Santiago Island is the largest of the Cape Verde Islands with an area of 991 sq km and is home to half the nation's population. It is also home to the nation’s capital city of Praia which has the biggest urban centre of the country. It is home to one of the islands two international airports as well as being the main port for shipping of coffee, sugar cane and tropical fruits etc. It also has a fishing industry.
Santiago has a lush green landscape which are in huge contrast to the deserts of Sal Island and Boa Vista Island. It is just a 35 minute flight from the northerly islands, but tropical Santiago Island has it all, lush forests, beautiful beaches and increasing the lure of investment property in Cape verde as a whole. There is plenty of potential for businesses as foreign investors have not pushed up the property prices yet.
It was the first of the islands to be settled and the townof Cidade Velha was founded as Riberia Grande in 1462. Praia has a population of 61,644.
The island interior is mountainous and with profound valleys, some with permanent water fountains, and has two main mountain chains: one of them has the highest point of the island at 1392 meters, the Pico d’Antonia, and the other one, the Malagueta mountain reaches 1064 meters. The coastline is, in general, abrupt, with black reefs, with small white sand beaches. The island vegetation is exuberant in the high areas and in certain valleys, and almost not existent in the low and intermediate areas.
August 2005 sees the opening of the new international airport in the Capital Praia. This event is expected to drastically increase Cape Verde's potential as a top holiday destination and open the door to an influx of tourists as the infrastructure becomes available.
November 2006 will see direct flights from UK airports initally starting with Birmingham. However there will be an 'open sky' policy allowing other airlines to fly to Cape Verde and forcing lower air fares through competition.
Cape Verde has exceptional conditions for fishing, diving and other water sports. The air and sea water temperature is about 24ºC throughout the year.
We believe that Santiago Island will become a very popular tourist hub for European holidaymakers and purchasers of property in Cape Verde who are seeking the Island's unspoilt, beach and mountainous landscape combined with its year round warm and sunny climate.
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