Isla de Sal

The Cape Verde Island of Sal, at just 30 km long and 12 km wide, is one of the smallest islands in the Cape Verdean country . However, it is by far the most touristic of all, with almost 250,000 visitors a year. So if you are considering spend your holidays in Cape Verde Islands, you should know more about Sal Island.

If you are thinking of traveling to Sal Cape Verde for your vacation, stay and learn everything you need to know!

Holidays in Island of Sal Cape Verde

The Island of Sal in Cape Verde is the most popular archipelago in the country, and the one that accumulates the largest number of tourists throughout the year. In fact, in recent years, Sal Cape Verde has become a highly demanded tourist destination for European and even American tourists .

As soon as you land, you will feel like you have arrived at a paradisiacal place; of golden sand and turquoise water. Known as the sunniest island , its endless beaches are its main virtue, but far from the only ones.

BEFORE TRAVELLING! Remember to hire the Best Travel Insurance for Cape Verde. Click here to find it!

Main Cities of Sal Island

With just over 40,000 inhabitants , Sal Cape Verde is the third island with the largest population. Some high figures, if we take into account that just 20 years ago, there were barely 15,000 people living on the island.

Thanks to the international airport of Sal and the ambitious tourism projects that have created new jobs, the Island of Sallt continues to grow in population and importance, and it is even expected that it will continue to do so more in the future. Perhaps for this reason, practically 70% of its population are under 40 years of age .

Its two main cities (which you will move through) are; Santa Maria and Espargos .

Santa Maria

The city of Santa María is the main cause of the great growth of the island, becoming a very lively city thanks to the tourism it attracts. It has large and luxurious hotel complexes with guests from all over the world, and a wide variety of activities and nightlife .

Its wide (more than 200 m) and kilometric beaches probably offer the ideal conditions to enjoy a perfect vacation. In addition to relaxing on its paradisiacal beaches, you can also do many water activities such as diving, surfing, water skiing , or even horse riding courses.

On the other hand, the old port of Santa María , is the reference point of the city. Where the largest number of restaurants, shops and bars can be found. Virtually all tourists end up flocking to its streets.

In short, Santa María is one of the cities that you must visit during your stay in Cape Verde. We recommend that you take a tour or excursion with professionals so that you discover every corner of this wonderful city of Isla de Sal.


The city of Espargos , located in the interior of the island, is the capital of Sal Cape Verde. There is the international airport of Sal, and the economic and commercial focus of the island. If you need to go to a bank, post office or have a greater variety of stores , it is best to go to Espargos .

Unlike Santa María, Espargos will offer you a greater sense of “city” and more commercial alternatives. We can say that it is the “big city” of the Island of Sal Cape Verde.


The port city of Palmeira is located a few kilometers west of Espargos . This is where most of the imports and exports take place in the waterways of the islands.

Otherwise, Palmeira is a city with a clear Portuguese influence in its architecture, especially in the northern part. But above all it is known for its incredible caves and reefs ; like Olho Azul.

Where to Stay on Sal Cape Verde

If you have finally chosen to stay on the Island of Sal in Cape Verde, you will not have excessive problems finding accommodation. There is a great variety of options, and a very varied offer of hotels . Of course, with the popularity that it is gaining, do not take too long to book! (especially in high season).

To make your decision easier, we have created an article on the Best Hotels in Sal Island . Enjoy the article and take note of our Top 5!

Flights to Sal Cape Verde

As we have commented previously, the International Airport of the Island of Sal, is Espargos (the capital). It is the airport with the most frequent flights due to the popularity of the island, so you will surely have no problem finding a flight from your country of origin.

If you travel from Spain, the best option is usually Madrid, since it is the one with the largest number of direct flights to the Island of Sal in Cape Verde. And from the Canary Islands, you will also find direct flights.

👉 Click here to find the best flight offers Spain – Cape Verde! ✈️️

How to get to Sal Island from the Airport?

Sal Airport (SID), is quite small, and is located in the center of the island.

If you stay in Santa María (to the south), it is best to take a taxi to get there. The journey will cost you around €15, and will take just under 20 minutes.

If, on the other hand, you go to Espargos , in less than 10 minutes you will have arrived. So you can take a taxi anyway.

We recommend you hurry once you get off the plane, as long queues will accumulate, and Cape Verdeans are not exactly very “fast”.

You can also rent a car from the airport to be able to move more freely around the island. Surely the best option of all! Here you can rent one at a good price.

👉 If you prefer to rent a car , here you will find the best prices! 🚗

Things to do in Sal Cape Verde

If you finally fly to Sal Cape Verde we are sure that you won’t have time to get bored . Even if your idea is to spend all day lying on the beach doing nothing, you won’t be able to resist its offer of activities and leisure

Thanks to our partner Civitatis , we bring you what we consider to be the best guided activities to do on Sal Island. Our readers can attest to this. Do not hesitate to book before they are sold out!

