There is a lot more to Sal than its popular beautiful beaches and bustling Santa Maria.
On the approach, the island appears below you like a long-forgotten desert island. You can easily spot the Pedra de Lume salt pans on to the west and the half moon bay of Santa Maria to the south.
It is the most barren of the inhabited islands on the archipelago, but don’t let that put you off; there are some lovely sandy beaches and the water sports activities in Santa Maria are excellent with good diving, wind and kite surfing.
Surrounded by black lava rock Buracona looks like an inviting natural swimming pool, but don’t let this fool you, as often waves crash over the rock and care should be taken when you walk on the rocks. The nearby Blue Eye is an underground pool where only experienced divers dare to dive through the underground tunnel that eventually comes out into the sea.
Sal is becoming a popular destination for sun and fans of water sports and is the best island if you are looking for a good range of hotels and year-round sunshine. The island may look like a desert island, but it is very much alive, especially around the main town of Santa Maria, with its small cafes, bars and shops.
Try your hand at kite and windsurfing on the beaches of Ponta Preta and Kite Beach or explore the island by quad or car and visit the salt pans of Pedra Lume, where you can take a salt bath. Alternatively, dive into the volcanic rock pools of Buracona, right next to it is the Olho Azul (Blue Eye) an underground pool which, when the sun is at its highest point, shines straight into a large hole making the ocean water shine like a large blue eye.
March until the end of May is the best time for whale watching.
There is much to see and do when travelling around the islands of Cape Verde. On Sal, we are able to offer experiences which reflect the highlights of the island by allowing you to step off the beaten track or indulge in some of the more active water sports on offer. As we said earlier, you could try your hand at kite and windsurfing on the beaches of Ponta Preta and Kite Beach or explore the island by quad or car and visit the salt pans of Pedra Lume.
In the last 15 years, Sal has changed from a sleepy outpost in the Atlantic with just a few hotels to a vibrant year-round beach destination with a wide range of hotels and self-catering options. Many are large all-inclusive hotels, though there are also some charming old world style hotels for those looking for a less organised experience.