Baia das Gatas is the name of a beautiful natural bay, a small town where the internationally famous music festival takes place. It is located 8 km east from the city of Mindelo, the capital of the island. The name of the bay derives from a type of shark called Gata. Baia das Gatas is a huge natural swimming pool.
In the city of Mindelo you can find a rare development and prosperity due to Porto Grande, which serves as a stopover for transatlantic ships.
Mindelo is the result of two major influences, the Portuguese and the British. We can highlight the Governor's Palace, two-story building, very well preserved in the colonial style, the City Hall, the little Church`s square, the Avenue with the replica of the Belem Tower of Lisbon, the Fortim d'el Rey, the oldest existing building in Mindelo with a superb panoramic view over the city and the bay, the Market where, in addition to, the vegetables, meat and fish, you can also find another type of articles, the Fish Market and the National Handicraft Centre.
The city has a bustling nightlife. The meeting point is “Praça Nova”. From there you can discover the richness of the Cape Verdian music – coladeras, mornas and funaná.
São Pedro is a fishing village located 10km south west of the city of Mindelo. São Pedro has a huge beach with turquoise waters. The landscape is arid and steady winds make it an internationally renowned beach for windsurfing. The village is small and with colourful houses. In the area of San Pedro you can find Monte Cara, an elevation with 490 meters high, in front of the city of Mindelo, which was given its name due to a resemblance to a human face looking at the sky. Is the ex libris of the city.
Calhau is a small fishing village on the east coast, 22 km far from the city of Mindelo. It belongs to the area of Ribeira de Calhau and has a beach and a small fishing port in the bay of the same name. In days of good visibility you can see from there the uninhabited island of Santa Luzia.
Between Mindelo and Baia das Gatas, there is Monte Verde, the highest point of the island which is 700 meters high. Although the road conditions are good, the most adventurous can always try and climb to the top of the mountain.