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A guide to the Cape Verde Islands

The Cape Verde Islands can be found in the mid-Atlantic Ocean around 300 miles from the west coast of Africa. This archipelago consists of ten islands and five islets divided into two groups. The main islands are known as the Windward (Barlavento) and the smaller group is the Leeward (Sotavento). Here is a guide to the Cape Verde Islands that gives an outline of the history, geography and relevant vacation information.

History and geography

Brief history
Portuguese settlers arrived at Santiago in 1462 and founded the first permanent European settlement in the tropics. The slave trade enabled the archipelago to prosper through the 16th century. Attacked by pirates, Sir Francis Drake (1585) and the French (1712), the coastal city's prominence was gradually reduced to that of Praia, which became the capital in 1770. Due to an excellent harbour at Mindelo on the island of Sao Vicente, it continued to be an important trading centre throughout the 19th century. In 1951, Portugal changed the status of Cape Verde to an overseas province from a colony to try and stop growing signs of nationalism. However, in 1956, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC) was founded to achieve independence for both countries. The struggle continued until 05.07.95 and the Cape Verdeans National Assembly were given the instruments of independence by Portugal. Main geographical features Stunning rock formations created by sand carried on high winds can be seen on all of the islands, especially the windward ones. Cabo Verde Islands
The main islands in the Barlavento group are Santo Antao, Sao Vicente, Santa Luzia, Sao Nicolau, Sal, and Boa Vista. The Sotavento group includes Maio, Santiago, Fogo, and Brava. All the islands are populated, except Santa Luzia.


Holiday information
Known as Cabo Verde in Portuguese, the islands offer both beach or mountain holidays. Cape Verde climate
The weather is normally warm and even around ten degrees warmer than the Canaries in winter. Cape Verde flights
Thomson and Thomas Cook offer direct flights from the UK. Cape Verde hotels
A wide range of lodging options are available on the islands ranging from apartments, villas and hotels. All inclusive Cape Verde
You can book an all-inclusive deal independently through an internet search or through major tour operators such as Thomson or Directline holidays. Island property
If, after a visit, you decide to stay, there are plenty of local property agents who will assist you. If you prefer to view from a distance, both and offer a range of properties on the islands for sale. Cape Verde news
Until now, Cape Verde news can be found on the independent African website

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