Cape Verde: Santiago

I finally ended three years without overseas travel with a trip to Cape Verde. This island nation sits in the Atlantic Ocean to the west of Senegal, Africa.

European holidaymakers are familiar with the islands of Sal and Boa Vista, which offer sunshine and relaxation in the depths of winter. But I decided to venture beyond the resorts.

I flew from Manchester to the capital city Praia via Lisbon in Portugal. So how was the island of Santiago, my first stop? It’s the biggest and most populous of Cape Verde, but does that always mean the best?… READ MORE BELOW

Tap/click first image to view gallery

My home in Santiago was a beachside area to the south of Praia, which sits on a lofty plateau. A picturesque lighthouse, seaside strolls and decent restaurants were close to the comfortable Hotel Oasis Atlantico Praiamar.

Cape Verde’s capital is the seat of government and bustles with life. But it doesn’t pack the punch of another city in the archipelago which I visited later on during my stay.

A road trip around Santiago reveals an island dripping with attractions, from its epic mountain interior to amazing views over the city of Assomada.

Cidade Velha, the former colonial capital of Cape Verde, boasts historical ruins and charming island architecture.

Pretty bays nestle in the north around Tarrafal and valleys lush with banana plantations stand out in these often arid, volcanic islands. 

Santiago was the first of four islands I visited on my trip and was a good introduction to Cape Verde beyond the sun lounger. Would its smaller neighbours make a bigger impression? You’ll have to wait and see!

The flag of Cape Verde flying above the capital city Praia

A very large Cape Verde flag flies over Praia

Link to mikeosbornphoto's Instagram account

6 thoughts on “Cape Verde: Santiago

  1. Such typical colours for you, Mike, I think I would recognise your photography anywhere by the colours. I wonder about those typical blues – do actively go seeking them out, or do they just find you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh that’s interesting to hear :) Well in these islands they came to me, thanks to the clement weather and beautifully painted buildings. Mind you if the sky is leaden grey I’m not happy!


  2. Hi Mike, I’ve not heard of Cape Verde before – just shows how little us Aussies know about the smaller nations. It looks like a fascinating place and as usual your images make me more intrigued to know more about the place. Hope you are doing OK, I’m yet to travel overseas since Covid. Somehow it seems like a big step now but am booked for Alaska in July this year. Stay safe and travel well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Lee, lovely to hear from you as ever. I think a lot of people would be hard pressed to point to Cape Verde on the map, but it’s a real little gem. I was so glad to finally get away – there’s nothing to fear from travel. Alaska sounds incredible – that’s some big country and a half! You’ll have a wonderful time :)

      Liked by 1 person

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