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The island of Sal, in view of its close proximity to the African continent, has a climate very similar to other zones with the same latitude. It is a very arid island, and although volcanic in origin, constant erosion throughout its history has made it almost flat. The highest point is MONTE VERMELHO, with a height of 406 m.
From north to south, it is about 3O km long but does not exceed more then 12 km in width. The overall surface area is 216 km2.
The International Airport of Sal is the main gateway to the whole Archipelago.


Sal was discoverd in 1640 and was first known as LLANA or PLANA meaning "flat'. It was given its present nome when a lagoon in a crater of an extinct volcano was discovered and in this place, after the rains, salt was produced. This crater is now known as PEDRA DO LUME.
Practically uninhabited and used only for grazing animals by the neighbouring population of BOA VISTA, it was only when salt was discovered that Sal began to grow in importance and, in fact, salt became its main export right up until the middle of this century.
With a strong contribution from Italy and the recognition that a fueling point for flights to South America was necessary, the International Airport was built in 1939. As a result, quite a large internal migration took place, particularly from S.Nicolau to Sal. This factor made possible the construction of the tourist complexes, which for the last 20 years have been growing, particularly in SANTA MARTA, the region where the old salt pits were. The main attraction of this area are the magnificent beaches and sea and the excellent conditions for practising water sports.

Cultural Events

Religious and other Festivals The majority of the popular festivals and celebrations were also imported from the other islands, for example:


19TH OF MARCH - The festival of S. José in PALMEIRA

3RD QF MAY - Celebration of Santa Cruz

JUNE/JULY - The festival of the Popular Saints: St.Antonio, S.João and S.Pedro, respectively in PEDRA DO LUME, ALTO S.JOÂO and HORTELÃ.

15TH OF AUGUST - The festival of S.ra da Piedade (Our Lady of Pity) in PEDRA DO LUME.

15TH SEPTEMBER - Municipal Celebrations
Municipal Day commemorates the founding of Sal's larger communities with a great many activities and its high point takes place at the Santa Maria Festival of Music, carried out on the beach with the same name. lt is a remarkable event and an essential part of the tourist circuit of Sal and Cape Verde due to the renown it has attained over the years.


Sal doesn't have its own particular handicraft as such but all the interesting articles from the rest of the Archipelago can be purchased here.

Food and Drink

Fresh fish and shellfish, grilled and accompanied with vegetables, are the main items on the menus in the restaurants in SANTA MARIA and ESPARGOS. The very typical, richly condimented cooking of Cape Verde is a unique, delectable experience. The "arroz de marisco" shellfish deliciously cooked with rice is a speciality to be found at the "Pescador".

Entertainment and Sports

The sea is the main attraction and the tourist complexes in SANTA MARIA have all the facilities necessary for the practice of sea sports and provide instruction for beginners if required.
There is a choice of fishing, windsurfing, scuba diving or just plain swimmimg. For lovers of other sports there are also excellent swimming pools, game rooms, minigolf, volleyball, basketball and tennis courts.
There is also so much to see iust by taking walks, or even by bicycling. Hiring a jeep can take you all over this Island, which prides itself on providing high quality tourism.
Night life on the island is animated by the crowded discotheques.

Places to Visit

Without a doubt, the most picturesque place on the island is PEDRA DO LUME, the name given to a crater of the now extinct volcano. Entry to the crater was made possible by means of a artificial tunnel built in 1804. The crater is at sea-level, and even though the sea is 1 km away the water manages to filter in. The salt pits of Santa Maria, although not in use anymore, are well worth a visit and lie about 1 km from the town. VILA DE ESPARGOS, which got its name from the vegetation growing there, is also interesting to visit.
In the port of PALMEIRA, which has facilities for receiving cargo ships, the salt purifying stations are very interesting to visit. The lobster farms are also quite fascinating. Anyone wishing to buy quality lobster can do so and at very attractive prices.
Other places worth visiting are: ALGADOEIRA, a small oasis and BURACONA, a natural swimming pool that fills and empties according to the tides. Near an old lighthouse, one can also find CALHETA FUNDA and one shouldn't miss FONTONA, PUF, DANFIOR as well. Finally, FIURA is an excellent place to do some fishing and witness the forces of the waves on Sal.

Pensao Porta do Vento
Casa Angela
Pousada Paz e Bem

Funaná  - Casa da Cultura
Aquisal appartamenti
Hotel Belorizonte
Aquamarina suites


onde dormir
onde comer

  • Ilha de S.Antao
  • Ilha de S.Vicente
  • Ilha de S.Nicolau
  • Ilha do Sal
  • Ilha de Boavista
  • Ilha do Maio
  • Ilha de Santiago
  • Ilha do Fogo
  • Ilha da Brava
  • from:

    Centro de Promoçao Turistica
    do Investimento e dos Esportaçoes

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