Sailing area Cape Verde - sailing around the islands of eternal summer

Boats for rent in: Atlantic Ocean

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Atlantic Ocean

Cape Verde is a sunny area with perfect sailing conditions for experienced and adventurous crews. 

  • Year-round sailing area
  • Best Sailing time: November to March
  • Rainy season: August / September
  • Optimum Sailing Wind
  • Not so well developed infrastructure
  • Sophisticated navigation

The Cape Verde islands lie 460 miles off the West African coast in the Atlantic Ocean. The islands are divided into two groups; the Islands over the Wind (North Group) and the Windward Islands (southern group). The northern group includes Santo Antao, Sao Vicente, São Nicolau, Sal, Boa Vista, Santa Luzia, Branco and Raso. The southern group includes Maio, Santiago, Fogo, Brava and Ilhéus Rombo Thurs. The 15 islands are located on the African plate and are of volcanic origin. The highest point of Cape Verde is 2,829m at Pico do Fogo (Mount Fogo) on the island of Fogo. The capital of Cape Verde - Praia, is located on Santiago Praira and is the largest city and economic center of the islands.

The sailing area around Cape Verde requires local knowledge to master and the sailing infrastructure is not very well developed. There are many bays, but few marinas. The smaller islands have some safe havens. It is easy to reach Cape Verde as there are six nearby airports. The largest airport is located on Sal (Island of the salt) near the island's capital Espargos. With the port in Santa Maria, the island is developed for tourists. Because of the wide, sandy beaches and shallow water, the district is popular with surfers and divers. Yacht charter crews usually stop off on the island of Sal to stop and fly to São Vicente and Santo Antao. The island of São Vicente is a good starting point for sailing trips. To the northwest lies the city of Mindelo with the port of Porto Grande on a 4 km wide bay which is also a good starting point. Porto Grande is the largest marina in the Barlavento Islands with two marinas and is an ideal base for yacht charters. To the north you can sail to the port of Porto Novo on Santo Antao. To get there you must sail over the Canal de Sao Vicente, a 16 km wide sea channel separating the two islands. Located in the southeast of São Vicente is São Nicolau - a mountainous island with magnificent, wide beaches. You can anchor there in Porto do Tarrafal. Furthermore, there are good anchorages in the small bays of the uninhabited islands of Santa Luzia, Branco and Raso. The easternmost point of the Cape Verde islands is the Boa Vista (meaning beautiful view). With 55 miles of beaches, plenty of sunshine and blue skies it is easy to see why the island has its name. Anchoring is possible here in the protected bays of Sal Rei. Boa Vista offers the best conditions for water sport enthusiasts and is one of the safest areas for high-wind sailing. Cape Verde is a challenging but rewarding area for experienced and adventurous sailors. Due to the underdeveloped infrastructure, it is not suitable for beginners.

Airports nearby Atlantic Ocean

  • Santo Antao airport to Santo Antao: 21 km, 19 minutes
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Climate & Weather

You can sail the Cape Verde islands all year round, but the best time to plan a trip would be from November to March. There is a warm, dry, oceanic climate and the sun shines 350 days a year. The weather is characterized by the trade winds and experience small temperature changes between day and night, and relatively high humidity of around 70%. Daytime temperatures are between 23 °C and 30 °C and the water temperatures are between 22 °C and 27 °C. The Cape Verde islands have two seasons: the rainy season (the Pace Chuvas) and the time of the winds (Tempo the Brisas.) The rainy season lasts from August to September and in these two months the probability of heavy tropical rain is high. The trade winds blow strongest from October to July at 3 to 4 Bft.