Sao Vicente

- Island of Poets and Musicians -

Sao Vicente is the island of Cesaria  
Evora, that great artist and inter­pre­ter  
of Cape Verde music. The town of Min­
delo is famous for its be­auty, well pre­
ser­ved colonial archi­tec­ture, hos­pi­tality  
of its inha­bi­tan­ts, the nos­­­­tal­­gic  
atmosphere of Porto Gran­­de and many  
other attractive as­­­pe­cts that ma­ke the  
majority of vi­si­tors to Cape Verde insist  
on seeing or even staying a while in Sao  
Vicen­te.

The Baia das Gatas Festival, held in  
August, is considered the most im­por­
tant music festival held along the  
western coast of Africa. There are also  
those who suggest that the Sao Vicente  
Carnival is like a mini Rio de Janeiro  
Carnival. A visit to the National Handi­
cra­fts Centre, a trip to the Muni­cipal  
Mar­ket place, a drink at the Café Royal  
or Café Lisboa in Rua de Portugal, are  
obligatory points of reference for those  
who visit Min­delo. After, other im­por­­
tant places to be visited are: Calhau,  
Baia das Gatas, Salamansa, Monte  
Verde and the beautiful Sao Pedro  
Bay.
The Sao Vicente Carnival, although celebrated on all the islands, Carnival time is much more lively  
on São Vicente. It reaches out to all social classes and appeals to the creativity and imagination of  
the plastic artists, musicians, composers, fashion designers and tailors… It combines the beauty of  
the queens chosen for their beauty and the rhythm of the dark-skinned belles that make up the  
processions. The tremendous efforts made by the various participating groups have made this  
festival more and more popular, colourful and animated each year. Groups like Space Marvels,  
Adventurers from the North, The Jesters  and others created more recently, have not been able  
to blot out the liveliness and colour of other older groups from the collective memory of the people  
of Mindelo. The Mindelo Carnival has become so important that the Town Council are considering  
creating a museum for the floats and uniforms used in the processions, just so that it doesnt all  
end on the Wednesday.
The nightlife, especially from Thurs­day to Sunday, consists of live music and
makes Mindelo a place of great animation that must not be missed!