THE ISLAND OF MOUNT CARA
Cesaria Évora is the biggest daughter of São Vincente, who welcomes us to the island if we arrive through the international airport named after her. Her statue was not put there in vain. Here we are, in São Vicente! Land of the biggest ambassador of Cabo Verde. Creative island, cradle of musicians, actors, plastic artists, writers. The island of Monte Cara, overlooking one of the most beautiful bays in the world. The charm of S. Vicente is inexhaustible and surprising.
Mindelo, the capital of the island, a city charm that knows how to receive. The invitation is to let yourself go, on foot, through the streets and alleys, to know each corner, to live with the locals, to sit on an esplanade, to listen to music, to dive in the Laginha. Stop and enjoy. Perhaps afterwards, set out to discover the island, along a panoramic road that cuts across the coastal area, with viewpoints offering breathtaking views. On this route you will reach some of the most beautiful beaches on the island. Praia Grande, Calhau, or the mandatory Baía das Gatas, stage of the largest music festival in the country.
WHERE TO STAY
The true essence of São Vincent is reflected in its accommodations. The island has a varied offer of hotels that stand out for the good taste and differentiation. The city of Mindelo has several units that take advantage of the magnificent view over the bay and also small charming hotels and boutique hotels that provide visitors with a unique stay. In the area of São Pedro is located a totally ecological hotel with sight on the sea.
WHERE TO EAT
Fresh fish, shellfish and seafood are part of the Cape Verdean diet and in São Vicente you can find them in many restaurants. In Mindelo there are also varied proposals of international cuisine.
WHERE TO BUY
São Vicente is an island rich in handicrafts and fine arts. There are several shops with these items in the city, but the visitor can also go directly to the ateliers and buy from the artists. The island also offers natural cosmetics products made in Cabo Verde.
NOT TO MISS
Praça Nova, National Center for Handicrafts and Design, Cesária Évora House-Museum, Torre de Belém, Mindelo Cultural Center, Lisbon Street, Laginha Beach, Fortim D’el Rey, Mindelo Municipal Market, Porto Grande Bay Marina, Baía das Gatas, Calhau, Natural Park of Monte Verde.
SÃO VICENTE OF THE GREAT EVENTS
Cesária Évora was singing that “Vincent is a brasilin” and there is no doubt that Carnival transforms the island into a “Little Brazil”. The carnival of Mindelo is the biggest tourist attraction on the island of Monte Cara. An former libris of color, music, glamor and revelry. It is celebrated day and night, for a whole week, with parades of the samba schools, parties, rehearsals open to the public and lots of excitement.
One of the best times of the year to visit São Vicente. “Oli kavala fresk” is the message that is heard in the streets of Mindelo and denounces the protagonist of the island’s main gastronomic festival. The Kavala Fresk Festival invites visitors to go out on the streets and taste dishes made from the traditional and nutritious Kavala. Besides gastronomy, the festival also has music, cultural and tourist initiatives focused on fishing, one of the main economic activities of S. Vicente. It happens annually on a Saturday in July. In August, more concretely in the first Full Moon of the month, the roads take us to Baía das Gatas. It is here, on this beach to north of the island that is held, since 1984, the largest music festival in Cape Verde, where thousands of national and international artists have already passed. It is possible to camp on the beach during the festival. In November it is time to go to the theater. Mindelact has already established itself as one of the largest theater festivals in West Africa. Dozens of theater companies and international actors gather in town for a week of shows, workshops, performances and many other theatrical activities. The Festival has existed since 1995 and took place in September, but starting from 2017, it has been held in November.