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The island of Sal (Portuguese for “salt”) in Cape Verde is one of the group of 10 islands sprinkled off the west coast of Africa. Easy to get to from the UK and Europe, it’s one of our favourite destinations for all year round Water Wellness, especially in winter, as it is known as the never-ending summer. Also known as Cabo Verde, it is still relatively quiet throughout the year due to being a well-kept secret. Until now that is!
Typical temperatures are around 26 degrees celsius, with an arid tropical climate and very low levels of rainfall during the year. Being a reasonably flat island, it does have a constant refreshing breeze, and in some areas, there are some windy spots, perfect for wind sports.
This Cape Verdean island of Sal, the most popular island, is all about its white sandy stretches along glassy turquoise waters. Described as the Caribbean of Africa, you’ll feel like you are in absolute paradise.
As the smallest island of the archipelago at just 35 km in length and 12 km wide, and still relatively unknown, it is the perfect destination to relax and just soak in the Cape Verdean vibes. They are famous for their tagline ‘No stress’, and you will definitely feel this whilst on your dream holiday. There are more and more activities, excursions, boat trips, watersports and guided tours in Sal every season, but by not having an extensive list of things to do, really means you can just relax and soak in the Water Wellness.
You’ll be able to come away from your time in Sal feeling refreshed and reconnected with nature and yourself. From less stress from the salty air, feeling alive from the ‘Blue Gym Effect’, healthy options to focus on your mind, body and soul wellness, and deep sleep from one of the many beachfront hotels with wave soothing sounds to drift off to.
Enjoy Sal’s ‘Blue Gym Effect‘
As you’d expect from an island lined with white sands and over 350 days of sunshine a year, Sal offers many ways to get you on, in, near or under the water.
A lot of Sal’s coastline is accessible, making these open spaces by the water perfect for benefiting from the ‘Blue Gym Effect’. Being surrounded by nature, and in particular, the water can have a more profound impact on stress levels, recovery and energy levels.
Use Blue Spaces, such as their purpose built beach gyms, Santa Maria and Ponta Preta esplanades for a run, cycle or walk, practice yoga with ocean views or on deserted sand dunes, swim with the horses near Ponta do Sino, learn watersports all along the coastline, take up kite-surfing with world champions at Kite Beach (Costa da Fragata), hire electric beach bikes and hit the coastline or take one of the many aqua classes in the all-inclusive hotels. Swimming at Santa Maria and Ponte Preta Beaches is ideal in the clear waters, and both are lifeguarded beaches.
The key is to absorb those beautiful negative ions from large bodies of water that positively benefit you physiologically. Welcome to Water Wellness.
What is a Water Wellness Guide?
Over the past couple of years, we’ve understood more about the benefits of looking after our wellness and lifestyle. We seek less stress. Deeper connections. Healthier habits. Better sleep. Increased physical and mental fitness.
Using the natural meditative state of being on, in, near or under the water, a concept called Blue Mind, Water Wellness Guides embrace water-related activities with waterfront locations and waterside healthy dining. Water Welless retreats are also highlighted to get that even deeper connection to your Blue Mind. These guides help to find ways to destress, relax, enhance your wellness, be present with mindfulness, focus on fitness and connect to the outdoors at your next travel destination.
We connect to the six dimensions of Water Wellness which is a holistic lifestyle, including a continuum of emotional, spiritual, physical, intellectual, social and occupational aspects to support good health, instead of relying purely on medical intervention.
When you travel or visit a new destination, whether wellness is your primary or secondary reason for going, your health doesn’t need to take a back seat. Keep your mind and body strong whilst you are away, and you’ll embrace a much better experience, ditching that feeling that you need another holiday after your holiday.
Here is your Water Wellness Guide to Sal, Cape Verde:
£ – inexpensive option, great for being budget-conscious
££ – mid-priced, good value for money
£££ – high end, unique experience
Physical Water Activities in Sal
Get your adrenaline pumping and see incredible views with these water activities in Sal. From beginners to professionals, there is something for every level, offering smiles all around whilst enjoying their turquoise, crystal clear waters.
Learn about local marine life and Sal’s stunning coastline, or just take in Sal’s Blue Mind moments.
Beach Gyms along Santa Maria
Free (donation recommended)
We love these Beach Gyms in Sal so much that we have to start our Physical Water Wellness round up with them.
