surf a Capo Verde

8 days / 6 nights

Island of Sal

from € 179 Excluding flights

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Island of Sal

Sal Island boasts the best surf spots in Cape Verde! This potential activity in Cape Verde was discovered in the late 1980s by a windsurfing crew who used to sail on the island of Sal. With prevailing winds from the NE and consistent swells from the NW, the rocky west side of the island works as best it can, withstanding even swells above 10ft. Except Ponta Preta, most of the spots are characterized by rather short but fast and consistent waves. Santa Maria is an 8km(5mi) long beach at the southern point of Sal Island, it starts working when SW swells (quite rare) and NE summer swells arrive. Here the waves are mostly small and low-powered (but still funny) except for a left one that rolls out onto rocks right in front of the hotel. This wave is used as a yardstick to understand the size of the West swell. Further west there is Ponta do Sino, where waves, larger than Santa Maria, break on a mixed seafloor made of rock and sand. The best wave on the island is Ponta Preta, it is about a 30-minute walk from Santa Maria. It is a long right that breaks over a black volcanic rock seafloor. The best conditions for this spot are NW swells, light crosswinds and low tide. Usually this wave also breaks with swells of different directions (always far enough from the rocks) and in some cases, in addition to the right, a very fast left is also produced, but which breaks close to some rocks (recommended only for experienced surfers). Rife is a perfect spot for riding waves (with windsurfing) as it is very windy; for this reason it is not suitable for surfing. Monte Leao is a spot located in the center of the west coast that can produce long and perfect right waves, in most conditions even without wind (it is very sheltered compared to the other spots), but needs large NW swells or medium-sized swells from West and Southwest to start working. Alibaba is usually more consistent than the other waves on the island but is very exposed to the wind, so it is often impractical. Curral Joul attracts swells from all directions (often with offshore wind) but is very affected by the tide and getting in and out of the water is truly a nightmare. Fontana is a very nice place, located inside a small bay that produces both left and right waves when consistent swells arrive. The best spot when the swells are small is definitely Palmeira. If you’re lucky and the persistent NE wind stops blowing, clean, regular 1-5ft waves can be found at the end of Santa Maria Island, perfect for longboarding. There may be deserted waves on the east coast, but be careful because here you can find lots of sharks.

Tariff per person, starting from:

DepartureAparthotel Ponta PretaAgua Hotel Sal Vila VerdePorto Antigo
DoubleDoubleDouble
From 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020€ 179€ 200€ 326

Notes

Cape Verde is the only archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean that collects both the S and N swells. The island of Sal is covered by the S-SE swells from the island of Boa Vista, in fact the only swells that produce consistent waves are the ones from northwest. The best swell are produced thanks to the low pressure that is formed in Nova Scotia and that passing along the Azores arrives directly to Cape Verde (in the period from November to February). The NE winds blowing from the Sahara desert are the dominant winds throughout the year and usually bring low-power waves to the east coast, which only become more consistent after several days of blowing. The best period to visit Cape Verde is from November to February, when the winds blow from the East which are perfectly offshore on the west coast. The range of the tides is minimal, but despite this the rocky spots are affected enough.

How to get there: All visitors need a valid visa, and only some nationalities can buy it at the moment of arrival. Check the Cape Verde embassy website for more information. Flights depart from all major European cities.

How to get around: The island is very small so it is possible to walk around and reach almost any place. If you want to surf the Palmeira spot, slightly further away than the others, you can book the Soultripping service (Jerome Boggio Pasqua). The cost of renting a car is very high as it is around $ 60 per day; but a good alternative is to rent a quad bike for only $ 12 a day. Internal flights between the islands of the archipelago are made by ATR, which does not always guarantee the possibility of transporting boards longer than 7ft. An other option is to travel by ferry.

Accommodation and food: There is a wide variety of international hotels on the island offering double rooms for around $ 40 per night per person. There are also low-cost guesthouses with prices starting at $ 18 per night per person. The cheapest food is cachupa which sells for around $ 3.

The climate: Since Sal and Boa Vista are the closest islands to Africa, they are flat and extremely dry due to the strong hot winds that blow from the desert. Throughout the year the temperatures are always around 25 ° C, with the exception of the periods when the wind blows strongly from the East which creates a rise in the same. The period from July to September is the so-called ‘wet months’, characterized by a torrid and humid heat. Due to the cold current from the Canaries, a 3/2 wetsuit is required in the winter months to cope with the (even if it is minimal) temperature change.

Nature and culture: The island of Sal offers one of the best environments in West Africa in terms of diving (do not miss the “Buracona” cave). Visit the salt craters of Pedra Lume. The villages in Sal are very quiet, but there are also a couple of discos that brighten up the nightlife during the weekend.

Dangers and annoyances: Volcanic lava and sea urchins are the most common cause of discomfort for surfers and windsurfers. Localism is not a problem, but… always respect them!

Practical advice: There are no surf shops and the only equipment that can be rented is the one for windsurfing. The waves are never so big as to require the use of a gun, but sometimes the wind makes it necessary to use a slightly longer board than usual.


The tariff does not include

  • Flight to Amilcar Cabral (Sal Island) € 270
  • Airport fees subject to changes € 360
  • Registration fee € 95

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Go World S.r.l.
via Canale, 22 - 60125 Ancona
P.IVA, CF 02763050420 R.E.A. AN 213201
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