The exotic island that's 5 hours from UK & has cheaper winter sun holidays than Spain | The Sun

A HOLIDAY abroad is the best way to escape the cold UK winter, but trying to choose where to go can be difficult.

And there is a stunning exotic island that is just hours away that is always hot in the winter – and it is cheaper than Spain.

Why Cape Verde?

Cape Verde is found off the coast of Africa, meaning you can expect great weather all year round.

Rarely dropping below 24C, even in December and January the average temperature remains around 25C to 27C.

Between November and April is the best time to visit Cape Verde, with almost guaranteed sunshine making it an ideal winter sun destination.

It's not much further to travel than the Canary Islands either.

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All-inclusive winter sun hols in Cape Verde from £616pp – just 5 hours on plane

Enjoy sun, sea, and lots of sand in the Cape Verde islands

The flight time from Cape Verde to London Heathrow is 5 hours and 32 minutes, and with good headwind you could cut that further.

What are the best Cape Verde holiday deals?

TUI is the only UK operator offering direct flights, and you can fly from London Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham.

There are some bargain deals right now, with all-inclusive package holidays from £696pp for a week with return flights, working out to £99pp a night.

Another great deal we've found is a week-long stay at the Hotel Riu Touareg in Boa Vista, costing from £769pp.

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The deal works out at £109pp a night on an all-inclusive basis, meaning all your food, drinks and snacks are all accounted for.

What is Cape Verde like?

Cape Verde is often called "Africa’s answer to the Caribbean" with a number of islands to choose from.

Two of the islands are most popular with tourists – Sal and Boa Vista.

Sal is the most popular with most of the large hotel resorts found along the beaches that are popular with surfers.

Outside of the resorts is the town of Santa Maria, with tourist facilities and restaurants serving seafood and Portuguese-influenced cuisine.

There is the fresh seafood at Americos or LobStar restaurant on the main strip, as well as the Palm Beach restaurant, which serves dishes of grilled tuna with mango and caramelised onions as well as fruity cocktails.

Or, if Italian grub is more to your taste, head to the excellent Leonardo’s nearby, which is run by a chef from ­Sardinia.

If you want cheap drinks, then you can find cocktails for as little as £2.50 at beach bar Ola Brasil next to the pier.

Boa Vista is also popular with a number of Blue Flag beaches, and is much less touristy.

Animal fans can see loggerhead turtles laying their eggs on the beach during the hatching season, and it is one of the best places to see humpback whales as well.

The sand dunes, often likened to the Sahara, are popular with adventure sports fans who can rent 4X4s to drive through them.

What else do I need to know about Cape Verde?

While most hotel staff will speak English, the local language is Portuguese.

There is just one hour time difference, with the UK an hour ahead.

The currency is Cape Verdean escudo (CVE) – £10 is around 1255 escudo.

There are currently no Covid restrictions and Brits can stay in Cape Verde for up to 30 days without a visa.

However, your passport must have at least six months left on it on arrival to Cape Verde.

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You will also need to fill in a Traveller Pre-Registration form.

Sun Online Travel recently traveled to Cape Verde – here is what you can expect from a holiday to the islands.

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