These two beach gyms are unmissable and such a great idea. We wish there were more of them around the world! Hopefully, by highlighting them, we can begin to share more and more love about them!
The larger of the two is at Praia Antonio Manual Soura, to the east of Santa Maria’s main beach. It’s one of the best examples of a beach gym we’ve ever seen, and lots of people use it! It may look like old sculptures, but trust us, it all works! What a spot to do some strength exercises after a cardio workout along the beach path. The air you breathe here is so clean that you’re energy levels are sure to rocket after this workout.
There is a smaller version just to the east of Santa Maria’s jetty on the main beach. Feel, smell and hear the ocean around you as you mentally and physically feel good for looking after your wellness. It looks easier than it actually is!
Reef and Shipwreck Snorkelling
£ – ££
Sal is no stranger to the underwater world, and snorkelling is a great way to explore it. Not only is snorkelling fun, but it also has tremendous mental and physical benefits. Be captivated by the magical world beneath you whilst being mentally rejuvenated, building your muscle tone and strength, and improving your heart and lung functions. Exercise with beautiful distractions!
Take a guided tour, jump off a catamaran boat or hire a snorkel on land and head out from the rocky soils; just beware of pretty strong sea currents. The white sandy beaches of Sal are not suitable for snorkelling because the underwater view is not ideal. The sandy bottom is whirled by the sea’s flow, which makes the water less clear.
Sal’s water is full of vibrant sea life, including coral, tropical fish, rays, turtles, eels and dolphins. There are many reefs around the island that you can arrange a guided tour to visit.
Where to snorkel in Sal?
To the east of Santa Maria jetty, you’ll find Porto Antigo and it’s an underwater statue. This is incredible to see only about 50m off the shoreline. You need to be a strong swimmer to get near this snorkelling site or head out on the catamaran, where they stop for a snorkel in this area.
Outside of Santa Maria, there are also snorkelling spots at Calheta Funda and Cadjatinha. Palmeira of Murdeira Bay, a protected area is also recommended, and many tour operators organise trips to this area. The final spot is south of Pedra de Luma, where a shipwreck lies. There is a challenging walk over smooth rocks (good water shoes recommended) until you see a small sandbank, but it is worth the crossing. There is a great chance to see the fins of schools of nurse sharks (not dangerous) emerging in these shallow waters.
So why not get lost in the moment and start exploring? These tours are amongst the most popular things to do in Sal.
Enjoy the underwater life of Sal on this guided snorkelling tour in Santa Maria. Head to the three reefs of Bolama wreck, Dunas Bikini, and Farol on a boat, and see Cape Verde’s captivating natural sealife world.
Discover the island of Sal with a local guide, seeing its highlights, beautiful beaches, awe-inspiring ‘Blue Eye’ cave, and bathe in therapeutic volcanic waters at Pedra de Lume. Spot Lemon Sharks in Baia de Parda, visit the fishing village of Palmeira and snorkel in the Murdeira bay of crystal clear, coral-filled waters.
Hop aboard the luxurious Lounge Catamaran and be whisked away for half a day to unwind. Cruise down the western coast of Sal on the spacious boat, and enjoy a different view of the island’s rocky shores. On the sunlit deck, relax on the comfortable lounge beds while bobbing along with the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Halfway through the trip, freshen up with a cool dive into the ocean to swim and snorkel, try some local fishing with the crew, or simply relax on board while a delicious snack is prepared. On the way back to the harbour, the ambience is awakened by African vibes of local music, drums, and dance.
The perfect Water Wellness Tour
Sal has a perfect balance of mental, physical and intellectual Water Wellness activities. Float your troubles away in the Salt Lakes Salinas of Perdra de Lume, the second saltiest water in the world after the Dead Sea, leaving your skin as smooth as if you’d had a natural scrub. Take in the mesmerising views of the ‘Blue Eye‘ cave in Buracona, one of the island’s 7 wonders. The Blue Eye is the blue water that lights up with the sun. The best time to admire the Blue Eye is between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., preferably in summer.
Close to the Blue Eye, you can cool off, swim and snorkel in crystal clear waters and naturally formed pools, visit Miragem, where you can see the fata morgana effect of water illusions in the desert, and visit Shark Bay, where you can experience lemon sharks up close in their natural habitat (they aren’t dangerous!).
