Cape Verde is a popular holiday destination where there’s a lot to discover. A good way to get to know the country is by getting a taste of the local atmosphere and people. You can achieve that by dining in local restaurants and browsing the markets.

The Cape Verde islands are causing quite a stir on the travel scene as well as destination weddings, you can find huge swathes of the creamy-white beach, the year-round sun almost guaranteed, and every type of water sport. If you don’t want to lay on the beach all day long, there are numerous things you can do, here are the top 15:

1) Big Game Fishing

The best way to experience and feel what it’s like to fight the fish is by setting sail into the sea between Boa Vista andSal with. There are some fishes you can catch including Tuna, Dolphin Fish, and Wahoo as well as many others.

2) Sea Turtle Catamaran

This is an excellent opportunity to relax and see Sal in a different way. Board your luxury Sea Turtle’ cat and remember to keep your camera close as you drift by Monte Leao. Just relax and enjoy the views over Sal’s desert-like shores.

3) Municipal day (St Isobel’s Day)

This yearly event is a big festival where people come from all the other islands to join in the celebrations in honor of the island’s saint. It all kicks off with a boat ceremony out in the bay, followed by horse racing, football tournaments, boat racing, and lots of dancing.

4) Try local Cape Verdean food

There are a great number of homespun places serving local food as well as a clutch of Italian and Portuguese restaurants. As you could have imagined, fish is a big deal in Cape Verde. Therefore, you’ll consistently find lobster, squid, and shrimp on the menu. Don’t forget to try the national dish, Cachupa Rica – a slow-cooked stew with maize, beans, vegetables, and fish.

5) Set sail on an island cruise

You cannot pass the chance to join an excursion in which you’ll cruise along the island’s coast at a tortoise-like pace, most boats also anchor at untouched beaches as you go. Don’t forget to bring a camera with you, you’ll stop off at the Isles’ best-known beauty spot.

6) Go shopping in Sal Rei

You won’t find the designer shopping in Boa Vista, there is a good choice when it comes to food and basic toiletries in Sal Rei’s minimarts. Remember that the only places you can find tobacco, alcohol, and tinned goods are located outside Sal Rei.

7) Cast your line sea fishing

Due to the rich waters around Cape Verde, fishing is still a way of life for the locals. If you are interested, there are fishing schools to teach you the basics. If you are looking for a good challenge, head out at sea, you might land some biggies like tuna or blue marlin.

8) Trek up mountains on Sao Nicolau

Monte Gordo is its highest point at 4304 feet tall, wind your way up its green valley. Once you are done hiking, make sure to head for the pretty capital, there are great restaurants in a colonial setting.

9) Wander around the island of Fogo

Considering that ‘Fogo’ means fire in Portuguese, it gives you a good indication of its volcanic status. While you’re on the island, stop off at the colonial town of Sao Filipe for a taste of the local wine.

10) Sink into the saltpans at Pedra de Lume

Sal used to be famous for its salt mines, today they are gone, however, the saltpans remain, and they’re great for bathing in. Once you are done, head to the little café, wash off the salt and sit back with an ice-cold drink.

11) Blaze a trail through the Viana Desert

The Viana Desert covers about 30 per cent of Boa Vista. It’s made of red rocks and wind-sculptured dunes that make it the ultimate playground for 4×4 safaris and quad biking.

12) Explore the island of Santiago

Famous for its atmospheric market, National Maritime Museum, and Church that dates back to 1495. Santiago, Cape Verde’ biggest island can count Captain Cook and Sir Francis Drake among its visitors.

13) See the sights on a 4×4 tour

Enjoy the pastel-washed villages and mural-painted caves to the Buracona Lagoon, there are even extra-salty lakes where you’ll float like a cork.

14) Try water sports on Santa Monica beach

You can find lessons on kite-surfing or windsurfing at the Riu Touareg Hotel on the beach. You can also join diving courses; there are a lot of wrecks and reefs to explore off the coast. You’ll see everything from dolphins and whales to octopus and multi-colored parrotfish.

15) Have a go at windsurfing

Windsurfing conditions couldn’t be better in Cape Verde due to its location. The winter winds are a steady Force 4 to Force 5; they attract national teams. If you like windsurfing, then I highly recommend Tortuga Beach.