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Santa Maria the tourist town

Sal is Portuguese for salt and Sal was once famous for its salt pans. It still has a great salt lake at Pedra de Lume, where you can float high as in the Dead Sea. But its attraction today is that it has at Espargos the main airport in the Cape Verdes. It was first built by Benito Mussolini, and now puts the Cape Verdes within six hours flight time of the British Isles. It has a small port at Palmeira.

Santa Maria Beach

Santa Maria was settled by sailors, Once known as a tuna cannery, it has one of the world's great beaches. Not crowded, nor is it cold or wet. The sea is luke-warm all year round. A whole yellowfin tuna can be bought off the pier for £4-5 as the catch is landed. It has plenty of European and local restaurants and bars, many of which play music in the evenings. It has the most tourist hotels. See aerial map.

H from Shropshire is sold on Ponta Preta
We had a fantastic holiday, Sal was everything I imagined it would be and the beaches and sea were out of this world. We are waiting for prices for a new development due to be released at Ponta Preta which we liked very much.I must say we had a fantastic time and I can't wait until the next time when hopefully direct flights will be available, Thanks for everything,
D from Essex checked Boa Vista and Sao Vicente before coming back to Sal.
"We liked Sal so much we have reserved an apartment , loved Boa Vista but just a little bit too primitive: was a bit worried on Sao Vicente to walk around as a few people warned us to be careful: loved the hotel and beach at Sao Pedro though. We will be returning in a couple of years time to see how apartment coming along: bet everything will be so different then. Thanks again Claire"
R from Herts is concerned for the future
"If you are not interested in Water Sports (which are fantastic), Sal is the place. It is very limited in cultural or geographical sightseeing. Sal is part unspoilt wilderness, part building site. There are more Real Estate Agents than restaurants. I wonder if there will be anywhere that avoids development. I fear for the island`s ecology. I hope the island`s symbol, the Turtle, doesn`t end up like that of Mauritius - the Dodo."

Sal or Santiago

W from Yorks is in no doubt
"There is a huge difference between Sal and Santiago in my personal opinion. The two islands have different landscape, different beaches, different coloured sea come to think about it. Sal is geared for tourism, the airport has been taking tour operators from other European countries and many independent travellers also. I for one will be happy to fly from the UK/Lisbon/Sal even if they offer direct flights to Santiago from the UK. I have no intention now or in the future landing in Praia airport again. There is nothing to do in Praia. No beaches with a good distance of the airport to go to. Before I went to the Cape Verde Islands, I had an open mind, as I wanted to invest and find a dream location to escape the bleak winters of the UK. Maybe now I am biased. I love Sal, the beaches, the cafes, the restaurants, the people. Everyone`s judgement is different, the only way you will know what suits you is when you visit."
E from Grenoble loved the empty beaches.
"Just to let you know that we've had an absolutely wonderful time on our holiday in CV. I have never seen my husband so relaxed! He just didn't want to go home, which is very unlike him! The surf was rather flat for most of the week we were there but this allowed us to relax and to visit the island. We had a 4x4 and certainly made the most of it. We changed creek or beach every day each time finding a beautiful and isolated spot where we were on our own for hours on end. Pure bliss! We very much enjoyed the area around Murdeira and also the east coast: although windy we found it wild and very attractive."

A from Glasgow liked Murdeira

"We`ve seen it at its best. I can`t understand why anyone would go anywhere else for winter sun, when you`ve got Sal. It was nice to go to Santa Maria but to come back to Murdeira. The people in the back of the alugguiers were charming and lovely. We bacame a part of the community. We were always pleased to come back to the quiet of Murdeira"

P from Manchester liked the primitive parts

"We had a great time thanks. At the moment Sal has got just about the right mix of everything to make it a really interesting place to go, a bit rough around the edges still, which I really like. That probably won`t be the case in not so many years I guess! I think we will go back, maybe try and see a couple of the other islands next time. The villa was very good and all of your information was very useful. "

Visit Pedra de Lume the great Salt Lake

See the pretty port of Palmeira

Hotels and Restaurants on Santa Maria Sal

Arrange car hire on Sal

Getting abouton Sal