Sal Rei is a vibrant and colorful town located on the island of Boa Vista, Cape Verde. It is a popular destination for tourists seeking beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and a relaxed atmosphere.
The town offers a variety of activities for visitors, from water sports like windsurfing and kite surfing to exploring the local markets and enjoying the delicious local cuisine. Additionally, Sal Rei is also a great base for exploring the rest of the island, with many tour operators offering excursions to the desert, mountains, and other natural attractions.
Despite its growing popularity, Sal Rei has managed to maintain its charm and laid-back vibe. The locals are friendly and welcoming, and there is a strong sense of community, making it a great destination for those looking to experience the authentic Cape Verdean culture.
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Attractions & Things to do in Sal Rei
1. Praia de Estoril
Praia de Estoril is a beautiful beach located just a short walk from the center of Sal Rei. It is a popular spot for both locals and tourists, offering crystal clear waters and soft white sand.
Travel Tip: Try to go early in the morning to avoid the crowds and enjoy a peaceful swim.
2. Praia de Chaves
Praia de Chaves is another stunning beach in Sal Rei, known for its vast sand dunes and turquoise waters. It is a great spot for water sports like windsurfing and kite surfing.
Travel Tip: Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen and a hat as there is not much shade on this beach.
3. Viana Desert
The Viana Desert is a small desert located just outside of Sal Rei. It is a unique landscape with white sand dunes that stretch as far as the eye can see.
Travel Tip: It is best to visit the desert with a guide or as part of a tour as it can be easy to get lost.
4. Santa Monica Beach
Santa Monica Beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It is a long, wide beach with soft white sand and clear blue waters.
Travel Tip: There are no facilities on this beach, so make sure to bring everything you need with you.
5. Cabo Santa Maria Shipwreck
The Cabo Santa Maria Shipwreck is a famous landmark in Boa Vista. The ship ran aground in 1968 and has been a popular tourist attraction ever since.
Travel Tip: The shipwreck is located in a remote area, so it is best to visit as part of a guided tour.
6. Morro Negro Lighthouse
The Morro Negro Lighthouse is located on the eastern coast of Boa Vista. It is a great spot to enjoy panoramic views of the island and the surrounding ocean.
Travel Tip: The lighthouse is located in a remote area, so it is best to visit as part of a guided tour.
7. Boa Vista Whale Watching
Boa Vista is one of the best places in the world to see humpback whales. The best time to see them is between March and May when they come to the waters around the island to breed.
Travel Tip: Make sure to book your whale watching tour in advance as it is a popular activity.
8. Boa Vista Turtle Watching
Boa Vista is also a great place to see sea turtles. The best time to see them is between June and October when they come to the beaches to lay their eggs.
Travel Tip: Make sure to book your turtle watching tour in advance as it is a popular activity.
9. Sal Rei Market
The Sal Rei Market is a great place to buy local products and souvenirs. You can find everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to handmade crafts.
Travel Tip: Don’t be afraid to haggle for a better price, it is expected in the market.
10. Boa Vista Kite Surfing
Boa Vista is a popular destination for kite surfing. The winds are consistent and the waters are warm, making it a great spot for both beginners and experienced kite surfers.
Travel Tip: Make sure to check the wind conditions before you go out on the water.
Unique Activities in Sal Rei
1. Surf Lesson
Dive into the world of surfing with a comprehensive lesson designed for beginners and intermediates. Learn the basics of wave riding, master the art of balance, and ride the waves with confidence under the guidance of experienced instructors.
2. Sunset Party & African Show
Celebrate the beauty of the setting sun with a vibrant party and African show. Enjoy live music, dance to rhythmic beats, and immerse yourself in the rich cultural tapestry of the region as the sky paints a mesmerizing hue.
Day Trips from Sal Rei
1. Espargos (Sal)
Espargos is the capital of Sal, another island in the Cape Verde archipelago. The city offers a mix of cultural attractions and natural wonders like the Pedra de Lume salt mines.
Travel Tip: Don’t forget to try the local dish, Cachupa, at one of the restaurants.
2. Praia (Santiago)
Santiago is the largest island in Cape Verde and its capital, Praia, is rich in history and culture. The city is known for its colonial architecture and vibrant markets.
Travel Tip: Take a guided tour to explore the historical sites in the city.
3. Tarrafal Beach (São Nicolau)
Tarrafal Beach on São Nicolau is famous for its black sand and is a great spot for swimming and snorkeling. The area is less touristy, offering a more authentic experience.
Travel Tip: Bring your snorkeling gear to explore the underwater world.
