The Cape Verde island of Sao Vicente and the City of Mindelo is known to be the capital of culture. The airport is situated near San Pedro and should be ready to receive international flights at the end of 2008.
The flight from Sal to Sao Vicente is direct. The City of Mindelo is only about a 10min drive from the airport by taxi.
October 09 - My most recent trip was made on 12th October 09. A number of links to associated pages set up after this trip will be placed below.
Sept-06: Prior to my first visit to Mindelo I had been warned there was some begging and more thefts in Mindelo than on Sal and told to be careful.
Wrong place, wrong time: I had my shopping snatched out of my hand mid afternoon on the first day. Although this was annoying it could have been a lot worse. The young boy only managed to get away with a carrier bag with a few items of clothing and no-one got hurt. I was lucky and so were my companions. Fortunately my handbag was strapped across me and had more important items in it. If I had carried my handbag normally, just on one shoulder, I may not have been so fortunate.
I did get hassled more so in Mindelo than the other islands I visited, with kids begging for money or food or by some of the street sellers who want you to buy shorts or sunglasses from them. There are other areas that I visited on the island such as the mountains and a few beach areas. Some beaches I visited were of black sand others were white. There is still considerable poverty on the island but there are some affluent properties and new developments popping up.
I have been back to Sao Vicente a few times, not just to Mindelo, but to look at areas on the other side of the island. There is definitely a lot more to the island than what Sal has to offer at the moment.
Mindelo is full of Loja Chinese shops. There were a number Boutiques and more choice as regards restaurants, bars, supermarkets, DIY and furniture stores.
The Mindel hotel provided a good choice for breakfast. It also had a very good restaurant next door where we had some nice evening meals. We found the pizza there to be very good and cheap.
There are a number of good restaurants, check those around Rua de Lisboa, or near the Fruit Market. You may be able to book accommodation at the Mindel Hotel or other hotels more cheaply with a tour operator. I was quoted a price by one tour operator of 55euros B&B for a double room, the tour operator said we needn't pay them for the room and that it would be OK to pay at the hotel. When we went to pay at the hotel they said it was 62 euros.
Port of Mindelo: You can book your Ferry ticket at the relevant office at the port.
You can either book the Catamaran at the booth outside the Port area or at the Moura Company Office near the Football Stadium.
Or check the website :
Leave yourself plenty of time to get the ferry or catamaran if arriving from another island by plane, in case you have been delayed.
Check the timetable for the sea crossings between islands. Also look at the article 'Ferry & Catamaran'. The link on that page will provide you with the timetable for sailings.
Try and be on board at least half an hour before the boat departs.
There is a bar/cafe and a lounge on the ferry where you can obtain refreshments. Alternatively there are some chairs on deck.
There was a refreshment bar on the Autojet, but no-one was allowed on deck during rough seas.I am not sure if this is allowed during calm water sailings.
It takes about an hour to sail across to Porto Novo on Sao Antao on the Armas ferry, 30mins or so on the Autojet.
If you are travelling across the island to Ribeira Grande, make sure you visit the bathroom before setting off in your vehicle as the journey can take about one to one and a half hours from Porto Novo, and there are no stops.