An international airport makes Sal one of the major gateways to the Cape Verde islands; plus the abundance of magnificent white sand beaches and guaranteed sun has turned Sal into a major tourist destination.
Ideal for sun worshippers who head for the resort hotels springing up along the coast between the airport and Santa Maria.
One’s first impression of Santa Maria is liken to happening upon a beach fringed wild west town painted in pastel. Pretty single storey houses washed in pink, pale blue, yellow and faded terracotta. Poke your head through a doorway and your more than likely to find a bar, gift shop or store.
Arguably Sal is the most cosmopolitan island in the archipelago as nightlife abounds, with a choice of bars, clubs and restaurants. Freshly caught fish is always on the menu – tuna steaks, lobster, and swordfish – cooked to a local recipe.
Places to visit include the Pedro Lume salt mines – dramatically contained inside the vast Caldeira of a long extinct volcano – the saliency level is on a par with the Dead Sea and is well worth experiencing for a weightless float.
The extensive white sanded beaches characterise the island of Sal. This rapidly developing island offers a varied range of hotels. 18 km south of the airport, the town and tourist resort of Santa Maria offers 8 km of white sanded beach and crystal clear waters. Excellent conditions for many water sports. Windsurfing, fishing and diving are available.
An abundance of bars and restaurants playing live Cape Verdian music. The town of Espargos is located adjacent to the international airport and is the administrative centre of the island, offering shops, bars and restaurants.
The island of Sal, the flattest island of the archipelago, takes it’s name from the now inactive salt mines. Worth a visit is the half natural, half man made salt pond of Pedro Lume. Palmeira, located on the west coast of Sal is the island’s main port, used for fishing activity and for unloading imported products. Tourism on the island is continuing to expand. Development projects are taking place in an attempt to open up tourism on the other beaches of the island of Sal.
Sal is not the place for the mountain walker or those who enjoy verdant scenery. Accommodation is diverse and ranges from the family pension providing bed and breakfast to the all inclusive resort hotel. Car, jeep and beach buggy hire is available. Where transfers are not included to your accommodation, an abundance of taxis frequent the airport.