Things to do in Mindelo, Cape Verde.
The island of São Vicente is not a typical 'beach destination', unlike the islands of Sal or Boa Vista. The capital of São Vicente, Mindelo, is also known as the cultural capital of Cape Verde. People visit the city because of its exiting nightlife, with an incredible high quality offer of live music. Or for the carnival of Mindelo, which is considered to be the best of the country.
That does not mean that São Vicente has no beaches. The island actually has a few of the best beaches of the country. Some of these beaches are pretty dificult to reach, others are part of the beautiful small villages outside the city.
Here's why you should definitely check out Mindelo's city beach, Laginha:
- Enjoy the View of Monte Cara & Santo Antão
The island of Santo Antão is only one hour away by ferry. On most days it almost seems as if you can get there with a quick swim from Mindelo. The location of Laginha Beach is simply perfect.
The view of the small isle of Djeu and Santo Antão is definitely something that makes the experience at Laginha an even better one.
From the beach you also have a perfect view of the most important icon of São Vicente, Monte Cara.
Monte Cara means Face Mountain, and it was given this name because the silhouette resembles a face.
- You get to visit the 'new' Laginha
The city of Mindelo and the island of São Vicente don't receive the amount of visitors that you see on the islands of Sal and Boa Vista. Years back tourists on the island were heardly spotted. A few years ago, when things slowly started to change, Laginha Beach got a 'make over'. The old Laginha beach was way smaller in width. One of the reasons for creating a bigger beach was so that City Hall would be able to organize beach events.
Now there is an annual festival that takes place on the beach, and also Caravela (the famous nightclub) hosts an annual electronic music festival on the beach.
Also, in 2016 the Oasis Atlantico opened a brand new beach club on Laginha called Kalimba. This gives the beach an even more 'bounty vibe' than it had before.
- Great Spots for Food and Drinks
A beach day with friends and family is not complete without great food and cold drinks. Most people will organize and bring their own, or buy something small from vendors on the beach (mainly in summer).
If you don't mind spending a few extra 'escudos', you can choose one of the spots on and around the beach for your drinks and food.
The Kalimba Beach club opened in 2016 and is a great asset for the city. For people hanging out at the beach it now means they don't have to leave the beach to get a snack.
Caravela's beach club, which is located at the end of Laginha is open all day. You can enjoy breakfast here before diving in the sweet water of the Northern Atlantic.
If you cross the street from the beach you'll have a few options of very nice smaller beach bars with great food and drinks.
- The Sunset
For many people sunsets have something special. With more than 300 days of sun a year and amazing settings it's no surprise that Cape Verde has an unforgettable sunset to offer. After a day of hanging out on the beach, most people stick around to enjoy the sunset. Others choose the beach as the end of their walk or workout, in order to catch the sunset.
Laginha Beach sure is one of the best places on the island of São Vicente to catch the sunset.
Depending on what time of year it is, the sun will either go down behind Mindelo's iconic Monte Cara, or just behind the island of Santo Antão. Sit back, relax and take it all in...