Cape Verde is an archipelago of islands nearly 600 kilometres off the coast of West Africa. The largest island is Santiago, where the capital of Praia is based. The islands are known for their live music and dances which have influences from Portugal, Africa, Brazil and the Caribbean, and which are hosted in hotel clubs, bars and restaurants.
Cape Verdian entertainment is unique in part because of morna, which is melancholy music sung in local Creole, and accompanied by cavaquinho, clarinet, accordion, violin, piano and guitar. Often compared with the blues, it’s considered to be the national music of Cape Verde, particularly after it was popularised by Cesária Évora, the “barefoot diva”, in the 1990s.
The nightlife in Cape Verde is not on the super-club scale of Ibiza or experienced in jostling tavernas such as on the Costa Blanca; however, the quirky spirit and unique rhythmic music create a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere for tourists returning from a warm day spent in the sea and sun. Beach café bars and quaint al fresco restaurants provide some great drinks and local cuisine for visiting tourists.
That said, the islands of São Vicente and Santiago have more tourist facilities than the remote Boa Vista, which is quieter and provides a great chance to tour the area’s untouched landscape. Embark on holidays in Cape Verde and get to know the local music, set in a backdrop of beaches, sugarcane fields and banana plantations.