The Carnival on Sao Vicente  is Cape Verde’s most colourful event of the year – with African and Portuguese inspired dance and music

Nestled in a beautiful blue bay on the North Western End of Sao Vincent, you will come to the picturesque coastal town of Mindelo . The streets set the stage for an extravaganza of costumes and carefully choreographed dances. Often known as the Creole Carnival, due to its mix of Portuguese and African culture, this is a vibrant procession of moving floats and colourful street performances, all accompanied by wonderful live music. The streets come alive with energetic drum beats, swirling dance troops and spectacular floats, each competing to win the coveted carnival prize: VIDEO FOOTAGE

The celebrations start in January, with colourful parades held every Sunday. In the week leading up to Shrove Tuesday, you’ll feel a buzz of anticipation in the air. There are lots of fun parties and events to enjoy, eventually culminating in the main parade. The Creole Festival parade runs late into the night and shouldn’t be missed.

The people of Mindelo live for their Carnival, and preparations for the next event start as soon as festivities have finished.  Most accommodation is likely to be booked by 6 months prior to the carnival, so it’s worth planning ahead if you want to dance and celebrate with the people of Sao Vincent. An early booking also means that you will have the pick of the bunch when we look at accommodation options for you.

 Sao Vincent Carnival 2025: Tuesday 4th March 

Our sample itinerary has been carefully put together to weave all of our favourite elements of Sao Vincent into your holiday, as well as giving you plenty of time to enjoy the carnival. You will have five nights in Mindelo and each day offers a different flavour, from a walking tour of the town, to a jeep journey through all of the most beautiful spots near Mindelo. You catch a ferry to Santo Antao, where our guide will walk you though its jagged peaks and lush green valleys.  The guitar making workshop gets you into the musical spirit, before heading back to the carnival to catch a show. We have made sure that you get to experience all of the highlights of the carnival, as well giving you plenty of time to explore the many other merits of Sao Vincent.

After the carnival week, we transfer you to a hotel on the beach of Praia de Sao Pedro. We have included two nights here, so you can stroll around and explore the area at a leisurely pace. You will want plenty of time on the beach, walking bare foot along the golden sands and dipping your toes in the crystal clear waters! We know that you will have so much fun on this holiday but we are always happy to make changes to the itinerary, so that your holiday is customised to suit your preferences.



You'll depart from Heathrow for Lisbon where you'll stay for one night at a hotel next to the airport, so that you can catch the morning flight to Sao Vicente tomorrow. If you'd prefer an earlier flight from London and a hotel in Lisbon's beautiful and friendly city centre, that also works.
This morning you'll return to the airport and fly to Sao Vicente in Cape Verde. You'll be met on arrival for your transfer to nearby Mindelo and your hotel. In this itinerary we've suggested the Terra Lodge but as everything we put together is tailor-made, we can chat about your preferences and find the accommodation that's right for you. Mindelo will be buzzing as the residents live for this Carnival week. Tonight, join one of the parties that will be happening in town.
Our guide will meet you after breakfast and take you on a walking tour of their home city. This is the perfect opportunity to ask your local guide all about all the Carnival festivities that are going on in Mindelo. The tour is around two hours and you'll finish with an hour at a guitar making workshop, most likely with a music session! The rest of your day is free for you to join in with the festivities.
Sao Vicente is a small island with a vast variety of landscapes. Today you'll be met by our guide and 4x4 jeep for an island tour showing you parts of the island you otherwise wouldn't see, like deserted beaches and volcanoes. Remember your swimwear and towel - there will be plenty of opportunities to take a refreshing dip, perhaps off the shores of the black sandy beaches, or the bay of Baias das Gatas. After time to freshen up, in the evening, re-join the carnival festivities.
Neighbouring Santo Antao is accessible by a day trip using the ferries. We've included a guided day for you using the early morning and late afternoon crossings, with a private guided tour of this wild western island. On Santo Antao you'll be met as you disembark from the hour's ferry crossing. Our guide will take you on a tour of this beautiful island, with its jagged peaks and lush green valleys. After stopping for lunch in the fishing town of Ponta do Sol, you can stretch your legs and wander to Fontainhas village. In the late afternoon you'll catch the ferry back to Sao Vicente . Tonight at the Mindelo Carnival it's the Samba Tropical.
Shrove Tuesday is the climax of Carnival festivities and we've left the day free for you to immerse yourself in the experience. This is the main event and a real treat for locals and visitors alike. The streets are awash with colour, beautifully tailored costumes and lively music. This is a spectacle not to be missed and celebrations go on late into the night.
After your week, packed full of the local highlights and dancing, we thought you would appreciate some much-deserved relaxation time! You'll check out around noon and we'll transfer you to the Foya Branca hotel, on the south west coast of Sao Vicente. Your Hotel sits right on the white sands of Praia de Sao Pedro beach. This is the perfect opportunity to read a book on a sun lounger or just soak up the beautiful coastal scenery with an ice-cool drink in hand.
The golden sands of the Praia de São Pedro beach are so enticing, so we've included a second full day here, allowing you to explore the area at your own pace. More time at the beach is a must for sun lovers, but there's also plenty to see and do, if you want to take a little stroll.
After a last morning catching Cape Verde's rays, you'll check out and we'll transfer you to the airport for your connecting flights to Heathrow, via Lisbon.

Guide price £2,595 per person

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

All of our sample itineraries can be amended to include the things that you love the most. After discussing your preferred options, we send you a detailed itinerary and quote and will always clearly outline what is included within the price of your tailor-made trip. Our guide price for this nine day holiday includes international flights from the UK, accommodation in twin share, en-suite rooms whilst on the islands, on a bed and breakfast basis, plus half board at the Foya Branca for two nights. We've also included all airport transfers and guided excursions, as detailed in the itinerary. We will use our first-hand knowledge of the islands and Lisbon to plan your perfect holiday package, and we're always on hand to support you whilst you are travelling, via our 24hr contact number.


After one night in Lisbon, you will be staying for five nights at the Terra Lodge in Mindelo and two nights at the Foya Branca on the golden beach of Praia de São Pedro.


The guided activities we've included in this example itinerary are all private and with an English speaking guide. If you'd prefer a different activity mix, we can tailor the holiday to your needs so give us a call!

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