- Full-Day Island Tour with visits to Salt Lake, Blue Eye and Shark Bay
- Half-Day Salt Lake, Blue Eye and Shark Bay Tour
- Half-Day Salt Lake, Blue Eye and Shark Bay PRIVATE Tour
- 3 Hour Pedra de Lume Village, Salt Lake Tour & Shark Swim
- 2 Hour Shark Bay Experience
Hire Watersports equipment on Santa Maria beach
Even with the breezes of Sal, Santa Maria beach is the perfect blue space to hire a kayak or stand up paddleboard. Jump on a single or double kayak or choose from different size SUPs for the ultimate core workout. Sal is beautiful when viewed from the water, so you won’t be disappointed.
Hobbie Twixxy Catamarans are also available to hire, which are stable, reliable & easy to manoeuvre on the water. Their simple and streamlined riggings are user friendly, and you can also book an hour course with an instructor to boost your confidence.
Bodyboard, snorkel masks and fins are available to hire for all the family to enjoy the water.
Check out Atlantic Star Nautical Center for more details.
Discover the underwater world like a torpedo
Take a Seadoo Safari and discover the beautiful underwater world of Sal. Whizz through the water like never before with powered Seadoo torpedoes. Join knowledgeable guides and cruise effortlessly across the reefs observing Sal’s fantastic marine life below.
Discover the enormous sunken statue off Santa Maria jetty, tropical schools of fish and much more. No previous experience is necessary.
Explore diving in Cape Verde
If you are eager to go further down into the stunning underwater world, Sal in Cape Verde has 18 known dive sights reachable by boat within 40 minutes from the popular southern part of the island. Where tropical waters meet Atlantic currents, it’s a wonderland for divers of all levels. Padi has stated they believe Cape Verde will become one of the top dive destinations in the world as it becomes more well-known.
According to The Next Crossing, the best site is known as Three Caves or Tres Grottos, where the view from inside the caves instils a deep feeling of wonder.
For dive shops, packages and activities, check out the following:
Jet Skiing from Santa Maria
Looking for some serious fun? Discover the Cape Verdean coastline on your own jet ski, as you explore the island in style. Hire a ski for 30 minutes, an hour or two hours and choose the best experience that suits you. For 30 minutes to an hour, choose from a tour to the famous surf spot in Ponta Preta or go further around to Costa de Fragata for some serious Atlantic swell. You also have the option to go out and have some supervised playtime instead of a guided tour.
For a more lasting experience, take the two hour tour, discovering Ponta Sino, Ponta Preta, the wonderful Bay of Murdeira and take a refreshing snorkelling dip in the Monte Leao nature reserve.
Where adrenaline meets the water, there’s nothing but salty smiles in the making.
Banana boat, inflatable fun, wakeboarding and water-skiing experiences are also available.
Tranquil Cruising around the coastline
If tranquillity and stability on the water are more what you are looking for, don’t miss the opportunity to take a Catamaran Cruise around part of the island. These half-day tours take you along Santa Maria beach, out into the open gorgeous ocean under sail, along the coastline where you can see the array of resorts from the water’s edge and up to Ponta Preta Beach, where you can get a scale of how significant the waves are on this surfers beach. Lie back on the netting with the water rushing just beneath you, be served drinks throughout the trip and soak in the African vibes of local music, drums and dance. Pure bliss. Pure relaxation.
Hop on board the luxurious Lounge Catamaran and be whisked away for half a day to unwind. Cruise down the western coast of Sal on the spacious boat, and enjoy a different view of the island’s rocky shores. On the sunlit deck, relax on the comfortable lounge beds or Catamaran comfy netting while bobbing along with the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Halfway through the trip, freshen up with a cool dive into the ocean to swim and snorkel, try some local fishing with the crew, or simply relax on board while a delicious snack is prepared.
Hop off board for a snorkelling experience of the underwater statue at Ancora (looks a little like Jesus underwater), experiencing the crystal clear waters with tropical fish all around you. Don’t forget your underwater camera!
If you are lucky, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of Sal’s beautiful marine life, including its wild dolphins and loggerhead sea turtles.
Looking for a more authentic sailing experience? Jump onboard a Monohull Sailboat in the skilled hands of the crew, where you can enjoy the same hospitality and experience as offered on a Catamaran Cruise. In addition, these experiences are offered as a full day sailing excursion.
