Cape Verde in
January

The archipelago of Cape Verde is found off the coast of Senegal and is made up of ten different islands that range from luxury beach resort destinations to rugged havens for wildlife. You can guarantee beautifully warm weather whatever time you visit this part of the world, and many of the islands remain relatively undiscovered holiday destinations for the moment.

January is a perfect time to visit Cape Verde, as you can enjoy very pleasant temperatures and practically no chance of rain. Whether you’re looking to surf, party, hike or just relax, these beautiful islands offer everything that a winter traveller could wish for. 

Reasons to visit Cape Verde in January

  • Cape Verde is one of the driest places in the world, and you’re incredibly unlikely to have any wet weather when you visit
  • Weather conditions in January are perfect for surfing, which is great if you’re a water sport enthusiast
  • Despite being Cape Verde’s coldest month, January is still incredibly warm and is a brilliant location for those hoping for some winter sunshine

Weather in Cape Verde in January

Sal Cape Verde

January is the coldest month of the year in Cape Verde, but this does not mean you’ll experience freezing temperatures. Many visitors to the island in January will find weather conditions to be very agreeable, making it a brilliant place to visit if you’re after an escape from the winter cold.

Temperature

Average daily temperatures across the islands of Cape Verde can reach 26°C in January, with a relatively strong, warm wind that keeps it from feeling overwhelmingly hot. The average low temperature is 19°C, which means that the evenings are still quite warm and often only require another light layer to stay comfortable. 

Sea Temperature

The average sea temperature around the islands of Cape Verde in January is 23°C, which most people will find a pleasant temperature for swimming. Surfing and windsurfing are particularly popular at this time of year, and you’ll be very warm if you’re out in the water in a wetsuit. 

Clouds and Rainfall

There are only an average of three days of rain in Cape Verde in January, so if you’re lucky you’ll only encounter dry and sunny weather. Most days won’t be particularly overcast, so you should have clear blue skies for the majority of your stay.

Sunshine Hours

Sunrise is at 7 am most days on the islands of Cape Verde, with the sun setting later after 6 pm as the month draws on. There are 6 hours of bright sunshine a day across Cape Verde, so get out there and enjoy it whilst it lasts!

Where to go in Cape Verde in January

São Vincente

Santo Antão

The summer rains transform a lot of Cape Verde’s more rugged islands into lush, green paradises in January, offering a great contrast of scenery to beach islands such as Sal. Santo Antão is relatively untouched by tourism, making it a brilliant island to visit if you are searching for adventure and incredible hiking opportunities. 

As well as stunning hills and mountains, you can also explore the wild coast of Santo Antão with a road trip that lets you stop and soak up the scenery to your heart’s content. Accommodation here isn’t as grand as the luxury holiday resorts you’ll find elsewhere in the archipelago, but you’ll get a much more authentic feel for the area. 

São Vicente

If you’re looking for beaches to enjoy Cape Verde’s glorious weather, but don’t fancy sharing the sand with boatloads of tourists, then the island of São Vicente is a great place to visit. This is the cultural capital of Cape Verde, with a brilliant range of art and music available to enjoy in the city of Mindelo as well as very lively nightlife.

You’ll find beautiful white sand beaches in the southeast and southwest of the island, perfect for sunbathing or taking a relaxing dip in the ocean. There are also mountains and valleys to explore if you want to see more of São Vicente’s scenery, making it an island with a little bit of everything on offer.

Things to do in Cape Verde in January

Surfing

Go Surfing

Cape Verde is known as one of the best places to surf in the world, with January and February renowned as being the best months to enjoy the watersport. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or totally new to the sport, you can experience the warm water and brilliant waves that are found around the coasts of all of the islands, with Sal being the most popular destination for surfing fans. 

Try Island-Hopping

The ten different islands that make up the nation of Cape Verde have a huge range of sights and activities to offer every traveller, and often visiting just one location doesn’t feel like quite enough. If you want to experience the variety of scenery and culture that spans Cape Verde’s locations, consider an island-hopping holiday where you sail between some or all of the islands, spending a few days on each. 

Enjoy a Hike

The island of Santa Antao is known as the best place in Cape Verde to go hiking, but all of the islands have a variety of different terrain and scenery that offer the perfect setting for a hike. With trails suitable for hiking novices and more complex routes for those who are ready to test their endurance, January is a brilliant time to get out in nature and explore the marvellous landscape of Cape Verde on foot. 

Crowds & costs

Cape Verde is a year-round destination, but January tends to be a pretty quiet time across almost all of the islands. If you’re looking for a good deal at one of the popular holiday resorts then this is a great time to snap one up, although prices will still be quite high around the start of the month when many tourists are still on their Christmas holidays.

The only reason that Cape Verde gets busy in January is because of the brilliant conditions for surfing, so you might find that some beaches can get quite busy at times when the conditions are good for the sport. The island of Sal is known as being one of the best surfing destinations in the world, so expect this part of Cape Verde to be busier than most in January.

Frequently asked questions about Cape Verde in January

Is Cape Verde windy in January?

January is a pretty windy time of year in Cape Verde, which is what makes it such a popular month for watersports such as surfing. Temperatures are still quite warm however, and the air temperature is particularly pleasant when you are out of the wind. 

Is Cape Verde expensive to visit?

If you are travelling to a holiday resort on an island such as Sal or Boa Vista, then visiting Cape Verde can be quite expensive. However, the lesser-known islands in the archipelago are much cheaper to visit, so if you’re travelling on a budget then you should consider one of these destinations. 

Summary

Cape Verde is still a holiday destination that is growing in popularity, and the more rural islands in particular offer a brilliantly quiet and blissful experience for those who want to get away from tourist traps and just enjoy a new part of the world. Once you’ve experienced the hospitality of the people, explored the jaw-dropping scenery and soaked up the sunshine, you’ll find yourself wanting to come back to Cape Verde again and again. 

Want to find out more about the top destinations in Africa to visit in July? Read our guides to The Gambia and South Africa, or take a look at our rundown of Where to Go in January.

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