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What you should know before you rent a car

Practical information

Where to rent a car in Cape Verde?

Spread across ten islands forming an archipelago just off Africa's northwest coast, Cape Verde is located in the Atlantic Ocean. Its capital city is Praia, and the nation is famous for its beautiful beaches – such as on the islands of Sal and Boa Vista. Cape Verde's principle international airport is Amílcar Cabral International Airport on the island of Sal. Nelson Mandela International Airport, which is located on Santiago Island, can be found on the same island as the nation's capital. The airport is also known as Praia International Airport. Renting a car in Cape Verde allows travelers the opportunity to discover the nation's beaches and attractions at a leisurely pace, with no need to rely on restrictive schedules. Car rental companies such as Hertz can be found at Nelson Mandela International Airport, while airports on other islands – such as Amílcar Cabral International Airport on the island of Sal, and Boa Vista's Aristides Pereira International Airport - also offer the opportunity to rent a car.

What are the driving rules in Cape Verde?

Cape Verde boasts generally good road conditions, and with few cars on the roads traffic isn't likely to be an issue for those traveling by car around the archipelago. In Cape Verde, drive on the right hand side of the road and be aware that children under the age of 12 years old are prohibited from sitting in the front of the car. In urban areas of Cape Verde, the speed limit is usually 50km/h. On the highway, it's a little lower than in a number of other countries at just 80km/h (or 50mph) - so be sure to stick to the speed limit when driving in Cape Verde. Hotels and resorts in Cape Verde often provide parking, while parking spaces can also be found at airports across the archipelago. With its quiet roads and lower speed limit, taking a road trip around Cape Verde makes for a relaxing, leisurely experience.

Road trips in Cape Verde

An archipelago of ten small islands, taking a road trip in Cape Verde is a relaxing experience which allows visitors to see all their chosen island has to offer. Discover beaches, culture and seaside towns on a road trip around these three islands in Cape Verde.

Santiago Island

Home to Cape Verde's capital city of Praia, as well as Nelson Mandela International Airport, Santiago is the largest island on the archipelago of Cape Verde. In Praia, relax on beaches such as Gamboa and Quebra Canela, before exploring attractions such as the city's main square of Praça Alexandre Albuquerque. As a small island, much of Santiago can be explored by rental car in a short space of time - meaning visitors can see as much, or as little, as they wish! The town of Cidade Velha, for example, is just under 10 miles from Praia by road, and is known for its history and heritage. It's the oldest settlement in Cape Verde, and home to attractions such as the Forte Real de São Filipe and the Pillory of Cidade Velha.

Sal Island

We begin our road trip through the island of Sal in its capital city of Espargos, where the island's Amílcar Cabral International Airport can be found. Here, rent a car and head south to discover the island's beautiful beaches. Passing through coastal towns and villages such as Murdeira, the road takes visitors to the bustling seaside town of Santa Maria. Along the way, stop off at the Viveiro Botanic Garden – just a three and a half mile drive from Santa Maria. Santa Maria itself is a bustling seaside town filled with resorts and ocean views. While in Santa Maria, be sure to visit the Weigh House, where salt was weighed during the town's time as a salt trading city, before hitting Kite Beach for sunbathing and kite surfing.

Boa Vista

The island of Boa Vista is one of Cape Verde's eastern airports. Home to the busy Aristides Pereira International Airport, the island's small size makes it easy to explore by rental car. The town of Sal Rei is the largest on the island of Boa Vista, and can be found on its north west coast. Take a walk around town, before heading off to relax on the island's many beautiful beaches. Just over seven miles by road from Sal Rei, and just under six miles from the airport, the beach of Praia da Atalanta is home to the shipwreck of the Spanish cargo ship, Cabo Santa Maria - a popular attraction in Cape Verde. Also on Boa Vista, don't miss a visit to beaches including Chaves Beach, Praia de Santa Mónica, and Varandinha Beach.

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