- All-Inclusive Half Day Lounge Catamaran Cruise
- All-Inclusive Half Day Lounge Adults Only Catamaran Cruise
- Full Day All-Inclusive Sailing Boat Cruise
- Half Day Sailing Boat Cruise
For a unique, personalised sailing package, check out Cape Verde Sailing for a magical experience.
Learn new adventure watersports
Walk along Santa Maria beachfront and it’s neighbouring beaches, and you’ll find plenty of locals offering watersports experiences and lessons. With the constant breeze in Sal, wind sports are super popular. You cannot walk any part of the beach without seeing a windfoil glide past you.
The best months to learn or experience wind sports on Sal are October through to May. Use centres that are reputable and experienced, so they take you to the right area according to the weather and your abilities.
A couple of operators we recommend are ION Club Santa Maria which is known for Kitesuring, Windsurfing, Wingfoiling and SUPing and Ines Water Sports Centre at Ponta Preta for Kitesurfing, Wingfoiling, Windsurfing and Surfing.
Santa Maria beach offers some of the calmest waters on the island. Hire a SUP board or kayak and create your own adventure as you meander around the numerous anchored vessels along the shoreline.
Physical Water Wellness doesn’t get much better than this!
- 1 hour Surf Lesson – Santa Maria Beach
- 1 hour Stand Up Paddle Tour – Santa Maria Beach
- 1 hour ride and fly E-Foil lesson – Santa Maria Beach
Kite Surf with Champions
Mitu Monteiro and Djo Silva have put Sal’s Kite Beach (Costa da Fragata) on the map. Learn with the Champs with lessons for all abilities. Delivered by IKO instructors to learn to kitesurf safely, which is a must given how popular this beach gets with almighty high kites in the air.
Even if you don’t fancy a lesson, head to Kite Beach to take in the atmosphere, chill out with a drink, grab some food, and watch how the experts do it (or not so experts if you are into people watching!).
Electric Bike Hire from Santa Maria
If you’ve hired an electric bike before, you know how enjoyable the experience can be. Hire an electric bike from the main street in Santa Maria with half or full day options. You can explore most of the island during a full day, with a handy map highlighting the points of interest. As the island is mostly flat, with a little bit of peddle power, the electric battery will have no problem helping you out throughout the entire day.
Take the bikes over beaches, around the dunes, across rocky coastlines, through the Salt Flats and further. It’s an incredible way to explore the island at your own pace whilst topping up your well-deserved wellness.
Why not take a guided tour where you can learn from a local guide, find hidden salt mines, pedal with ease across the white sandy beaches and explore vibrant neighbourhoods?
Wanting a bit more power? Rent a scooter and move around the island your way! Go everywhere with off road tires and a powerful motor on these striking red, modern scooters!
Discover the Wild Side of Sal
Horse riding along the beach has to be one of the most magical outdoor experiences on the island. Take a horseback riding tour, from easy and gentle rides to galloping through the surf. Explore the incredible scenery of the big Salt Flats of Santa Maria, the beautiful Kite Beach or leave your tracks on the desert as you ride through the sand dunes. Take the ultimate experience and discover it all.
An endless golden sand beach trek awaits, where you will hear the roar of the waves whilst enjoying the grace, beauty, spirit and freedom of this experience.
- 2 hour 9km Salt Flats, Kite Beach and Sand Dunes Trail
- 1 hour 30 mins 7km Salt Flats and Kite Beach Trail
- 1 hour 3km Kite Beach Trail
- 1 hour 3km Salt Flats Trail
Sea Fishing in the turquoise waters
Regardless of experience, if you fancy a sea fishing experience from Sal, there are excursions to suit everyone. Sea fishing from the shore with a guide, catching the smaller fish for fun (or the barbeque), you can go out on a boat for a morning, afternoon or a day, fishing for Blue Marlin or Sail fish.
Due to their vast experience, the Captains in Sal can take you for a memorable trip with all the tools you need. Experienced fishermen can bring their own or use the equipment provided.
Most of the boats are fitted with fish finders and the Captains are respectful of the laws allowing bigger fish for the future. Sun yourself whilst you are fishing, or you can choose the cooling shade.
Just a note, whilst sea fishing in Cape Verde all the boat crews expect to keep the fish themselves as they have the markets to sell the fish instead of a tip as they don’t get paid much. If you want to take fish home, be sure to inform the person when booking you on the trip, so the boat crew know to expect this. You may have to pay for any fish you take if there is any available.
