Mindelo, the capital of Sao Vicente is a cultural centre. Many artists, intellectuals and musicians have made Mindelo their home including the world renowned Cesaria Evora.
‘The most cultural and cosmopolitan island of the archipelago. Historically, Mindelo’s port was important as a coaling station for trans-Atlantic steamers that re-fuelled with coal mined in Wales – many World War sailors owe their lives to finding refuge on Sao Vicente. Recently on the island was a major global link used as a vital telegraph station.
Despite heavy erosion, the landscape still shows evidence of past volcanic activity. As you wander around Mindelo you may spot the influences of the British. The former coaling station and the English cemetery have been the subject of ongoing development, and English names can be found amongst the resting places in Mindelo.
Within a community of intellectuals, artists and musicians, Mindelo offers an intensive nightlife. The carnival in Mindelo (usually held around Ash Wednesday) is Cape Verde’s liveliest, absorbing the influences of the both the Portuguese and Brazilian carnival. In addition, the traditional festival of Baia das Gatas held for three days and three nights (usually during August) has become a reputable, international music event.
Baia das Gatas has the safest beach of Sao Vicente, including a lagoon separated naturally from the ocean by volcanic formation to form a swimming pool. The beach of Sao Pedro is long and spectacular and, in the opinion of professionals, is one of the finest places in the world for speed wind surfing.