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São Vicente

Sao Vincente, with an area of 227 square km, has about 100,000 inhabitants and is the second most populated island of the archipelago. The old town has many buildings and monuments with the unmistakable signs of the presence of British and Portuguese colonial era. With the traffic of ships of various nationalities in Porto Grande, Mindelo became a meeting point for sailors of different races and cultures, becoming at that time the most cosmopolitan city of Cape Verde.

The city of Mindelo is a cultural center where the artistic development has always deserved great attention, several generations of writers, thinkers, intellectuals, plastic artists and musicians have made of it the cultural capital of Cape Verde.

When night falls on Mindelo, its streets reflect a special animation announcing the bustle of nightlife in the city. In several "show restaurants" dinners are accompanied by the sound of the morna, the batuque and Funana music of "saudade" (homesickness), famous all over the world thanks to a singer with an extraordinary voice, Cesaria Evora, who has been born here and where he has always lived. The international airport of Sao Vicente bears his name in memory of his great fame. The night continues in the numerous clubs of Mindelo, where modern music and the rhythms of the Caribbean are combined with the sensuality of the current rhythms of Cape Verde and stimulate to dance until dawn.

There are numerous events that contribute to the high quality of life of the inhabitants of São Vicente and is an attraction for tourists to follow the events that Mindelo offers.

Carnival is the event most animated of São Vicente, it has absorbed part of the Brazilian carnival, becoming an event with its own characteristics and is one of the more visually rich of the island. The population, which starts preparing the celebrations from the beginning of the year, pour out on the streets to immerse itself in an ambience of dream and fantasy, in which all, whatever social status, participate in collective glee and forget the daily reality. In this ritual the visitors, from other islands and tourists in increasing numbers, are easily and naturally integrated.

The festival of Baia das Gatas. On the weekend of the full moon during the month of August, on the shore of the natural pool of the same name, the population of São Vicente is concentrated to fraternize at the sound of music. The natural scenery of the beach transforms during three days and three nights in a kind of magical city of colorful camping tents, where the atmosphere is soaked in perfume from delicious grills and where it’s possible to nicely swim to the sound of music.

The theater festival: In September, every year there is an international meeting of theater groups with the duration of 15 days.

Much attention also to religious festivals called "pilgrimage festivals" of 13 June (Santo Antonio), June 24 (Saint John) and 29 June (San Pedro) and the New Year where the conviviality and dances protracts continuously for 2 / 3 days.

São Vicente


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