Depending on the season and your preference, you can trawl for the larger fish, drop anchor for leisurely shallow water fishing with your own line and reel and various other disciplines.
You’ll find many fishing trips being offered along Santa Maria Jetty. Never part with money until the time of the trip, and reputable agents will always give you a receipt.
Mindful Water Activities in Sal
Mindful Water Activities in Sal offer some of the best Water Wellness experiences in Cape Verde. The added ‘No Stress’ feeling to the island allows you to disconnect, unwind, refresh and just be in the moment throughout much of your break. Quiet beaches. Crystal clear waters. Sunbeds lying in the sun, just waiting for you to enjoy the day.
Enjoy the emotional and spiritual dimensions of wellness through discovery, gratitude, a feeling of being able to cope and clearing yourself of any Red Mind and Grey Mind that is distracting you.
Santa Maria Beach
One of the best beaches we’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. It’s where powdery sand meets turquoise seas.
Praia de Santa Maria is the main golden sandy beach on the south coast of the island. At about 2km long as a crescent shaped bay, it stretches from the centre of Santa Maria in the east to the Ponta do Sino (the island’s southernmost point) in the southwest.
Home to the island’s music festival ‘Festival da Praia de Santa Maria’ each September, you’ll find many activities and solitude along this stunning sandy beach. Watch locals playing football or volleyball after a long day working, jump on one of the many watersports on offer, soak in some vitamin D from one of many sunbeds, splash amongst the perfectly warm formed waves, swim in the azure waters, absorb the sunset rays at the start of a balmy evening or enjoy some culinary delights on one of the many waterfront restaurants and bars.
The main section of Santa Maria beach, west of the jetty is lifeguarded. This part of the beach may get a little busy during peak periods. Head further to the west for more seclusion, or head to Ponta Preta if you still want to be close to the facilities and amenities on offer.
Want to see how busy, or not so busy Santa Maria beach gets? Get a live webcam view here of the beach and jetty.
Santa Maria Jetty
Take a walk along the Santa Maria Jetty and get a feel for local life in Sal. Watch the fishing boats coming and going, with fisherpeople preparing their catch to take to local traders and markets. It’s an eye-opening experience – one of such a simple but rewarding life. It can be quite overwhelming to begin with, but worth persisting. Learn how they use such basic tools but do exactly what they need to. They shout. They scream at each other. But the atmosphere never changes. No Stress!
Once you’ve seen enough, the water is perfectly inviting for a jump off the jetty. It’s actually an incredible place to see marine life under the water due to the fisherpeople working hard above on the wooden boards. They don’t waste anything – it all goes back into nature.
You have to visit here to really appreciate the chilled out vibes that Santa Maria has to offer. As the day goes on, as the Water Wellness takes more effect, the atmosphere evolves into one where you really can just take it all in, enjoy the moment and love what Sal has to offer.
Beach Beds at Hotel Morabeza
Hotel Morabeza is one of the few hotels offering sunbeds to the public along their prime location on Santa Maria beach. These luxurious sunbeds are super comfortable, lying directly on the sand. They feel like a little bit of paradise. And, of course, they do come with a chargeable day cost.
With the Beach Club’s open kitchen on show in the middle of the beach, restaurant, sunbed drinks service, showers and toilets available, it’s easy to lose yourself here for the day.
It’s also a great place to watch the sun go down on another day in Sal. You can happily continue to chill out here as the rays hit the horizon. For an even better sunset though, head around to the western beach at Ponta Preta.
Ponta Preta Beach and its sunset
A perfect quieter beach on the island.
The next popular beach on the island is Ponta Preta Beach. Ponta Preta is actually Portuguese for Black Tip, however this area is found further north on the island. The sand is perfectly golden here. You are surrounded by the gorgeous Bay of Algodoeiro. This area is beginning to become as developed as the area of Santa Maria but until then, it is quiet due to its vastness. Large resorts dominate the coastline, but there are a few independent delights to enjoy.
Cool down with a freshly squeezed juice from the Juice bar, learn watersports from the local watersports shack, hire a snorkel and hit the water, get all salty with a swim in the sea and hit the Reggae Bar in the evening for some serious Jamaican vibes.
