The Best Resorts in Cape Verde

Come for the enviable surroundings, stay for the exceptional gastronomy and endless activities
Come for the enviable surroundings, stay for the exceptional gastronomy and endless activities | © imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo
Glynis Horning

Can’t place Cape Verde? Few can, that’s the beauty of it. This cluster of 10 small islands off the Senegal coast was thrust out of the mid-Atlantic by volcanic force and lay uninhabited for aeons. Today, it’s home to a selection of resorts sitting serenely in year-round tropical sun, lapped happily by azure sea and fine sand – an unpretentious, unspoilt alternative to the Caribbean.

1. Meliá Llana Beach Resort and Spa


Melia Llana Beach Resort & Spa
Courtesy of Meliá Llana Beach Resort and Spa /

Billed as an “adults-only paradise right on the beach,” it lives up to the promise with massive beds in sleek contemporary suites – the best have terraces on which you can savour the celebrated Cape Verde sunsets. Add a maze of turquoise water features lined with loungers, and attentive but discreet staff who take special requests with equanimity (another pillow? Gluten-free meal? Spa massage for two?), and you’re in heaven.

2. Royal Horizons Boa Vista


Royal Horizons Boa Vista
Courtesy of Royal Horizons Boa Vista /

Coral pink and sunset orange, the flat-roofed buildings of this vibrantly African resort bloom like the tropical shrubs in the gardens. Spend your days swimming, cycling the island and aquabiking, and your nights at beach braais (barbecue-style grill) beneath the stars, dancing to DJs at the Senegalese disco bar or watching the Ballet Royal Horizon Boa Vista dancers.

3. Iberostar Club Boavista


Iberostar Club Boavista12
Courtesy of Iberostar Club Boavista /

When palm trees grow on islands in the middle of vast turquoise swimming pools, you know you are on what locals call the Island of Happiness. Other reasons to be happy at this resort: the kids club activities to occupy the wee ones while you unwind at the first-class spa, and the four-course tasting menus for both you and the kids at the literally named Gourmet Restaurant.

4. Meliá Tortuga Beach


Melia Tortuga Beach
Courtesy of Meliá Tortuga Beach /

More island village than resort, Meliá Tortuga Beach has white-walled, orange-tiled villas set in vast gardens. It also has four pools and a magnificent beach studded with thatched umbrellas, where you can breakfast, lunch and dine, should you choose. And who wouldn’t? While at it, check out the different workshops, dance classes and health activities on offer. Or don’t. Just chill.

5. Meliá Dunas Beach Resort and Spa


Melia Dunas Beach Resort & Spa
Courtesy of Meliá Dunas Beach Resort and Spa /

Meliá Dunas offers not just swimming pools and sea, but a water park and fountains, where you and the children can unwind before retreating to the calm of your villa. If you’re child-free, spring for the the Level Presidential Suite, with a king-size four-poster, walk-in closet and lounge, and a stunning sea view from the whirlpool bathtub on the terrace. It’s just the place to toast the day, before exploring Indian, island or Mediterranean fusion cuisine at the resort restaurants.

6. Sol Dunas

Resort, Chain Hotel

Sol Dunas
Courtesy of Sol Dunas /

With a curved white facade, Sol Dunas looks more like a spaceship than a resort, taking you to an island escape with four shimmering pools above a postcard beach. There are many bars and three restaurants to choose from, but look no further than Spices, serving an international buffet with a piquant edge. It has a show cooking zone and outside terrace overlooking a pool, where you can linger under the stars and dream.

7. Club Hotel Riu Funana

Resort, Chain Hotel

Club Hotel Riu Funana1
Courtesy of Club Hotel Riu Funana /

Riu Funana could be a lost African kingdom, with arches, carvings, a clay-coloured exterior and 550 rooms. Not that you’ll spend much time in the latter, with endless water and art activities on site, and nearby attractions such as the abandoned mining town of Pedra de Lume (shades of Indiana Jones) and the Blue Eye natural pool and caves of Buracona Bay, carved out of volcanic rock by the ocean.

8. Hotel Riu Karamboa

Resort, Chain Hotel

Hotel Riu Karamboa
Courtesy of Hotel Riu Karamboa /

This gleaming hotel rising from the lunar-like landscape of Boa Vista island has an Arabian charm, with tiled domes floating above the aquamarine water of swimming pools and the sea. Beaches here are among the best in Cape Verde, and at Ilhéu de Sal Rei (Salt Islet) you can visit the fortress of the Duke of Bragança, with cannons that once kept pirates at bay. This is snorkelling and scuba-diving heaven, with rich coral communities and a dream of pirate treasure.

9. Hotel Riu Touareg

Resort, Chain Hotel

Hotel Riu Touareg
Courtesy of Hotel Riu Touareg /

The sands of this starkly lovely desert area join those of the pale beach, creating a striking setting for a five-star hotel named for the Tuareg people who once controlled the caravan trade routes of the Sahara, just across the ocean. They and their camels would be astonished at this oasis, with a freshwater pool, three saltwater ones, a jacuzzi, hammam and spa, and restaurants servicing delicacies of the region with international flavours.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,656 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article