Sarah Bennett

Having grown up in the South Pacific in Fiji and Samoa, travel was always in my blood so I guess it’s no surprise I ended up working in travel. I graduated from university with a degree in Modern Languages and then spent several years leading activity holidays worldwide before co-founding Archipelago Choice in 1998.

The Azores has always been my first love ever since I guided walking holidays there back in 1996. The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful – parts are very similar to the South Island of New Zealand – but it’s the people that really make it exceptional. They are so friendly and open, even our clients find they make friends after just a few days on an island. I feel very blessed that we are in a position to introduce our many guests to the Azores as well as being able to work with and benefit the many drivers, guesthouse owners, activity providers we consider our partners.

My husband, Ian, and I have 2 children so they also get to visit our archipelagos and it’s this experience that really helps me when I’m putting together family holidays. We’ve had some fantastic family adventures – canyoning in the Azores, hiking and taking pick-up trucks around Cape Verde and more recently a real adventure in our new destination, Sao Tome and Principe.

We live in beautiful Keswick in the North Lakes and outside of work and family, I love to go running and racing in the fells.


Sarah Bennett
Destination Specialist
01768 721040

My favourite part of Cape Verde

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.


My favourite activity in Cape Verde

The island of Santo Antão must be one of the most exciting undiscovered destinations for Canyoning in Cape Verde.

It has almost fifty bolted routes and waterfalls ranging from 3 to 200 metres. The ‘wet’ canyons tend to be in the east of the island, especially around the Paul valley and there are lots of dry canyons too on the east coast around Lagedos.

Although the plunge pools are generally too shallow to jump into, the canyons hide fertile oases of papaya and mango trees in truly spectacular scenery.

You will be accompanied by two experienced guides on all trips and canyons are chosen after assessing your ability and interests.

My favourite accommodation in Cape Verde

A long-time favourite of ours on the island of Sao Vicente is the popular Kira’s Boutique Hotel .

The beautiful Portuguese-era building was once the family home of the Spencer family, well-known in the archipelago, and nowadays this colourful boutique hotel is run by the lovely owner Isabelle Spencer.

Each of the eleven bedrooms is named after one of the Cape Verdean islands, with the eleventh one taking the name of the country itself. Great thought has been given to the decoration of each room, bestowing it with individual character. Opened in late 2013, Kira’s has an interior that is bright and modern and guests can benefit from room facilities such as a private bathroom, air conditioning, ceiling fan, TV, telephone, mini-fridge, internet and safe.

The house’s ambience is enhanced by the use of handsome traditional stone, elegant furniture, pot plants and artworks. There is ample outdoor space on the excellent roof terrace with sun lounger and shade, a great place to read a book, sunbathe or enjoy the views over the lively city.

It’s also near Mindelo’s main square Praca Amilcar Cabral and only a short stroll to most of Mindelo’s best restaurants, bars and music venues.


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