One of our favourite things to do in Sal is to chill out at the Bikini Beach Club. By day, enjoy the beach vibes with poolside tunes, cabana beds, a poolside bar and a gorgeous restaurant. By night, this place comes alive as they crank up the tunes and hit the water when it becomes the ultimate Beach Bar for the whole island. Take the opportunity for great discounts if you are staying in any of the all-inclusive resorts along Ponta Preta Beach – just a way to entice visitors in!
Around the Bikini Beach Club, a manmade swimming area has been created, which is idyllic for swimming and snorkelling. Known as one of the best surf beaches on the island, without this swimming area, the currents and waves do make it quite tricky for a relaxing swim. This area of Ponta Preta Beach is lifeguarded.
At sunset, Ponta Preta Beach is the place to be. Being on the island’s western side, you can absorb uninterrupted views as the sun goes down. The experience is just magical and not to be missed during your time in Sal.
Rejuvenate yourself in a yoga class with a view of the deep blue ocean and sparkling Santa Maria beach, absorbing oxygen easily thanks to the negative ions that are present in the sea air. Giving a natural serotonin boost, these negative ions help you feel more relaxed, calmer and happier during your yoga session.
Strengthen your wellness as you practice yoga under the instruction of a professional, enjoying the gentle sounds and rhythm of the waves whilst feeling sunkissed on your skin.
Learn about the protection of Sea Turtles
Free to visit (donation recommended)
Sea turtles have been protected by law in Cape Verde since 1987. The islands are the third largest population of nesting loggerhead turtles in the world, making it perfect for turtle watching. Most nest on the island between July and October, with August being the primary month for observations.
Visit the Project Biodiversity’s Turtle Hatchery on the beach by the Hotel RUI Palace Santa Maria to observe the excavation of Loggerhead sea turtle nests, learn about the conservation of the species and have the chance to see baby Loggerhead turtles.
Waterside Healthy Dining in Sal
Many all-inclusive resorts on the island have their own cuisine experiences, however the island is not short of healthy dining options with waterside views for your Water Wellness break. Enjoy the fresh seafood options with sand in between your toes, or make it a night to remember with exquisite dining with the best views in Sal.
If you love seafood, you are in for a treat.
Palm Beach Tropical Restaurant
Directly on the beach next to Santa Maria jetty, Palm Beach Tropical Restaurant was our favourite restaurant on the island. Whether long, lazy lunches, romantic dinners or more casual dining, this restaurant and lounge cocktail bar offer a whole world of choice, every day of the week.
Their seafood options are incredible and understandably make this option very popular. There are also Oceanic tasting menus, along with Cabo Verde and Italian tasting menu options.
With stunning views on this beachfront location, sand under your feet, Capoverdian hospitality and Travellers’ Choice awards, you’ll love coming back to this restaurant again and again.
Lobstar Seafood Restaurant
Discover Italian Seafood Art at Santa Maria’s famous Lobstar Seafood Restaurant. Located right in front of Santa Maria jetty, this open air restaurant and lounge bar feels like your own bit of paradise. Nautically themed, prepare yourself for a feast of flavours. Enjoy lobster and fish tasting experiences with the stunning turquoise-blue ocean in the background.
Try Amberjack Carpaccio Marinated in Orange and Pink Pepper, Smoked Tuna Ham, Catalan-style Spiny Lobster, various different fresh lobster grills, lobster ravioli or risotto and tuna fillets to name a few delightful dishes.
We have no doubt you’ll find this Lobstar experience very hard not to come back to!
Flanked by coconut palms, Barracuda’s terrace will have sand between your toes, whilst the restaurant offers a more formal dining experience. It is the perfect spot for a relaxing breakfast or beachside lunch. The large restaurant dining room offers a more sheltered ambience decorated warmly in wood and stone, with extensive sea views.
Their menu and house specialities focus on top quality fresh local produce, keeping it simple and natural, so their key ingredients take centre stage. Don’t miss the chance to try their Tuna Carpaccio or the delicious Tartar, Fago cheese and spectacular rice with lobster and seafood dishes.
Bikini Beach Club
Head to Ponta Preta beach, and you can’t miss Bikini Beach Club standing proud right over the water. Expect the Unexpected as this unique venue is reinventing the beach club experience. Open to all, it has one of the most unique locations in the world. Easy going days evolve into elegant evenings, with the best DJs and an authentic island vibe.
