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  
Mindelo is famous for its be­auty, well  
pre­ser­ved colonial archi­tec­ture, hos­pi­
tality of its inha­bi­tan­ts, the nos­­­­tal­­gic  
atmosphere of Porto Gran­­de and  
many other attractive as­­­pe­cts that ma­
ke 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 im­
por­tant 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 Handi­cra­fts 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 im­por­­tant 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!