Where to stay in Sal Rei
Sal Rei, located in Cape Verde, offers a diverse range of hotels for travelers. From luxurious resorts to budget-friendly accommodations, the city caters to every kind of traveler. With its scenic beauty and rich culture, Sal Rei has become a popular destination for tourists. Here are six hotels in Sal Rei that cater to different needs:
1. Best Reviewed Hotel
BookingBoavista – Apartments
- Description: A self-catering accommodation located in Sal Rei by the beachfront. The apartment provides a terrace and a fully equipped kitchen.
- Price: € 60 per night
- Rating: 9.3 (Superb)
2. Most Luxurious Hotel
VOI Praia de Chaves Resort (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)
- Description: Located 17 km from Santa Isabel square, this resort offers accommodation with an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a fitness centre, and a garden.
- Price: € 235 per night
- Rating: 7 (Good)
3. Budget Hotel
B&B Salinas Boa Vista WiFi FREE
- Description: Located in Sal Rei, this B&B features a shared lounge and a bar. It’s situated 400 metres from Santa Isabel square and a 5-minute walk from Santa Isabel Church.
- Price: € 30 per night
- Rating: 9.1 (Superb)
4. Hotel for Family
Oasis White Hotel (★ ★ ★ ★)
- Description: Features a fitness centre, shared lounge, a terrace, and a restaurant in Sal Rei. This 4-star hotel offers a bar.
- Price: € 64 per night
- Rating: 8.2 (Very good)
5. Hotel for Couples
Estoril Hotel – Apartments
- Description: Situated in Sal Rei, a few steps from Praia de Estoril, this hotel offers accommodation with a garden, free private parking, and a terrace.
- Price: € 39 per night
- Rating: 8.1 (Very good)
6. Hotel for Solo Travellers
Ouril Hotel Agueda (★ ★ ★)
- Description: Facing the beachfront, this 3-star hotel offers a fitness centre, terrace, and restaurant. It also provides a 24-hour front desk and free WiFi.
- Price: € 52 per night
- Rating: 8.2 (Very good)
Did you know? Facts about Sal Rei
- Sal Rei is located on the northwestern coast of the island of Boa Vista in eastern Cape Verde.
- It is the main urban settlement and the seat of the Boa Vista Municipality.
- The name “Sal Rei” means “Salt King” in Portuguese, which is a reference to the island’s main industry in the past, salt production.
- Sal Rei has a port with ferry routes to the islands of Santiago (Praia), Sal (Santa Maria), and Maio (Cidade do Maio).
- There is a small islet west of the port called Ilhéu de Sal Rei.
- Tourism in Sal Rei is concentrated in the area of Praia de Cabral.
- The town was founded in the saltpans of Boa Vista and was sacked by pirates in 1815 and 1817.
- Forte Duque de Bragança was built on Ilhéu de Sal Rei to defend the town from pirate attacks.
- Sal Rei is in a desert climate zone with an average rainfall of 67 mm and an average temperature of 24.1 °C.
- Aristides Raimundo Lima, president of the National Assembly from 2001 to 2011, is a notable person from Sal Rei.
FAQ about Sal Rei
What is the main attraction in Sal Rei?
The main attraction in Sal Rei is the area of Praia de Cabral, where most of the tourism is concentrated.
How can I travel to Sal Rei from other islands of Cape Verde?
Sal Rei has a port with ferry routes to the islands of Santiago (Praia), Sal (Santa Maria), and Maio (Cidade do Maio).
What is the climate like in Sal Rei?
Sal Rei is in a desert climate zone with an average rainfall of 67 mm and an average temperature of 24.1 °C.
What is the historical significance of Sal Rei?
Sal Rei was founded in the saltpans of Boa Vista and was an important center for salt production. It was sacked by pirates in 1815 and 1817, leading to the construction of Forte Duque de Bragança on Ilhéu de Sal Rei to defend the town.
Are there any notable people from Sal Rei?
Yes, Aristides Raimundo Lima, president of the National Assembly from 2001 to 2011, is from Sal Rei.
What are the ferry routes from Sal Rei?
The ferry routes from Sal Rei are to the islands of Santiago (Praia), Sal (Santa Maria), and Maio (Cidade do Maio).
Is there any historical monument in Sal Rei?
Yes, Forte Duque de Bragança, built on Ilhéu de Sal Rei to defend the town from pirate attacks, is a historical monument in Sal Rei.
What is the main industry in Sal Rei?
The main industry in Sal Rei used to be salt production, but now it is mostly tourism, concentrated in the area of Praia de Cabral.