Stretching 40 metres into the ocean, views don’t get much better than this as you indulge in a healthy range of Cape Verdean twists and tastes. Sushi is one of their main features, with a range of fresh salads, seafood dishes, Mexican delights and Asian flavours.
The atmosphere at Bikini Beach Club is not to be missed. You’ll go in for an hour and stay for the day!
Hotel Morabeza Beach Club
Hotel Morabeza’s Beach Club and Restaurant are right on the beach’s edge, making it the best spot in Santa Maria for a lunchtime special. Even the chefs get to enjoy the view with their open grill situated right on the beach. The smells are simply incredible, and mouth-watering too!
À la carte, grilled fish and meat, seafood, salads, pasta … it’s the perfect place to enjoy the sea without interruption. This restaurant is part of the hotel but open to everyone. Get there early or be happy to wait in the bar area for a table, as this venue is super popular for its location and views.
And if you are wondering, Morabeza is a word from Cape Verdean creole that is used to express Cape Verdean hospitality which is recognised for being friendly, casual and relaxed and very much a part of their culture.
Morna Beach Club
As part of the Oasis Salinas Sea Hotel, right on the beachfront in Santa Maria, Morna Beach Club is open to all to enjoy their priceless beachfront views. This themed restaurant offers a range of fish and meat grills, with the barbecue grill being fired up between 7pm and 10pm each night.
Bo Beach Club
Operated by the Vila Verde Agua Hotel but open to everyone, Bo Beach Club is a casual bar on the southern end of Ponta Preta Beach. Enjoy this relaxed atmosphere with picture postcard views. Chat with the locals. Soak in the live music beats. Take in the views.
Bo Beach Club is also one of the best bars to watch a perfect sunset. Enjoy!
Water Wellness Retreats in Sal
As Sal becomes a destination of choice, it’s no surprise that its number of Water Wellness Retreats is increasing. Relax on your break with wellness facilities to rejuvenate and refresh your body, mind and soul. Whilst you won’t want to leave, you can return home with a healthier and more conscious way of life.
Deeper connections. Healthier eating. Mindful exercises. Physical wellbeing. Refreshing sleep. Better you.
Melia Llana Beach Resort & Spa
If you want the ultimate indulgent Water Wellness break, head to Platinum Melia Llana Beach Resort & Spa for the perfect adult-only 5-star dream. Look forward to surrounding yourself with tropical scenery, glimmering pools, sunbeds, hammocks, Bali beds, luxurious spas and treatments with the finest cuisine imaginable. Peace and tranquillity are a given at Melia Llana.
Stay as a ‘The Level’ guest and take your experience to the highest degree. With a unique private pool, swim up rooms, ocean view suites and reserved areas throughout the hotel, you will feel like royalty.
Enter the YHI Spa universe and discover a new concept of well-being. Savour the energy of YHI in a space where time seems to stand still. They provide six massage cabins (2 for couples), beauty, wellness and health treatments (extra charge), as well as a sauna and Turkish bath. Take care of your body and mind while resting in the relaxation area and savouring a delicious tea with lemon or fresh fruit juice.
Their 24 hour gym means you don’t have to miss your daily workout. You can also mix it up with a range of activities, including aqua gym, water polo, spinning, cardio, stretching, volleyball, aerobics, dance classes, pilates and yoga.
Melia Llana is the best Water Wellness retreat that Sal in Cape Verde has to offer. Located on Ponta Preta Beach, the Bay of Algodoeiro is the stunning backdrop to your private sunbeds, sunk into the golden sandy beach, whilst in hearing distance of the rhythmic ocean waves.
Hotel Odjo d’agua
Bed & Breakfast
Hotel Odjo d’água is located in Vila de Santa Maria, right on top of Santa Maria Beach. It was built on a small dainty peninsula facing the Atlantic called “Porfirio Point”, where the Vera Cruz Lighthouse is located. For this reason, a part of its structure is implemented on the sea, which makes the balcony of the hotel restaurant one of the most sought-after places on the island. From the hotel restaurant, you can enjoy one of the best views of Santa Maria Bay, and have a wonderful meal to the sound of the ocean.
Its piste de resistance is however, its infinity pool. Known well on Instagram, this large swimming pool spills into the ocean for panoramic views across Santa Maria.
