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Welcome to Mumsnet's holiday forum. Discuss all international travel here, including both shorthaul and longhaul trips. Related topics: UK holidays & day trips, skiing, camping & campervans.

Cape Verde
16

tableanadchairs · 30/05/2022 08:42

I have a week of annual leave in December and really wanting to go somewhere hot but not long haul.
I stumbled across Cape Verde but know nothing about it. Has anyone been and can advise if this is a relaxing hot destination and if so which island to go to?

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Duvetdweller · 30/05/2022 08:45

We hated it. It was windy, the pools were cold, the food was awful and there was nothing outside of the hotel. However I know of others who have been who loved it! We went in December to the Melia Dunas.

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OutDamnedSpot · 30/05/2022 08:47

Watching with interest. We fancied a week in the Azores but there are travel warnings at the moment because of volcanic activity, so we’re looking at Cape Verde as an alternative.

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midsomermurderess · 30/05/2022 14:36

Madeira is lovely. Too cold to swim in December, but the weather is nice and mild, though you'd have to expect some rain. There's good walking along the levadas, the irrigation channels. They love Christmas there, with nativity scenes all over the place, and fireworks.

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Begoniasforever · 30/05/2022 14:38

It’s not the most salubrious of vacations, there isn’t much there and it is windy, but it’s a decent enough holiday. I’ve been twice, can’t recall name Of islands, I’d go for the best hotel and all inclusive you can find.

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SkiFan · 30/05/2022 14:44

Yes! Went last December and loved it. Just the two of us, no DC.

We went for simplicity and chose the only island with direct flights from the SE at that time, which was Boa Vista. We stayed in a small hotel near Sal Rei, the only small town on the island. If you don't want AI I'd really recommend being walking distance from there, lots of really nice restaurants.

You're in Africa, it's not got European levels of infrastructure - many roads are tracks. We wandered around at night to/from/around the town and felt very safe.

Beaches are unbelievable. Yes it's windy but not more than the canaries (breeze was v pleasant given temperature). Weather guaranteed. We were very lazy and ended up doing beach most days but if you like water sports it's a mecca, you can do anything for a reasonable price.

However if you just want AI and sun I suspect there are better destinations, I think the AI hotels (to the south of the island) get quite mixed reviews.

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mrsjackrussell · 30/05/2022 14:45

I went January to the main island. Very windy, cold, couldn't swim in the sea as its so dangerous. Stayed AI. There was nothing around the resort and it was the middle of nowhere. I should think the best time to go would be summer when it's warmer.

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Afterfire · 31/05/2022 08:59

I’m curious about this as well. Looking on google maps satellite images it looks like there’s literally nothing there outside of the hotels…that puts me off a bit but the beaches look amazing. Although a friend told me you can’t actually go into the sea a lot of the time due to dangerous currents?! Surely you can paddle in them?

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SkiFan · 31/05/2022 09:43

@Afterfire There are quite a few differences between the islands from when I looked. If you're looking for loads of cultural stuff, available activities etc then the islands with direct flights to UK probably aren't going to tick your boxes. We weren't, so we loved it for a December break.

Sea where we were varied along the coastline but there wasn't a stretch without someone in the water! See attached for a typical example. There were bigger waves than this down the coast for those after windsurfing/kitesurfing.

If you're not up for lying on a beach/watersports/chilled holiday with just the odd day of organised activity then it's probably not a fit.

Cape Verde
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Monkeytapper · 31/05/2022 09:45

Perfect for a relaxing holiday where your not bothered about doing much

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Afterfire · 31/05/2022 10:18

SkiFan · 31/05/2022 09:43

@Afterfire There are quite a few differences between the islands from when I looked. If you're looking for loads of cultural stuff, available activities etc then the islands with direct flights to UK probably aren't going to tick your boxes. We weren't, so we loved it for a December break.

Sea where we were varied along the coastline but there wasn't a stretch without someone in the water! See attached for a typical example. There were bigger waves than this down the coast for those after windsurfing/kitesurfing.

If you're not up for lying on a beach/watersports/chilled holiday with just the odd day of organised activity then it's probably not a fit.

Hmmm it looks pretty but I don’t think it’s our kind of holiday reading that. I like to be somewhere I can walk to a nearby town and have a look round etc. I think personally I would go mad being stuck at a resort all week. I guess we’re all different…! Thank you for replying.

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Chardonnay73 · 31/05/2022 10:25

Don’t do it!! Worst holiday of my life!
Weather was shit, very hot but grey unremitting cloud for 2 whole weeks, did not see the sun once. In August.
Windy
A supposed 5 star hotel mentioned up thread was awful, food, service, was constantly ill every time I ate in the restaurants.
Went out of the hotel to the nearest town to get some alternative food. Had a white knuckle ride in a taxi that should’ve been in a scrap yard, the kids were screaming in terror, the driver just ignored us.
Constantly harassed by locals when walking along the beach
Oh and the flies. Had to put a drinks mat over any drink to stop them getting into it. Sat by the pool slapping them off us every 2 seconds.
Awful.Awful.Awful. Think Egypt 30 years ago.

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SkiFan · 31/05/2022 10:32

Afterfire · 31/05/2022 10:18

Hmmm it looks pretty but I don’t think it’s our kind of holiday reading that. I like to be somewhere I can walk to a nearby town and have a look round etc. I think personally I would go mad being stuck at a resort all week. I guess we’re all different…! Thank you for replying.

@Afterfire Yes me too! We weren't at a resort (see my earlier comment upthread) we were near the main town on Boa Vista. Lots of nice restaurants etc. That being said, it's not like there is a lot to do.

There are nine islands though of varying sizes so lots of options. Some you cannot get directly to from UK.

From what I could see the resorts on all the islands you can fly directly to are pretty set apart from the main islands. They don't get amazing reviews either (as per comments on this thread!)

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SkiFan · 31/05/2022 10:33

*set apart from the main towns on the islands

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Harridan1981 · 31/05/2022 10:34

We went to Boa vista for a classic fly and flop, and loved it. Nice climate for us. We went at Easter.

If we went back we would try another island.

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Crazylazydayz · 31/05/2022 10:41

The Canary Islands are 4 hour flight and good for winter sun

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tableanadchairs · 31/05/2022 18:57

Thanks everyone- a bit mixed reviews
It is a holiday to do absolutely nothing so it might suit us. Been to the cannaries and do love them but we went to Fuertoventura one November and the weather was a maximun 22 degrees - l would like a bit warmer

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