largest international airport and was the first island to be developed for tourism from the early 1990’s. It is ahead of the other islands in terms of tourist facilities in Cape Verde. Sal accounts for over 50% of all tourism into Cape Verde and has direct flights coming in from all over Europe every week.
Sal is a relatively small island and much of its landscape looks like the moon, however, Santa Maria, in the South of the island boasts some of the best beaches in Europe and is the hot spot for buying property on the island. Once a small sleepy fishing village, Santa Maria has become a thriving tourist destination and global brand hotels are lined up to enter the market with three new hotels tipped to be opening in 2017 including the Hilton Hotel. Since 2005, Santa Maria has developed into a tourist resort in its own right comprising a number of cool beach bars, local cafes, high quality restaurants and little boutique shops. Sal has a relaxed, laid back lifestyle and the pace of life is slow. ‘No stress’ is the buzzword of Sal.
Sal Island has outstanding beaches and it is ideal for water sports, hosting the annual wind surfing championship on the island. Surfing, windsurfing, kite-surfing, fishing and diving are well established. Areas such as Buracona and the salt mines are also well established tourist attractions on the island. As more hotels are being built, more touristic facilities are emerging.
What property is available to buy in Santa Maria?
If you want to buy in a resort, the ones available are Vila Verde, Paradise Beach, Tortuga Beach Resort, Dunas Beach Resort, Llana Beach Hotel and Porto Antigo. Outside of these resorts, there are a number of smaller apartment blocks that are located in and around Santa Maria. Murdeira Village, half way up the coast towards the airport, is also a tranquil and interesting place to look for a holiday home.
Boa Vista Island
Boa Vista has captured the imagination of tourists and property developers alike. It is Cape Verde’s second most popular destination for Europeans with approximately 35% of total tourists.
Like Sal, Boa Vista, is blessed with miles of pure white sandy beaches that wrap around the island. It has a naturally occurring ‘Desert’ in the middle of the island due to the sand blown in from Mauritania. Boa Vista offers excellent conditions for all water sports and diving amongst the centuries-old shipwrecks.
The Capital is Sal Rei, a small fishing village which has a number of small and medium sized residential apartment blocks and small B & B’s / small hotels.
Due to Sal’s head start on Boa Vista, the island is approximately eight to ten years behind Sal in terms of touristic facilities and development.
What property is available to buy in Boa Vista?
For buying property, there are the complexes such as Ponta Do Sol and Vila Cabral 1 and 2, in the Cabral Beach Area of the island. Estoril Beach is close to Sal Rei and there are some good properties available here.
To the south of the island, the Santa Monica Beach area is seeing a lot of interest from big hotels and resorts. White Sands Hotel, for example, will be a 5 star hotel which will offer investors a chance to purchase hotel rooms in the hotel for a return yield.
São Vicente Island
São Vicente is the second most populous island of Cape Verde with 70,000 residents concentrated mainly in the vibrant town of Mindelo, a former British refuelling port. Unlike Sal and Boa Vista (which are flat), Sao Vicente is a far more mountainous and has a number of wonderful beaches to complement the island.
São Vicente’s international airport opened in June 2009 and has seen the influx of regular direct flights from France, Amsterdam and Portugal with Tui / Thomson announcing their flight to the island from August 2016. The first luxury Melia hotel has just been announced for the Salamansa area of the island and this will see the advent of new flight routes and more hotel visitors reaching the island.
São Vicente is renowned as the island of culture in Cape Verde and has a reputation for being the island of festivals. The highlight of São Vicente’s calendar takes place in February when the streets of Mindelo are thrown open to thousands of music fans from all over the world who come to enjoy the colourful Carnival.
The scenery of São Vicente is stunning with Mindelo Bay considered to be amongst the top ten most beautiful bays in the world. Mindelo town, with its architecture old and new, is a maze of picturesque streets and fine examples of preserved colonial architecture. The outer bays of Baia Das Gatas, Salamansa, São Pedro and the wonderful beaches of North Baia are also interesting places to visit.
Where to buy?
There are some excellent properties available on the Island and if you wanted to be in the city, areas such as Laginha beach, Santa Filomena as well as the centre of town. Mindelo town is popular and some of the coastal bays such as Salamansa, Baia Das Gatas, North Baia, São Pedro and Calhau.
Santo Antão Island
Arguably the most picturesque of the islands with one of the most interesting landscapes. The eastern side of the island is barren and wind-scorched, but as you follow the climb upward over the mountain, the scenery changes into lush greenery. The trek over the old road is one that can almost take your breath away and it has been scenery that has led it to become one of the most visited by French and Portuguese tourists. A lush tropical landscape nests on the western side of the island and there are some amazing hiking paths through the different villages and into high mountains and overlooking deep valleys. While Santo Antão is a beautiful island, it has very few beaches.
It is a fascinating island that is a must see if you are visiting São Vicente. Santo Antão has no airport therefore it is accessed through São Vicente by ferry (approx. 7 euros each way).
Where to buy?
There are not many properties in touristic resorts available to purchase in Santo Antão. This island has smaller apartment blocks, individual houses, and land available in various parts of the island. The west side of the island is the most popular to purchase.