Why go all the way to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, if you can go to the Cape Verde Carnival on Sao Vicente, the Archipelago’s most colourful event of the year.

People of Mindelo live for their Carnival and preparations for the next start as soon as festivities have finished. Be like them – book this trip well in advance to avoid any disappointment!

During the Mindelo festival, the colourful spectacle of music, dance and colourful street processions, is also known as the Creole festival. The streets of Mindelo come alive with colourful dance troops and spectacular floats, each competing to win the coveted carnival prize for being the best.

The celebrations start in January with colourful parades held every Sunday. The week leading up to Shrove Tuesday is crammed with parties and other events, which you too can join, eventually culminating in the main parade, which runs late into the night and shouldn’t be missed.

After the Cape Verde Carnival, we’ll give you a flavour of another island, by flying you to Santiago, Cape Verde’s biggest island. We’ll take you to the northern coast where in Tarrafal you’ll find a paradisiacal beach on which to relax and let the party leave your system!

The carnival is held on Shrove Tuesday. The 2023 date is Tuesday 21st February, and preparations and mini celebrations take place during the week before this date.


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Depart Heathrow and fly to Lisbon, where you stay overnight at the Tryp airport hotel. Let us know if you are interested in Fado Music and we can arrange a table for you in a restaurant where they also perform this traditional Portuguese music live.
After an early breakfast you'll fly to Sao Vicente. On arrival you will be met by your guide. The Terra lodge where you will be staying for five nights is a residential area, but within walking distance of the town centre. Depending on the day that you arrive, you might join one of the many carnival parties today.
One of our local English-speaking guides will pick you up from your hotel and will proudly show you all the popular sites of his town. It's just you and the guide on a private tour. Of course this is also the perfect opportunity to ask him about all the Carnival festivities that are going on in Mindelo. At the end of your three hour stroll you end at a guitar-making workshop, where you may be treated to an impromptu musical session. The rest of the day and evening is free - join in the festivities!
We have left today free for you to join in the festivities or you can relax by the pool of your hotel.
Our full day off-road Jeep tour is a great and different way to see parts of the island you otherwise wouldn't see, like deserted beaches and volcanoes. Our guide will remind you before you depart that you shouldn't forget to bring your swimwear and towel. There plenty of opportunities for a refreshing dip when you visit the black sandy beaches, or at the Baias das Gatas. In the evening you can join the carnival festivities again.
Whilst in Mindelo, it would be a shame not to visit neighbouring island Santo Antao. We've included a day out, catching the early ferry and returning in the late afternoon. On Santo Antao another one our knowledgeable local guides will be waiting to take you on a private tour of this beautiful island with its jagged peaks and lush green valleys. After lunch in the fishing town of Ponta do Sol, you can stretch your legs a bit and wander to Fontainhas village. In the late afternoon you catch the ferry back to Sao Vicente again. Tonight is your last chance to join carnival festivities.
After the carnival on Sao Vicente you fly to the island of Santiago, where you will be met for a transfer and guided stroll around Cidade Velha - Cape Verde's oldest settlement. After your visit we'll take you on a drive through the central mountains, ending in the northern coastal town of Tarrafal where you'll stay for four nights.
Free days to relax on the sandy beach, explore the surrounding coves and watch the fishermen and their latest catch. If you are interested in stretching your legs, then we could organise an interesting walk for you in the nearby Serra Malagueta Natural Park.
After an early breakfast you will be driven back to the airport for your flights back to the UK via Lisbon.

Guide price £2,200 per person

We can create a tailor-made holiday to suit your budget.

INCLUDED: International flights (guide price only), accommodation in twin share, en-suite rooms on a breakfast only basis throughout. Return airport transfers on São Vicente and Santiago. Inter-island flights per person São Vicente/Santiago. 4 x guided excursions as detailed in the itinerary. Visas and support from our team in Cape Verde, and air ticket reconfirmation (if required). EXCLUDED: Meals not specified above and insurance. Additional excursions on free days.


After one night in Lisbon, you will be staying for 5 nights at the Terra Lodge in Mindelo and 4 nights at Villa Strela in Tarrafal.


We have included four activities accompanied by an English speaking guide and more can be added. If however you prefer to go to the Carnival activities instead then we can always change the itinerary.

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