Where to windsurf in Cape Verde?

windsurfer on the spot in front of ION CLUB Sal Cape Verde

Where to windsurf in Cape Verde?

Well off of the coast of Senegal the Cape Verde archipelago is full of windsurfing spots. It’s dreamy locations to perfect your favourite manoeuvres, and unforgettable moments to spend on the water on your windsurf board. Let the magic of Cape Verde’s beaches and waters sweep you off of your feet in the winter … you won’t regret it!

How do I get to Cape Verde?

Several airlines offer flights from Europe almost every day, such as TAP (Air Portugal) or TACV (Cape Verdean airline). Some charters also take you there directly. But often you must take the complete package offered by the travel agencies (flight, hotels, and transfers). Don’t forget your passport as it is compulsory and it must be valid for 6 months after the date of return from your holiday.

Although many flights are not direct. You can often make a stopover in Lisbon on the same day, or you can go through some of the Cape Verdean islands. This could be an opportunity to visit places other than your final destination, and meet the locals and speak a bit of Portuguese.


Well off of the coast of Senegal the Cape Verde archipelago is full of windsurfing spots, dreamy locations to perfect your favourite manoeuvres, and unforgettable moments to spend on the water on your windsurf board.

What are the must-see windsurfing spots in Cape Verde?

Three islands are known and recognized in Cape Verde for windsurfing

Sao Vicente island

Sao Vicente, in the northwest of the archipelago, has probably the most obvious slalom spot named Sao Pedro. A smooth and very windy stretch of water awaits you. As the wind is often close to 30-35 knots offshore, care should be taken to not overestimate your skill level, and here knowing how to jibe and/or tack is a must. Even though a windsurfing club is on site and open part of the year, it would be a shame to end your session on their safety boat!

Boa Vista island

Much further east in Cape Verde you will discover Boa Vista, the island with the longest beaches in paradise. Several windsurfing spots are accessible to all, and also supervised on the whole northwest coast of the island, around the small town of Sal Rei. Slalom, freeride, bump and jump and even waves at times –  in short a vast programme to satisfy every type of windsurfer.

Again, there are a few water sports centres on the beaches south of Sal Rei if you wish to take lessons or hire equipment under supervision. The wind is generally side-shore or even side-off, blowing between 15 and 25 knots. Some clubs offer boat drop-offs at wave spots near the beautiful Santa Monica beach as access by car is not recommended.

Sal island

Finally, the popularity of the island of Sal, in the north-east of the archipelago, is now well known. It has become famous thanks to the windsurfing champions in the 90’s where the World Wave Cup took place, or the Windsurf Trilogy in 1997 with its famous spot Ponta Preta in the south of the island. Ponta Preta is reserved for the experts owing to its big and fast reef waves.

Don’t worry, there is plenty of surfing elsewhere in Sal, mainly in Santa Maria which is a fishing village only a few kilometres from Ponta Preta, and just twenty minutes from the airport. There are two spots here that are suitable for any windsurfer who wants to have great fun and, above all, be comfortable, as they are exposed spots on sand. Freestylers and freeriders, it’s up to you to show off your windsurfing skills! 

Ponta Leme Spot in Sal

Starting with the beach of Ponta Leme, east of the village centre and the Bay of Santa Maria. The water here is less affected by buildings and the side-shore wind is more regular and stronger than in the city. On the beach of Ponta Leme you will find the ION CLUB Ponta Leme with a wide range of windsurfing equipment from Fanatic, Duotone and Ion.

It is important to ask the centre for information about the spot, even if it is easy to access. Beware of the small shore break present on certain days in winter. The access can be tricky with the sea floor dropping rapidly, so if you don’t know how to water start and you always uphaul your sail, you are advised to take a windsurfing course at the ION CLUB, which has been in place since the end of the 1980s.

Santa Maria Spot in Sal

There is a second centre on the main beach of Santa Maria, about 15 minutes walk away, which only offers windsurfing lessons for beginners and windsurf rental for small conditions, as the beach is windy at the shoreline.

Sal has many other hidden treasures for windsurfing enthusiasts. It’s easy to hire a car, load up your quiver and head to Ponta Sino, opposite Ponta Leme on the south coast, just a few kilometres away.

Or why not kite beach? Don’t get me wrong, the spot is also ideal for windsurfers but the wind is often lighter than in Ponta Leme. As for the wave riders, head further north on the west coast to Secret or Ali Baba, two magnificent wave spots for those who love swell and action. The wind blows side-off on rocks.


windsurfer on the beach in front of ION CLUB Sal Cape Verde

What are the windsurfing conditions in Cape Verde?

The ideal season for windsurfing is from October or even November to May-June. In the summer it is unlikely to have good windy conditions. From one island to another, the wind will be stronger, especially on Sao Vicente.

However, most of the time the dry north-easterly wind is lighter on the islands of Sal and Boa Vista, around 20-25 knots, mainly in the afternoon. For a 100% windsurfing holiday, opt for February or March, when the wind blows more often.

As you can see, the most popular and supervised spots in Cape Verde are accessible to all levels of windsurfers as well as to different disciplines such as freestyle and freeride. Whether Ponta Leme in Sal, Sal Rei in Boa Vista or even Sao Pedro in Sao Vicente, you will be watched over and looked after by the windsurfing centres. You’ll be sailing with peace of mind, unless you want to try out the wave spots, which can reach a considerable height.

Why will you have a good windsurfing holiday in Cape Verde?

The archipelago of Cape Verde not only offers a multitude of windsurfing, kitesurfing and surfing spots, but also beaches of exceptional beauty, and mountains that would make even the greatest hikers jealous, especially on the island of Santo Antao.

Scuba diving, surfing, kitesurfing, quad biking, swimming in the 23-24° water. The air temperature is pleasant all year round and rarely drops below 20° in the evening. In winter, it is more difficult to find islands or other countries that rival Cape Verde with their high temperatures.

Ten hours is the time it usually takes to get from London to the island of Sal or Boa Vista, including a stopover in Lisbon. If you want to go windsurfing this winter, this is certainly the right destination for you.


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