Welcome to São Vicente
For a break from the city, Mt Verde (750m), the island's highest peak and only touch of green, is an easy day's hike and offers panoramic views.
There are also windy but fine beaches at Baía das Gatas, Calhau and Salamansa. The lovely bay off the latter offers windsurfing and kitesurfing classes – look for the Kitesurf Cabo Verde beach shack (two-hour windsurfing and kitesurfing classes €60 to €80).
Another popular weekend escape is Baía das Gatas, 12km from Mindelo, where you can swim in natural pools and dine in beachfront restaurants. Near the airport is the quaint fishing village of São Pedro, with a pretty beach and harbour.