Cabo Verde Surf Trip
A day with Carlos in Sao Vicente - Cape Verde Islands
Carlos is the manager of Sabura Surf Academy on Sao Vicente in Cabo Verde Islands, our new destination for winter 2014.
To plan your next surf trip, he was asked 10 questions to find out all about the tips and secrets of this amazing destination...
Hello, I just need to say that after travelling a lot, I was looking for a long time after a place close enough from Europe but with warm water all year, great waves. Arrived in Cabo Verde, I felt at the crossroad of Europe, Africa and South America culture. I found the mixed influences from those 3 continents and an extraordinary rich racial and cultural cross-breeding, through a lovely local comunity. For surfing, no crowd in the waves and sun all year long. I was at the right place !
I'll say it’s also really easy to come here and stay, to have your own business. Beside this, my wife is Cape Verdian and her family is here, so everything was perfect for us to start the adventure !
2 / Who should come (or not) for a surf trip stay in Cabo Verde ?
We have several different islands in the archipelago. Sal and Boa Vista are usually the most reputed islands for surf & kitesurf and can be recommended for everyone from beginners to advanced surfers, but we also have other secluded islands with great spots as Sao Vicente. Best season for kitesurf is from november to march with great winds. We are in the middle of the atlantic ocean and swell is regular. Facing Africa, You'll be sure to have sun, good weather and waves, just a few hours flight from europe. And our destination is less crowdy and more exotic than other atlantic islands like Canary or Azores islands. Here, you'll also find an original culture, with great music and lifestyle.
3 / Why not Sao Vicente Sal or Boa Vista, other islands of the archipelago of Cabo Verde (Cape Verde)?
As mentionned, Sal or Boavista are now well reputed for the quality of waves and wind. So we decided to settle here at São Vicente because this island has less tourists and surfing here isn’t that explored. You'll feel like a surf pionner !
Here we have uncrowed beaches and also many different possibilities of spots for all kind of surfers. São Vicente is the Morabeza island with everything here to become a surf destination !
4 / To make the most of the waves on the island, what type of accommodation to choose ?
All our accommodations are located in Mindelo, the main town of Sao Vicente island in the heart of the historic district of this typical town but close from best surf spots. We have choosen a cosy Pousada named "Casa Colonial" located in the heart of the historic district of Mindelo. As its name suggests this is an old colonial house restored with taste. To go surfing you'll always have to drive 20-30 minutes (except Laginha surf spot located in Mindelo town).
5 / Places and areas to avoid ?
Here security for travellers is ok. But in high tourist potential sites and areas outside of the city, like city hills, avoid to walk or stay alone at night. This advice should be applied everywhere in the world.
6 / The types of waves, beaches ?
Here we have all type of waves and a big variety of beaches. We have spots with sand bottom, rocks or mixed. Spots like Praia Grande are suitable for all types of levels. But we also have spots like Sandy beach or Tupim that can be on fire !
From January-April the water temperature is around to 21 °. Just need a Springsuit. And from June to December water is 24 to 27 °.
7 / How is a typical day with Sabura Adventures at Sao Vicente ?
First thing we do is to check the surf forecast to see where is the best spot. Then we go out and buy some food for the day (if we stay all day at the beach) and we prepare everything to go. When we arrive at the spot we always warm up before surfing, or before the lessons, and try to do some pics or videos of the surf session. After the surf we head to Mindelo again and have a late afternoon snack at Clube Náutico “Nautilus” or just go see the footage and rest for the next day. We just follow these Surf travel rules : surf, rest, discover sea and island landscape and meet people.
8 / Your favorite beach on the island ?
My favorite beach is Sandy beach, at the south side of the island, perfect on a south swell. I also love Praia Grande, a large beach break close from Calhau, because it’s a challenging wave.
9 / Your favorite restaurant, bar to enjoy the atmosphere of the island ?
The best spot is Clube Náutico “Nautilus”, right in front of the Marina. It’s a nice restaurant / bar that opens at 8 am and closes at 2 am. It’s a good place to have breakfast before surfing, lunch, snacks, smoothies and natural fruit juices, dinner and enjoy the night action with the bar with music (some days live traditional music). Don't forget that Cesaria Evora is from Sao Vicente !
We'll also can take you to Mindelo center streets to discover our local cooking catchupa or have a drink Grogue rhum or soft version Ponche or share with surf mates our local beers Coral or Clep's in local places. You'll remember the taste !
10 / When there's no surf, what we can do for fun in Sao Vicente ?
You can visit Mindelo city and its beautiful houses of soft colors and Portuguese colonial style buildings. Come for the carnival in february, you'll be amazed.
You can also drive to Calhau, in the east part of the island, with its volcanic landscape and natural swimming pools. Or Baia das Gatas, a pleasant bay for relaxing, where there's a big music festival during the full moon of August.
Another great excursion is to drive to the top of Monte Verde - the highest point of the island - where you'll find a drastic view over São Vicente and neighboring islands. You can also take the ferry to go visit Santo Antão island and its lush tropical vegetation (banana, coffee, guava, mango, sugarcane, bougainvillea ...).
If you want alternative sport activities, we'll take you snorkeling, diving, or do paddle surf (stand up paddle).
You'll discover a great island with great people, just a few hours flight from Europe.
Come and visit us
Working for several years in tourism in France and abroad, Jean-Hervé Cristol (aka Jean Révé) also has a large number of kilometer mark traveling around Planet Surf in search of endless summer waves.
In 2004 he created Destination Surf, the first agency specialized in Surf Travel , then Endless Summer a blog with tips, info and travel stories, in order to enjoy and share this rewarding experience with all surf travelers. → Learn more