Cabo Verde and Tenerife Cruise – Jan 2022

  • CRUISER: Anna
  • Created: January 16, 0170 10:45 am
  • Last updated: March 19, 2023 11:37 pm
Cruise Types:
Cruise Region: Canary Islands
Cruise Line and Ship: Mein Schiff 3
Cruise Year: 2022
Cruise Month: January
Cruise Duration: 6-8 days

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  • Distance Instructions
  • Distance 10157585 ft
  • Time 774 h 15 min
  • Speed 2 mph
  • Min altitude -15449 ft
  • Peak 2992 ft
  • Climb 33146 ft
  • Descent 44016 ft

View all photos from this cruise by Anna and Gary

Cabo Verde and Tenerife

Our seventeenth cruise was the second of a back to back where we started in the Canary Islands and cruised to the Islands of Cabo Verde off the coast of Senegal in West Africa before going back to Spain for a photoshoot on Las Teresitas Beach in Tenerife.

1. Port #1 - Tenerife Canary Islands

Altitude: 820 ft
Port Rating

Tenerife is an amazing island for a vacation with near perfect year-round weather and some of the most unique beaches you will ever find.

We arrived on the island one week before the first cruise of this back to back, and we returned here on this day which in essence marked the start of our Cabo Verde cruise, the second of the back to back.  

Despite being an island with which we are very familiar, having been here on several occasions, Tenerife just never gets stale.  The sea is like that cherished bottle of your favorite wine getting better with every passing day and the island atmosphere makes you feel like life is really worth living every single day. It's a place where there are beautiful bodies strewn accross all the beaches, and smiles gracing the sidewalks everywhere you go. And for those who like adventure, paragliders are always lighting up the skies while swimmers are snorkling in the ocean - the kind of contrast that makes your beach vacation options all encompassing. For more on Tenerife feel free to browse our previous cruise.

2. Port #2 - Mindelo, Sao Vincente Cabo Verde

Altitude: 0 ft

We started our day by exploring the city center by foot, walking past the many colorful buildings and businesses through the marina area and to the Cultural Center, Câmara Municipal de São Vicente (the City Hall) and Belem Tower, a replica of the famous Portuguese name twin. We spent some time at the Palácio do Povo (= People’s Palace), the former governor’s mansion, which now hosting a long term art exhibition dedicated to Cabo Verde’s late musician and national hero Cesária Évora. The exhibit is curated by Évora’s family and friends and lovingly hosts countless photos, records and memorabilia of the “Queen of morna”, the country’s traditional music style. The center of Mindelo is very comfortable to walk around in and since it’s fairly small can easily be visited in a 2 hour time period. The city is also famous for its relaxed cafes and bistros as well as its music performances and nightlife, however, since we were there on a Sunday it was much more quiet and most businesses were closed.

We proceeded to walk back around noon and stopped at the ship for lunch since it was on the way to the beach any way. 

In the early afternoon we took off again and walked to Praia da Laginha, Mindelo’s amazing half moon shaped city beach (a must-see for anyone visiting the city). We spent the rest of our time relaxing here and swimming in the gorgeous turquoise blue water. There were lots of locals enjoying a beach break, and other than cruise ship passengers there didn’t seem to be any tourists around.  

Our ship left the port around 7.30 pm with beautiful views of the island landscape around us. 

3. Port #3 - Praia, Santiago Cabo Verde

Altitude: 0 ft

Praia, Santiago, Cabo Verde 

Praia is the capital of Santiago Island, the largest island of Cabo Verde and where half the country’s population lives. There’s lots to see and we wanted to visit as much of the island as possible. 

Because of COVID-19 and our general preference for individualized travel and exploring we arranged for a personal vehicle and guide to take us around the island for 6 hours, visiting destinations that we had researched and pre-arranged. 6 hours sounds like a lot but given the size of the island and significant distances between locations it is definitely necessary and we actually ended up taking 7.5 hours to complete the journey. 

Our driver met us at the port and we started our tour with Cidade Velha (= old city in Portuguese), the oldest settlement in Cape Verde and a UNESCO heritage site. Founded in 1492, this bustling town still has its original street layout and impressive remains like the Fort Real de São Filipe, a fortress overlooking the downtown area of Cidade Velha and the Nossa Senhora do Rosário church. 

My favorite part was the Rua Banana (= banana street), a cute winding cobble stoned street lined with stone houses, palm trees and as the name suggests, banana plants. It was the first ever road build in Cabo Verde and has remained as is.

Afterwards we drove through the mountains to Assomada, the second biggest in Santiago / Såo Tiago. The city is right in the center of the island surrounded by mountains but since it’s located on a high plateau you can still see the ocean around it. We visited some of the city’s lively markets and observe regular town life. 

We continued our tour through Serra Malagueta, an absolutely breathtaking mountain range and national park, all the way to the city of Tarrafal in the northern tip of the island. Tarrafal is the third biggest city on Santiago. Here you’ll also find the best beach on the island and plenty of fishing boats arriving with their latest catch. This area is also home to an important historic site - the Tarrafal concentration camp. Built by the Portuguese dictator Antonio de Oliveira Salazar in 1933, this camp housed political prisoners and Africans rebelling against colonial rule in Cabo Verde, Angola, and Guinea-Bissau. They were held here until independence in 1975. Eventually, the Tarrafal Concentration Camp was turned into a museum, the Museu da Resistência, displaying photos, plaques, and artifacts. We visited the camp (the entrance fee is very reasonable - 2 Euros per person) and had the whole site to ourselves. 

From Tarrafal we took the coastal road back to Praia and the port. It it quite a bit of distance between the two and took a 2+ hour scenic drive back. We had paid extra for the luxury of a personal driver but felt extremely happy as we were able to see the entire island (something no other ship organized tour accomplished) and without losing time or independence as is the case during a big tour. 


4. Port #4 - Tenerife Canary Islands Spain

Altitude: -89 ft

Once we were back in Tenerife, we grabed a rental car and headed for Las Teresitas, our favorite beach on the island for a photoshoot. 

It was an incredible experience, and though the water in the ocean was cold as it is everywhere in January and there was Sahara dust in the air, the sun was still out in all its glory and the day was gorgeous.  Our expert photographer was from Germany. He guided us through an amazing day, taking shots from all angles against the backdrop of a picturesque ocean, and in the end he took what we thought were some of the most beautiful photos as we basked in the sun sea and sand.  We hope you enjoy a sample of the shots which we are able to share here with you.

View all photos from this cruise by Anna and Gary

Cabo Verde and Tenerife

Our seventeenth cruise was the second of a back to back where we started in the Canary Islands and cruised to the Islands of Cabo Verde off the coast of Senegal in West Africa before going back to Spain for a photoshoot on Las Teresitas Beach in Tenerife.