With sea views room, superior ocean-facing suites, sand-soaked sunbeds, beach club vibes, the Alma Spa where good energy is their philosophy, romantic night packages for personalised Beach or Infinity Pool deck dining, it’s also one of the most sought-after wedding venues on the island.
TUI BLUE Cabo Verde
With an oceanfront setting, designer decor and first-class dining, TUI Blue Cabo Verde is one of the best adult-only Water Wellness retreats on the island. Located on Ponta Preta Beach, this hotel is part of the Melia Hotels group with a double pool scene and incredible facilities. You can also use the neighbouring Melia Llana Beach Resort & Spa, wellness area, sauna and treatment rooms.
Make the most of the hotel’s al fresco workout zone, fitness activities, stretching sessions and two pool areas to keep your mind, body and soul wellness in check during your stay.
Surf Hub Capo Verde
Treat your wellness to the ultimate KiteSurf or Surf camp in Cape Verde. Water Wellness doesn’t get much better than this, with the whole experience arranged for you.
Enjoy a week on the island with some of the best surfing vibes – ten lessons for beginners, intermediates and advanced over five days with IKO qualified instructors, all the equipment you need, hired photographer capturing your best (and worst!) moments along with your own GoPro for use, two tranquil sessions of morning yoga, water sport trips to incredible other locations in Sal, beach BBQs, camp parties, social dinners, alternative trips for non-wind days and all the travel stuff sorted for you such as transfers from the airport as well as locally, accommodation and breakfast.
This KiteSurf / Surf Camp takes Cape Verde’s ‘No Stress’ culture to the max. Physical Water Wellness. Check. Mental Water Wellness. Check. Spiritual Water Wellness. Check. Intellectual Water Wellness. Check. Social Water Wellness. Check.
It’s an experience you won’t forget for a very, very long time – not to mention the new love for the beautiful island and the watersport too.
Waterfront Stays in Sal
The Morabeza Hotel is one of the best located hotels in Sal. With direct access to the golden beach of Santa Maria and located adjacent to Main Street, it’s no surprise that Hotel Morabeza is a popular choice.
Morabeza means ‘Welcome to good Cape Verdean hospitality’. This 4-star hotel started as a Belgian farmhouse 50 years ago. Now, the hotel boasts three pools, including a poolside bar and adults pool, three a la carte restaurants, gym sessions, beach volleyball and tennis, minigolf, a games area and an entertainment complex at La Tortue.
Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort
Bed & Breakfast / Half Board / Full Board
Located west of the main area of Santa Maria, Hilton Cabo Verde offers some incredible facilities with waterfront views. It’s one of the newest developments on the island. Stunningly landscaped grounds and pools welcome you to the peaceful setting. Dine on the poolside deck or head to the beach bar. Splash out on a King Ocean Front Suite or indulge in spa treatments to make you feel brand new again. Head to the watersports centre or go wild in the casino. The choice really is yours at Hilton Cabo Verde.
Budha Beach Hotel
Room Only / Bed & Breakfast / Half Board / Full Board
As part of THe Senses Collection, the Budha Beach hotel is located in the quieter eastern part of Santa Maria. Right on the waterfront, this well-reviewed four-star hotel will have you feeling relaxed in no time.
Views from the rooms will have you never wanting to leave, with the whole complex having that tranquil atmosphere that you will come to love. Water Wellness is a given at this hotel, with serenity to relax your body, mind and spirit.
Stay here on a Bed & Breakfast, Half Board, Full Board or Room Only basis, with Mediterranean and Asian fusion cuisine restaurants available.
Aparthotel Santa Maria Beach
Bed & Breakfast
Situated right on the Praia António Sousa beachfront, just east of Santa Maria’s main beach, Aparthotel Santa Maria Beach offers a budget-friendly waterfront stay. Sea view rooms are available, with a lounge area, terrace and bar.
With good sized clean rooms, good welcoming service and excellent reviews, book this hotel early as it tends to get booked up quickly.
Looking for a self-catering option for your stay? Whilst not on the waterfront, the Vila Verde Hotel offers the perfect alternative for great accommodation with large apartments, full kitchens, pools and bars with on-site restaurants and a supermarket.
Have you been to Sal in Cape Verde recently? Thinking about visiting this Water Wellness paradise? What are your favourite water-related things to do in Sal? We’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below.
Inspirational content to spend more time outdoors, in blue spaces and experiencing Water Wellness.