The desert like landscape of Sal Island does not always create a ‘love at first sight’ situation. But after just a few hours a kind of “seduction game” will begin which is hard to explain. The silky sands of the beaches, the clear emerald green water, the friendliness of the places, excellent hotels and restaurants, the visitor becomes enchanted by everything… a fascination and a sense of well being felt by someone who feels welcome!

Then it just becomes an accumulation of discoveries and making friends that will leave you sad when it is time to depart – “hora di bai” for the natives.

The city of Santa Maria has a wide range of restaurants, bars and souvenir shops, especially on the newly created pedestrian street in the the city centre .

Sal Island has everything to offer for those unforgettable holidays: excellent accomodation, sympathetic service, excellent gastronomy with special mention for the fresh fish caught daily by local fishermen, entertainment, sports like wind and kite surfing, diving, sportfishing, horseback riding, or private relaxing, walks along deserted beaches, amenable and temperate climate, peace, tranquillity, safety total political stability…


Sal Island would have been discovered in 1460 by the Portuguese, as the other eastern islands, lacking its settlement of a definite date. But it is said that before the Portuguese the island was already frequented by Moors due to the salt flats, from which its name comes. It is known, however, that the first inhabitants came from the islands of Boa Vista and São Nicolau and that they were mainly engaged in fishing and cattle raising. The effective settlement of the island was promoted in the late eighteenth century by Manuel António Martins who, appointed its Administrator, began the exploration and export of salt.



Manuel António Martins visits Pedra de Lume and digs the tunnel that leads to the salt flats.


Construction of the Pedra de Lume mooring.


Foundation of the settlement of Santa Maria as an alternative salt extraction centre.


Death of Manuel António Martins, now being the island managed by his wife Maria Josefa Martins.


Beginning of decline in salt trade due to restrictive measures imposed by Brazil, major salt importer.


Reactivation of the salt trade with the installation of Companhia de Fomento de Cabo Verde, substantially marking the physical and human landscape of the island.
Construction of the 1,100-meter-long cable car in Pedra de Lume, transporting 25 tons of salt per hour from the salt pans to the pier.


Ascension of Santa Maria to the category of Villa.


Construction of Sal Airport and development of Espargos village.


Arrival of Belgian couple Gaspard Vynckier and Marguerite Massart who decide to build a holiday home in the village of Santa Maria which, after a few years, would become Santa Maria’s first hotel unit, later called Hotel Morabeza, considered by many to be the cradle of tourism. from Cape Verde.


The island underwent important transformations throughout its physical, urban and human lives.


Beginning of tourism, but it was in the mid-1990s and early millennium that tourism boomed, thus developing sun and beach tourism and also real estate, becoming currently the main economic activity. from the island and one of the main ones in the country.