Travel to Santa Maria (Sal) – Best White Sand Beach in Cape Verde
A mecca for watersports enthusiasts and famed for its glorious white sandy beach, the small town of Santa Maria is currently undergoing a rapid transformation from sleepy wind-swept village to major beach resort.
The rate of development is fast with many new buildings in various stages of completion. Unless you are just visiting the town for its splendid beach, excellent watersports opportunities, and near guaranteed sunshine – then you may be disappointed. If you are seeking restaurants, nightlife, bars and a suntan – then this may be the place for you.
If you are seeking local culture, tradition and adventure – then avoid Santa Maria (and in fact Sal)! Having said all that, with many international flights landing here, a night at Santa Maria at either end of an island-hopping trip is not the end of the world – it offers yet another stark island contrast.
The Santa Maria Festival of Music is the most important cultural event on Sal and is the high point of the different celebrations of Municipality Day on September 15th – the day of Nossa Senhora das Dores (our Lady of Pains). The Festival takes place on the beach and runs for three days.
For softer activities – long walks can be taken along the seashore or bicycles can be rented in town or from hotels.
Santa Maria beach is considered by specialists to be one of the world’s top windsurfing destinations. Here the wind blows parallel to the beach, and the water temperature is pleasant all year round. Buoyed up by a constant breeze beginners can do a few turns close to the beach. The seasonally strong winds attract world champions, some of whom use Sal as a training base. Surfing and kite-surfing are other popular activities. Beachside clubs have equipment to meet all standards.
Santa Maria is also an ideal place for fishing enthusiasts. Its Atlantic waters hold a considerable number and variety of fish. Beach casting-style fishing is easy enough from many points along the coast, whilst sea-bed fishing is regarded as excellent.
Scuba diving is also possible, with an abundance of maritime fauna and courses from beginners through to advanced.
There is a good choice of bars and restaurants in Santa Maria.
Santa Maria is small enough to explore on foot.
- Relax on one of the best white sand beaches in the archipelago
- Take to the waves by surfboard, windsurf or kite-surf in one of the world’s top spots
- Widest range of accommodation available on the islands