ROL Cruise recommends…
1. Take time for yourself
If holidays for you are all about relaxation and indulgence, then Pont d’Agua at Mindelo Marina is the place for you. At this luxurious complex, you can enjoy a poolside drink, have a massage in the spa, wander amongst the palm trees or treat yourself to a mouthwatering meal. You can also take in beautiful sunset views with a cocktail or two in hand.
2. Party like a Cape Verdean
Held 40 days before Easter, the São Vicente Festival is a wild mix of colour and noise, with raucous Brazilian-inspired street parades starting as early as 9am, much to the delight of locals and visitors alike. Meanwhile the Baía das Gatas Festival in August is a three-day celebration of music, attracting artists and bands from across the archipelago and beyond.
3. Browse the city’s market stalls
You can hardly get fresher fish than at Mindelo’s specialist market, with fishermen taking their daily loads directly from the nearby jetty to the stalls ready for sale. Elsewhere in the city, the Mercado Municipal dates back to 1784 and is a great place for people watching, as well as for browsing its eclectic collection of goodies.
4. Explore Mindelo’s Portuguese heritage
The city’s striking Torre de Belém is a replica of the fifteenth century tower of the same name in Lisbon, which is a celebrated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mindelo’s version, which dates back to 1937, houses a maritime museum. You can enjoy views across the harbour and of the bustling streets from the top of the tower.
5. Lose yourself in traditional morna
Sung in Cape Verde’s Creole language, morna is the archipelago’s own national music, played with stringed instruments including violins and cavaquinhos (similar to ukuleles). You’ll find lots of cafés and bars where you can hear morna played live; indeed, a visit to Mindelo wouldn’t be complete without hearing it, so make sure to seek it out during your stay.