S.VICENTE is roughly rectangular with o surface area of 227 Km2. From east to west it measures 24 Km and from north to south no more than 16 Km. Although volcanic in origin, the island is quite flat. Its highest point is MONTE VERDE with an altitude of 774 m. Although a great amount of erosion has taken place, some craters still remain; in particular the bay of MINDELO.
Discovered on St.Vincents Day (the 22nd of January), in 1462, the island remained practically uninhabited until the middle of the XIX century. It was only in 1838, when a coal deposit was established in PORTO GRANDE to supply ships on the Atlantic routes, that the population started to grow. Due to the lack of rain and consequent lack of natural resources, the economy of S.Vicente is based mainly on commerce and services. The town of MINDELO was named in honour of the liberal troops who disembarked on the beach of the some name in the north of Portugal.
CARNAVAL - Carnaval celebrations in MINDELO are the most animated in the whole Archipelago. Carnaval here has its roots in the Portuguese celebrations and at the some time has also absorbed some Brazilian characteristics. However, its own particular qualities, manifest in the lively and colourful processions, are what make it so special.
FESTIVAL AT BAIA DAS GATAS -
This festival takes place during one weekend in August, when there is a full moon. It initially started on the beoch "Praia das Gatas" with a few friends meeting together to play and compose music.
THEATRE FESTIVAL (MINDELACT) - The International Meeting of Amateur Theatre Groups takes place every year in September.
Through the National Handicraft Centre and a number of workshops, the local handicraft of S.Vicente has begun to recuperate; particularly in the practice of weaving very distinct fabrics. Ceramics, batik, articles made from coconut shells and necklaces made from shells and stones are also other examples now to be found on the island.
Food and Drink
There are many local specialities in S.Vicente, the base of which are often shellfish. "Arroz de cabidela de marisco à dadal", which is a special shellfish dish made with rice, "guisado de percebes" or grilled lobster. Tasty local dishes and sweetmeats as well as international food are also available.
Entertainment and Sport
All the local sports have their roots in S.Vicente, and it was from here that they spread to the other islands.
Places to Visit
BAIA DAS GATAS
PORTO DO CALHAU