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Leme Bedje

Porto Antigo and Papaya

View of Antonio Sousa beach

Djadsal flats

Santa Maria, Sal Property - the favourite

The great majority of European expatriates live in Sal. This was the first tourist island and still has more bars and restaurants than the other eight , inhabited islands, combined. Along with Boa Vista, it has the easiest direct flight connections to Northern Europe. The main tourist town is Santa Maria, at the south of the island, built haphazardly around a long, curving, sandy beach.

Santa Maria building boom

The old fishing village and salt port of Santa Maria has undergone a huge building boom. Many old bungalows have been torn down and replaced by 31/2 storey apartment blocks, with large overhanging balconies. Building has extended all the way out to the eastern edge along Antonia Sousa beach, favourite of windsurfers. Hotels have also been converted into apartment blocks, or built on land alongside or behind. The old tuna factory and port has been torn down to make way for a development of cramped flats around the Papaya restaurant.

Many developments in Santa Maria have been abandoned, half-finished as their developers have run out of funds. The town still looks like a building site

Santa Maria East Beachfront locations

Porto Antigo, three separate developments by different groups of Italians is on the site of the old tuna canning factory. in eastern Santa Maria.. Annual condominuim fees are amongs the highest in the island, but Porto Antigo 11 is now controlled by the owners after a succesful court challenge removed it from the developer.

The Leme Bedje, a failed hotel in eastern Santa Maria has been converted into apartment blocks and has been more or less completed. It has good views across the windsurfing beaches.

Antonio Sousa Beach

Stretching for several kilometres beyond the site of the American, Josh Angulo`s windsurfing cafe are serried lines of small apartment blocks. Most were built and are owned by Italians. As a rule, they do not have mains water, which means that the depend upon unreliable, irregular and expensive supplies of fresh water, by truck. Most are built to Italian ideas of comfort rather than North European and they can be very congested and cramped. Bedrooms are sometimes part of the main living room : otherwise they may be separate but too small to take a double bed. The architects used by the Italians seemed to aim to get the maximum number of beds into a small plot, building up as high as allowed and overhanging the roads with small balconies and terraces. The so-called penthouses can have very limited headroom across the floor area.

Santa Maria West: Djadsal

The Djadsal apartments, several lines of them were built by an Italian developer who did not bother with planning permissions. After a battle royal between the Mayor of Sal and the Government in Praia, they seem to have been accepted. Many expatriates live here and long term rents are as low as a couple of hundred euros a month. The last line of flats has never beeen completed but the westerly end are all finished and residents voice few complaints. There are a handful of cafes, washetarias and small grocery stores aolng the ground floor.

They look out onto a large, wide road and parking spaces and beyond that to the hotels that line the beach.