SAL is one of the islands belonging to the Barlavento (Windward) group of the Cape Verde Islands. It is one of the smallest inhabited islands, stretching over 30 km in length and 12 km wide from east to west, about 50 km from Boa Vista Island, its nearest neighbor.
Sal Island has a total area of 216 sq km, with about 14,800 inhabitants. It is one of the three islands in the archipelago of Cape Verde that share very similar physical characteristics, the other two being Boa Vista and Maio Island.
• Proximity to the African continent, which makes them vulnerable to hot, dry winds that carries desert sand from the Sahara every year causing a haze.
• Extreme flatness in spite of its volcanic origin – the lack of mountains to condense the humidity makes it a very dry island where the vegetation is sparse.
• Extensive white sandy beaches, carried in by winds from the Sahara desert, which is of particular interest to tourists.
• Presence of natural and artificial salt which, in the case of Sal, gave the island its name.
• Presence of natural rock pools, especially the one called Buracona on the west coast of the island. SAL (salt in English) used to produce all the salt for the Portuguese empire.
Vila dos Espargos is the capital city with almost 6,000 in population. Santa Maria in the south is the main tourist center and the second largest town of the island, offering good hotel infrastructure. Windsurfers flock to Sal for the outstanding conditions it offers for windsurfing competitions at Ponta Preta. Divers are equally marveled by the caves, tunnels and reefs.
The Island of Sal is the most popular tourist destination of Cape Verde. Its excellent hotel chains are responsible for more than 50% of tourist nights spent in the archipelago. Being flat, the island is ideal to hold the main airport of the archipelago, with many arrival and departure flights from several international carriers, using the Amilcar Cabral international Airport (SID international code) located in the center of the island and close to the town of Asparagus. Definitely a great place for your Cape Verde Holidays.