Sitting in the Atlantic Ocean, 500km from Senegal, the islands of Cabo Verde are waiting to be discovered.
Sal was discovered by the Portuguese in 1640, and named Llana, meaning ‘flat’. It was not until the discovery of salt, at the Pedra de Lume, that it took the Portuguese name Sal. Salt collection was central to the economy of Sal until very recently. Prior to the salt industry, the island of Sal was primarily used by residents from neighbouring Boa Vista for cattle grazing.
Sal is one of the ‘Barlavento’ or Windward islands and although it is volcanic in origin, constant erosion has left it flat and dry. The climate is invariably hot and arid. There is little rain fall, making it perfect for sun-seekers all year round. However, this does make the landscape pretty barren and not too much vegetation grows across the island. Most fruits and vegetables have to be imported from the other islands and further afield.
The seas around the islands are full of fish and the daily arrival of the fishing boats unloading their catch at the Town Pier in Santa Maria is a must-see.
The island measures around 30km long and 12km wide and the highest peak of Sal island is Monte Grande (The Big Mountain), at just 406m above sea level.