What to do on the island of Sal, a surfer's paradise in Cape Verde

    Tour of the Island of Sal: known to lovers of water sports, it hides treasures to be discovered, from the salt pans of Pedra de Lume to the swimming pools of Buracona

    What to do on the island of Sal, a surfer's paradise in Cape Verde

    THESal Island it is part of the Cape Verde archipelago, which is located off the coast of Senegal, in the Atlantic Ocean. The name Isola di Sal derives from the presence of deposits of sodium chloride, the common table salt; previously the island was called Ilha Plana, the flat island, due to the absence of important reliefs.

    Today Ilha do Sal is a sought-after tourist destination that offers its visitors beaches of white sand, a crystal clear sea and the ideal wind for practicing numerous water sports such as surfing, windsurfing or kitesurfing. The island of Sal has a total extension of 216 square kilometers and is the oldest island in the archipelago: this explains the absence of important reliefs. The island is of volcanic origin, but only in the northern region are there the remains of ancient volcanoes, today simple hills. The highest point on the island is Monte Grande with its 400 meters of height.

    The main city of the island of Sal is asparagus; here is the "Almicar Cabral di Espargos" airport which has made the island an easily accessible destination even for travelers coming from distant destinations. The airport was in fact fundamental for the development of tourism on the island of Sal, now known and loved internationally, and in Cape Verde. While the ports were going through a period of crisis, the Espargos airport became the gateway to the entire archipelago.

    Among the attractions of the island of Sal to visit, we suggest starting from the ancient salt pans of Stone of Fire, located on the east coast about 5 kilometers from the capital. The Pedra de Lume village stands on a desert area and is mainly famous for the production of sea salt, which began in the XNUMXth century and ended at the end of the XNUMXth century.

    What to do on the island of Sal, a surfer's paradise in Cape Verde

    The salt pans are located in the extinct crater of an ancient volcano, on whose slopes a tunnel was built in 1804 to facilitate the extraction of salt. Inside the crater, which, being close to the coast below sea level, has water infiltrations, a salt lake has been created. The evaporation of sea water leaves salt and minerals on the ground which, with their thousand colorful shades, offer visitors a fascinating spectacle. It is also possible to swim in the salt pools: the warm water is 35 times saltier than that of the sea and will make you float without any effort, an adventure similar to that which can be experienced in the Dead Sea.

    On the west coast of the island of Sal, in the northern region, there are the natural pools of Buracona. You absolutely must not miss the opportunity to go on an excursion to this extraordinary place where the water has carved out caves and cavities in the volcanic rock. It is possible to swim and dive into these protected coves, real natural pools where snorkeling enthusiasts will be able to admire colorful fish. Furthermore, it is here that you can admire the phenomenon of the Blue Eye: in the central hours of the day the sun's rays filtering into the water form an area of ​​crystalline water in the center of the natural pool which creates a fascinating contrast with the deep blue of the sea .

    Continuing south you come across the characteristic port of Palm tree. Here, in addition to the fishing boats, ships arrive with supplies for the island of Sal. The village is made up of small fishermen's houses and souvenir shops. Crossing the island of Sal you travel through part of the Terra Boa desert made up of light sand and black volcanic rock. There is no spring or river on the island; if you spot a lake of water you are simply seeing a mirage caused by particular climatic conditions, including the presence of a clear blue sky.

    Another place to stop during your tour is the Bay of Murdeira, but the destination not to be missed is the coastal area of Santa Maria. The attraction is mainly made up of the large white sand beach, but the ancient town is also worth visiting for its colorful and dynamic market where in addition to local goods there are numerous African products, mainly Senegalese.

    One of the characteristics that has made the island of Sal one of the most loved destinations by surfers is the wind. Other islands in the archipelago also offer spectacular waves and are a destination for numerous enthusiasts, but the island of Sal, thanks to the winds that blow all year round, definitely has that something extra. You can practice various exciting sports such as windsurfing, kitesurfing or traditional surfing.

    Along the coast there are centers that organize courses and surfing lessons both for beginners and for those who want to improve. With its international airport, hotel complexes and factories, there is no shortage of services on the island of Sal. Also enjoy its nightlife, punctuated by Cape Verdean music, and throw yourself into the dance. Take advantage of the small trattorias to try the food and wine specialties of Cape Verde.

    Those who love adventure can organize a quad excursion in the desert territory of the island of Sal. Speed ​​and adrenaline will lead you to panoramic points where you can admire incredible views and take your souvenir photos. The official language of the island of Sal is Portuguese, but given the strong influx of Italian tourists, many inhabitants are able to understand and speak our language.

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