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Pool and terraced houses View of new building 2-bedroom maisonetteMain interior room Beach at Low Tide

Cape Verde Villas and apartments, Sal

Porto Antigo, Santa Maria, Sal, Cape Verde

These are apartments and terraced houses for rent in a small complex in Santa Maria itself. They are mostly very small and with cramped accommodation, with very small terraces overlookedat by neighbours. P{orto Antigo is 20 minutes from Sal airport, the entry point for the Cape Verdes. The gaurded rental villaand apartment resort has its own small swimming pool and an Irish-Itlalian barand restaurant run by Gemma, ftom Dublin. There are many, restaurants, shops and bars within easy walking distance and the Odjo d`Agua restaurant bisects the complex, which has been built around it. . Most rental houses and apartments overlook the swimming pool area with the restaurant and bar behind as this has been built onto a dock area of the former tuna harbour. Rental villas are very cramped and designed for short stays, with very small bedrooms and balconies. The communal garden areas have been well tended and several palms and bushes are already quite large.

There is a very small beach, which almost disappears at High Tide. It is open to the general public and well patronised by visitors to the restaurant and hence usually very crowded, especially at weekends. It is inadvisable to swim from it as at many times of year waves build up in the harbour entrance and break just inside the harbour pool. The harbour entrance has some concealed but sharp rocks. So for confident wswimmers only. But the much better Santa Maria beach is within 5 minutes walk and also the Antonio Siousa beach, wgere there are more apartments.

The rental properties have shower rooms, a small kitchenette/dining area which opens out into a seating area. They need air conditioning from June to October because of the poor airflow thorough the buildings which mostly ionly have windows at the front. The properties are sparsly furnished with cheap chairs and tables that could have come from Ikea. They are mostly suited to only 2/3 people or a family with small children. The second bedroom is a mezzanine arrangement overlooking the kitchen area and just large enough to take two beds. There are also rental apartments. suitable for two people. High season rates apply for Christmas, Easter and the summer holidays from mid-July to mid-September at 20% bove standard rates.

Two bed, one shower terraced house with Pool View sleeps 3/4 £450
One bed one shower apartment with angled sea View sleeps 2/3 £240

The Santa Maria Beach area is ideal for swimming, from the fantastic near empty 5km beaches. It is possible to windsurf from the beach with either of two American windsurf champs and to surf, just around the point at Ponta Preta. Within walking distance, are shops, hotels and restaurants of Santa Maria, the best in the Cape Verdes, by far.

S from Birmingham thinks that they are too small

“Check out the size of the apartment first. They tend to be small -.maybe OK for renting but expensive to buy, but they are not really beachfront; the small, slightly grubby cove-like beach is nothing like the rest of Santa Maria further to the West. You could be overlooking the pool -.convenient but less privacy, but wherever you are on Porto Antigo it is not too far to go, either to the pool, their small 'beach' or the main beach areas of Santa Maria. I would look around at other options first before committing yourself, maybe one of the hotels further West with hut-like accommodation, all virtually on the beach.”

J from Boston felt the Italians were too commercial.

"Hotel Porto Antigo Santa Maria, Sal: Charge for one night stay…€50 each for my wife and me and an additional €50 for our 5 year old daughte! When we say we never heard of a 5 year old being charged full rate the reply is “I’m sorry but that’s our policy.” Translation: “You got the last room in Sal and we can charge whatever we want”"

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