Generally speaking, the archipelago, dry and arid, has a landscape of rocks or sand, with an ochre and burnt hue. Some islands have a relief where the ecosystem is more complex, but still marked by lack of water and aridity, except in some valleys. The presence of many volcanoes, active or not, shapes the appearance of these islands of limited size, but close enough to each other to create common groups. The beaches, with white or black sand, are often superb and unspoilt due to the still limited number of tourists. The relatively low state of development of the economy, and tourism in particular, makes the country ideal for ecotourism.
Cultural attractions :
Cape Verde is increasingly insisting on its cultural assets to attract travellers to the country. Architecture from the Portuguese colonial period is a first attraction in cities such as Mindelo in São Vicente or São Filipe in Fogo.Praia, whose urbanization is more relaxed, nevertheless presents some museums that bear witness to the country's history. Driven by the success of Cesária Évora, Cape Verdean music is developing internationally. It occupies a large place in the daily lives of the inhabitants and is a true national heritage. Several styles characterize the country, which the emerging music industry is trying to promote. In Praia, the artist village of Porto Madeira unveils a completely different facet: Cape Verde, a contemporary of painting and sculpture under the aegis of Misa.Finally, the carnival takes place between the end of February and the beginning of March: it takes on such a dimension in Mindelo that it is readily compared to its Brazilian brother. Although smaller, the one in São Nicolau, the second largest in Cape Verde, remains the most typical.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette