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Santa Maria Holidays

On the island of Sal in Cape Verde, a collection of islands off the west coast of Africa, Santa Maria is a charming resort on the south coast. This colorful town is home to a stunning 8km long white sand beach and its cobbled streets are lined with surf shops, bars and restaurants serving tasty Portuguese and African inspired food. Check out our range of Santa Maria holidays and start planning your next getaway today!

27 °C

The climate is tropical and temperatures range from 24°C to 30°C all year round. 

3 hours

Amilcar Cabral International Airport (SID) is around 17km north of Santa Maria.

Book a cheap holiday to Santa Maria with Airtours and discover beautiful beaches, top dive sites and wonderful water sports. Whether you’re going as a family, group or couple, you’ll find great deals on All Inclusive and Self Catering breaks.

Featured holidays in Santa Maria:

Hotel Pontao

7 Nights, Bed & Breakfast
Hotel highlights

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 184 reviews

What is included ?

  • 15kgs Standard Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • Resort service
  • Return Transfers

smartline Crioula

7 Nights, All Inclusive
Hotel highlights

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 1791 reviews

Reviews
Based on 8 reviews

What is included ?

  • 15kgs Standard Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • Resort service
  • Return Transfers

Oasis Belorizonte

7 Nights, All Inclusive
Hotel highlights

TripAdvisor Traveller rating

Based on 1618 reviews

Reviews
Based on 6 reviews

What is included ?

  • 15kgs Standard Luggage Allowance
  • ATOL Protection
  • Resort service
  • Return Transfers

There's plenty to keep you occupied in Santa Maria, from kicking back on the stunning white sand beach to tucking into fresh fish at one of the beachfront restaurants. If you’re the active type, there are water sports galore including a thriving kite surfing and windsurfing scene and some spectacular dive sites. You can be as lazy or active as you wish here, all while enjoying the blend of Portuguese and African cultures. 

Santa Maria's 8km long sandy beach has turquoise waters and is the resort's main attraction. Loungers and umbrellas dot the sand and although it's Sal's busiest beach spot, you won't see the kind of crowds that flock to traditional resorts on the Mediterranean. In the evening, you'll find restaurants serving local specialities like catchupa stew (a slow cooked soup with corn, sweet potato and fish or meat). 

The sun shines all year round in Santa Maria and the sea temperature hits 27°C in August so you’ll probably want to hit the water even if it's just for a paddle. If you love activities, try your hand at a spot of windsurfing, kite surfing or normal surfing. The wind conditions are at their best between December and May, or you could head underwater to explore the area’s ancient shipwrecks and tropical reef fish.

Explore Sal in a 4x4 vehicle and check out some of the island's natural treasures including the desert areas, the sparkling Buracona Lagoon and the salt lakes of Pedra de Lume. You can even go horse riding on the beach in Santa Maria; plan an evening trip to take advantage of the stunning sunset. Regular boat trips depart from Santa Maria and sail the coastline, often stopping at lovely points for a spot of bathing. 

Santa Maria is best for

Beach lovers - You're spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a patch of sand in Santa Maria. The town is home to a stunning 8km long white sand beach.

Watersports fans - Take your pick from windsurfing, kite surfing and regular surfing. You'll also find top dive sites dotted around the shoreline.

Active travellers - Sign up for an off road guided tour of Sal in a 4x4 or, go horse riding on the beach or board a catamaran to explore the pretty coastline.


Fast Facts

Language: Portuguese is the official language, although Creole (a mix of African and European languages) is used in conversation and can differ from island to island.

Currency: Cape Verde Escudo (CVE). Some major locations such as hotels and airports may also accept Euros.

Local Time: One hour behind GMT/UK time.

Fly To: Amilcar Cabral International Airport (SID), around 17km north of Santa Maria.

Flight Time from the UK: Approximately 5 hours 30 minutes from London.

Tourist Information: Further tourist information on Santa Maria can be found at http://www.capeverde.com/.

Visa and Health: Before you travel to Santa Maria with Airtours visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/cape-verde for help and advice on visa requirements and health considerations for your holiday.  


Weather and climate

Temperature: Around 24°C to 30°C all year round.

Best time to visit Santa Maria: Santa Maria is a year round destination that gets between 6 and 9 hours of sunshine each day. You're unlikely to see rain for nine months of the year and even in the wet season between August and October, the rainfall is low. September is the hottest month of the year when temperatures are in the low 30s. 


Getting around

By Train: There aren’t any rail networks on any of the islands in Cape Verde.  

By Taxi: Taxis are easy to find in Santa Maria and are generally cheap. Always agree on a price first so you don’t get overcharged. Most drivers speak English.

By Boat: Ferries and catamarans connect some (but not all) of the islands. Some crossings can be rocky, especially in the winter months, and services can often be delayed.

By Hire Car: Hire cars can be booked in advance or when you arrive.

By Bus: The local 'alguers' buses are the cheapest way to get around. They're more like vans or trucks than buses and are kitted out with benches. They pick up people at unmarked stops and drop them off on request. 


Events

For something cultural: The Santa Maria festival takes place every September and celebrates the island's communities with a series of music events. You'll also find food and drink stalls right on the beach.

For music fans: On the island of São Vicente (a 50 minute flight away), the Baía das Gatas festival is a three day celebration of Cape Verde's music scene, which features a number of different styles including morna folk music. It takes place every August over a full moon weekend and is dubbed 'Africa's Woodstock'.

For dancers: Inspired by Brazilian carnivals, the Creole Carnival takes place in February on the island of São Vicente (a 50 minute flight away), where Mindelo's streets are filled with colorful street parades, dancing and celebrating


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