Home And Away Guide: Cape Verde

Cape Verde is becoming the beach holiday destination of choice for tourists who want a Caribbean-style beach without the crowds. Situated around 600 kilometres off West Africa, Cape Verde is a year-round for romantic couples of families in search of more than just a fly-and-flop beach holiday. The archipelago, comprising ten islands, takes just under six hours' to reach from London and is an excellent alternative to the Canary Islands and the Caribbean in the winter months. Annual temperatures average 26 degrees. Even in the winter months, between December and March, the mercury doesn’t tend to drop below the 19 degree mark. A breeze from the Sahara keeps things comfortable in the hotter months, and rainfall rare. Characterised by its unique volcanic landscape, Portuguese and African culture, and white sandy beaches, Cape Verde offers something for everyone, from beach bums to adventure-seekers. Sal is the sunniest island, known for its Mars-like landscape, salt mining history and abundance of water sports on offer. The white sand beaches are some of the finest this side of Africa and the culture bursts with vibrancy.

The lively city of Santa Maria has miles of sandy beaches, pastel-coloured houses and an abundance of restaurants and souvenir shops. It's where you will find the island's bustling tourist scene, the best nightlife and top hotels and resorts. My Easter holidays took us to  Boa Vista is a less developed island and just a short flight away. Sal Rei, is home to around 6,000 residents, and increasing numbers of tourists who’ve begun to take advantage of cheap flights and a persistent buzz about its beauty. Here expect to find colourful weather beaten buildings and cobbled streets busy with art vendors selling their wares.

At night, the temperature drops and the town begins to beat to the sound of live music. In fact for most, Sal Rei will be the ideal place to make a base to explore the island’s offerings. Club Hotel Riu Karamboa offers a fully inclusive service to ensure your stay is an unforgettable experience. The vast outdoor area has a range of facilities for you to enjoy including a fresh water swimming pool, three salt water swimming pools, a Jacuzzi,  gym, solarium-terrace and spa with a range of different treatments and massages. Dining options include Santiago the main restaurant with terrace, Cape Verdian themed "Barlovento" a Buda Asian space and "Las Dunas" an African themed poolside experience. All inclusive 24 hours includes all meals drinks and snacks with special evening theme buffets twice a week. From the morning till late evening the entertainment team provides you with hours of activity if you so wish. At night you dance, listen to live music, watch shows or simply enjoy the breeze of Cape Verde at the bar. Whichever island you opt for, expect a melting pot of cultures and a number of travel charters depart major UK airports weekly. RIU Resorts feature palatial architecture in stunning beachfront settings throughout Europe , Caribbean and Mexico. Catering for large numbers its impressive how they deliver a personal service mindful of local cultural traditions.

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Robert Walshe is a travel broadcaster with Q Radio in Northern Ireland and Travel Editor for River Media newspaper titles across the island of Ireland. 

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