Starting with the most popular beach across the archipelago, Santa Maria Beach is found right at the southernmost tip of Sal and is a long, crescent-shaped bay of soft golden sand with calm, azure waters, ideal for swimming. There’s also a pier close to the town-end of the beach, which comes alive each day with local fishermen bringing in their catch of the day. There’s also a small selection of beachfront restaurants, a number of hotels along the bay and a variety of shops, restaurants and bars in the town, just a couple of minutes’ walk inland from the beach.
Located on Sal’s south west side, Ponta Preta Beach is similar to Santa Maria with soft sand and turquoise water, however with a more rugged and natural landscape. Backed by barren sand dunes, this is the ideal spot for those in search of tranquillity, with nothing but the sound of the waves and the occasional kitesurfer passing by to break the silence.
Not a beach for relaxation but instead one for adrenaline-pumping water sports, Kite Beach is the best location on the island for windsurfing, kitesurfing and more. Although still blessed by golden sands, the wind conditions here (particularly between November and March) make it the ideal spot on the south-east coast to try some water sports.
For something a little different from the normal sandy-beach experience you can head to Buracona. This small bay in the north-west is home to an underwater cave called the Blue Eye. This natural pool is famous for its stunning royal-blue water. You can also bring your swimming gear and hop into the natural lava-pool that is located right next to it. This will definitely be a trip to write home about and is one of the island's most-visited spots.