Kitesurfing in Sal: 6 reasons why this should be your next winter destination

Kitesurfing in Sal: 6 reasons why this should be your next winter destination

In desperate need of sun, wind and waves this winter? Sal, one of the islands of Cape Verde, may be your perfect winter destination. Lisette recently visited the island - for the third time already - and will explain why you should go there too:


1. Kitesurfing in bikini

From November to January, temperatures are still around 26 degrees Celsius, with a maximum of 30 and a minimum of 20 degrees. Perfect for kitesurfing sessions in bikini! I would recommend bringing a shorty too if you get cold easily. Furthermore, the sun is strong so a longsleeve UV top and SPF 50 sunscreen is recommended.
Lisette Schoots - kitesurfing girl on waveboard on Sal, Cape Verde

2. Suitable for kitesurfers of all levels

The first time I went to Sal, I was still a beginner. However, I was definitely not the only one. Most beginners start not at Kite Beach, but at Santa Maria or another flat water spot alongside the coast. These do come with offshore wind, but your instructor will take care of you. In case you don't want a lesson, but you like the feeling of having someone help you on this offshore spot, you can book a "security" option. This means they pick you up with a boat if you need help.
For the intermediate and advanced kitesurfers, there's Kite Beach, where kitesurf legend Mitu Monteiro runs a kite school and restaurant with his friend Djo. The spot offers some nice small waves and some bigger ones further out in the reef. The conditions are great for kitesurfing on both twintip and directional. I've seen directional boards of all shapes and sizes and had my first experience riding a directional at sea myself. This spot is also one of the few spots in the world where you can see the loggerhead sea turtle…
Lisette Schoots - kitesurfing girl on Kite Beach, Cape Verde

Kite Beach

Note: for those using Windfinder, search for Shark Bay. Kite Beach was formerly called Shark Bay. You can also check the live forecast and webcam on Mitu & Djo's website.
Lastly, there's Ponta Preta. This is the real wave spot for the advanced kitesurfers, or for those who like watching them.
Surfer catching a wave during sunset at Ponta Preta, Cape verde
Ponta Preta

3. Suitable for every budget

From hostels to all-inclusive hotels and from high-class restaurants to the biggest burger for just a couple of euros. You decide how much you want to spend. In terms of getting to the island, TUI offers complete packages including a direct flight and a hotel or apartment. We decided to save some hundreds of euros. So we flew with TAP Air and had one extra stop in Lisbon. We stayed at the Surf House Cabo Verde, a very affordable apartment run by a friendly Italian family. The apartment included a fully-equipped kitchen, so you could even prepare your own meals. I have to admit that I hardly did so...
Some restaurants recommendations:
  • Cape Fruit - Santa Maria. For a healthy and filling breakfast or lunch.
  • Angulo Beach Club - Santa Maria. The windsurf center and restaurant named after and run by windsurf champion Josh Angulo. For great food at any time of the day.
  • Mitu & Djo's - Kite Beach. The best pizzas of the island and the only restaurant at Kite Beach.
  • Odjo d'Agua - Santa Maria. As part of the hotel Odjo d'Agua, this restaurant offers a more luxurious experience with a beautiful ocean view.
The beach of Angulo Beach Club - have lunch at the beach.The beach area of Angulo Beach Center

4. Try wingfoiling or windsurfing

Power woman and kitesurf champion Ines Correia offers more than just kitesurf lessons. She was the first to offer wing foil lessons and rental on the island. Next to that, she also offers windsurf and surf lessons.
For windsurfing lessons and rental, you can also visit the Angulo Beach Club or the ION Club right next to it.

5. No stress guaranteed

The motto of the island is "no stress". And I still believe many locals have never experienced stress. Everyone is relaxed, from the taxi driver to the waiter and even the doctor taking your PCR test (more about that here). The perfect escape from your stressful job or other obligations at home.

6. No wind? No stress!

Although the island is not that big, there are still some things to do when there is no wind. Here are some options:
  • Go surfing or watch the surfers at Ponta Preta
  • Have yourself surrounded by lemon sharks at Shark Bay
  • Visit the salinas
  • Sent a SUP and go look for turtles
  • Enjoy the sun while reading a book.
Salinas at Sal, Cape VerdeThe salinas

Travelling during COVID Pandemic

When I was there, I needed to get a PCR test for my return flight. At that time, it was only possible to do it in Espargos, the capital city. Also, it was not possible to send the results by e-mail, so I had to go back to pick it up the next day. Always check the restrictions and ask around. The situation may have changed already.
COVID-19 street art in Espargos, Cape Verde
Street art in Espargos
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