Relax on its Perfect Beaches

Make no mistake, if you have chosen the Cabo Verde Sal Island for your vacation, it is because you want to enjoy a paradisiacal setting.

Sal Cape Verde has seemingly endless beaches with crystal clear water and fine sand. Enjoy its incredible views and relax with the sound of the waves without anyone bothering you around. For many, Sal has the best beaches in Cape Verde, and I have to say that I agree.

Cape Verde Sal

Try Surf, Kitesurf or Windsurf

Along with Boa Vista, Sal Island has the best conditions for water sports . In fact, many tourists choose Sal Island for having a perfect setting for surfing or kitesurfing.

If you have never tried it, you will have at your disposal countless courses and programs to learn how to do it. It is one of the most popular activities on its beaches.

Surf Sal Cape Verde

Dive and Snorkel

Along with Boa Vista, Sal Island has the best conditions for water sports . In fact, many tourists choose Sal Island for having a perfect setting for surfing or kitesurfing.

If you have never tried it, you will have at your disposal countless courses and programs to learn how to do it. It is one of the most popular activities on its beaches.

Dive and Snorkel Sal Cape Verde

Visit and Float in the Sal Mine

Did you think that the name of Sal Island was a mere coincidence? The Pedra de Lume Sal mine is a must-see. Although it hardly ever exports Sal anywhere today, it was once a powerful symbol of Cape Verde. To give you an idea, it was said that the saline beds they offered could supply almost all of America. However, today it is only kept as a reminder of past times.

If you feel like it, you can bathe in the natural Sals, but don’t stick your head in!

Beach Club Party

For those looking for a party, we recommend trying the Bikini Beach Club . Built around the beach and with its own pool, it has spectacular views, and a very “cool” vibe . Every year it is more fashionable among tourists, and they often bring international DJs to turn the place upside down.

Remember to watch the sunset with a watermelon margarita in hand. Spectacular!

Fiesta de Año nuevo en el Bikini Beach Club de Isla de Sal

See the Blue Eye of Buracona

Located in Buracona , a small bay in northwestern Sal, the “Ojo Azul” is a rock cave in the shape of a giant eye. You can swim in its natural pool, or simply admire the impressive views from.

Blue Eye of Buracona

Visit Santa Maria and Espargos

Although the best of Sal Cape Verde is on its beaches, we recommend you take a tour of the two main cities of the archipelago. You can buy some typical souvenir of the island, or simply have a drink in its bars. You will also find many restaurants where you can eat delicious and cheap.

Where to Eat on Sal Cape Verde

You cannot leave your vacation without having tried some of the typical dishes of Cape Verde. In addition , the prices of the restaurants are not expensive at all.

To find a greater offer of restaurants, you should go to the largest cities on the island. In this case, Santa María and Espargos . There you will find many local food places, whether they are restaurants or food stalls.

Sal Cape Verde Weather

The weather in Cape Verde is spectacular and regular throughout the year. The average temperature is between 24 and 28 degrees Celsius, and hardly varies in the winter months, so you can enjoy beach plans in December or January.

The hottest months are August and September (30 max), while January and February are the “coldest” months. It’s also important to be aware of the rainy season, which is a major factor in the weather in Cape Verde. You’ll be pleased to know that it’s not an island where it rains a lot. In September you might have 3-4 days of rain, but that’s about it.

As for the water temperature, it usually stays around 24-25 degrees all year round, which is wonderful!

How to get around Sal Island?

To move around the island, the best option is to rent a car for a few days. It will give you the necessary freedom to visit all the key points of Sal Island, and not waste so much time with public transport. Here you can book a car for your arrival .

If you don’t feel like driving during your vacation, you’ll have to resort to public transport . We have already warned that you can get desperate on occasion, but in general there are no bad connections. You can use both buses and taxis. For more information let them advise you at the hotel itself.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cape Verde Sal Island

What is the Capital of Cape Verde Sal Island?

The capital of the island is the city of Espargos. It has the largest number of banks and businesses. However, Santa Maria is the most popular and most visited town on the island.

How big is Sal Island?

It is the third largest island of Cape Verde, with just over 40,000 habitants, and is 30 km long and 12 km wide.

How many tourists are there per year?

It is estimated that more than 260,000 tourists visit Salt Island every year. The most in the whole country.

Is it dangerous?

It has become the most touristic island of Cape Verde, so it is very tourist-oriented. As a result, it is a fairly safe island, and there are hardly any criminal incidents.

Sal Island Cape Verde Map