A long stretched empty white beach, a stunning mountain back drop view, a steady 20 knots wind 80% of the year, friendly Cape Verde beach boys and girls, good local food, and sunshine, all year round! That’s Salamansa beach in Sao Vicente, Cape Verde. What a kitesurfing spot!
It’s one of a kind and I’m not sure writing about it. I do so, with permission from the locals, who would love to meet more kitesurfer and adventure seekers from abroad. Not many of them as fortunate to travel the world, so let the world come to them.
Salamansa is located on the northern side of Sao Vicente, which is one of the northern Cape Verdian Islands. The limit of kitesurfers is 18 so it’ll never become an overcrowded Tarifa. The busiest session I’ve had counted a total of 3 kitesurfers on the water. No line tangling guaranteed! This little town has a kitesurf club called KitesurfNOW. Marc & Ola set up this cool school, run by the super friendly locals from Salamansa town. Here you can chill, eat the local Cachupa or Dutch Frikandellen, have a delicious coffee, and meet other kitesurf buddies. Every single escudo spend on this beach is pumped back into the local community. The school is also a nice chill-out spot for non-kiters. They have a lot of other toys like bodyboards, jeux de boule, beach ball, surf, and last but not least mountainbikes for rent. Cool vibes. Beyond Salamansa Sao Vicente has few more kite spots (both flatwater and waves), like Calhau.
The kitesurf situation in Salamansa – Sao Vicente
The kitesurfing season in Sao Vicente Cabo Verde is best between October and May. Sao Vincente is blessed with the constant North-East trade winds. 80% of the time wind comes from that direction. Salamansa beach is on the northern side of Sao Vicente. It has cross onshore wind and waves. The beach is huge. Plenty of space. Nearby there is a flat water spot for beginners. The water temperature is 25 degrees. I went in my 3 mm wetsuit which was completely unnecessary. This is a board short place! KitesurfNOW offers courses and kite gear rental and on their website you can find most up to date wind information.
There’s also a windsurf spot close the airport: Sao Pedro. It’s officially prohibited to kitesurf here because of the airplanes. Since there’s very few airplanes per day, the local school allows kitesurfing here too and also have a rescue boat in case you need help.
Where to stay in Sao Vicente?
There are some really cool local style accommodation options, Bed and Breakfasts, villas with swimming pools, and houses with views available around the island of Sao Vicente. Kitesurfnow has investigated every single accommodation on the island and can accommodate you or your group. There is no hotel or hostel in Salamansa but there are some homestay or housing possibilities as the local guys explained. I have mainly explored Mindelo which is a vibrant town and a nice base for kitesurfing and island explorations. It’s actually THE cultural capital of Cape Verde. There is beautiful Cape Verdian live music all around, good food, and a nice island vibe. Friendly locals, adventure seekers, stranded sailors and off the beaten path travellers. Everyone is on island time here. Fiesta and celebrations are part of the daily routine. I recommend staying in Mindelo and explore from there.
A few recommendations of accommodation in Mindelo:
Soa Vicente has an international airport with direct flights from numerous European destinations. Check flights.
Sao Vicente is also well connected by the Armas ferry to other islands. So if you have time, why not combine? Or hitchsail 🙂
If you’re already on island time, you can also sail in from Europe. Between October – February there are many sailing boats going from Morocco, Canary Islands. Mindelo is the main port of call for Cabo Verde. It takes around 6 days. It’s what I did and I will do it again.
How to get to Salamansa beach?
From Mindelo you can take a haiku (bus) (100 escudos), Aulguer (shared truck ride) or taxi (900 escudos/9 euro’s). Salamansa is about a 15-minute ride from Mindelo.
Other useful info about Sao Vicente:
The island next to Sao Vicente, Santo Antão, is a short ferry ride away and super stunning. It’s a natural paradise for hiking, biking, canyoning. You can rent bikes in Mindelo and take them on the ferry.
Besides the daily happenings on the streets the big party is with Carnaval (February) and the Baia da Gatas Music Festival in August. Could be cool to time your visit with one of these events!
The wifi is good
If you go local style, it’s very affordable. A local Cachupa (the national dish) is around 200 Escudos (2 euro’s), a beer is 120 escudos (1,20 euro), the local Grogue (rum) is 100 escudos (1 euro).
Beach bar in Salamansa: open everyday from 10-00 to 18.00. There is also a Creperie (pancake house)
You won’t find that much info on Sao Vicente island. It’s what keeps it a special place. I stop writing here too cause I only have little time left to explore some more. Come and explore the island of Sao Vicente for yourself! And let me know how you liked it!
Disclaimer: These recommendations are my own, as always. I don’t earn anything from writing this. I sincerely hope that this place will receive a few like-minded adventure seekers to help the local economy. I do earn adventure money from affiliate links on this website. Thank you!