Sal Island, a tranquil and picturesque destination in Cape Verde, offers visitors an escape from their hectic lives. It was in June 2017 when my wife Esther and I decided to venture beyond our usual vacation spots, seeking adult-only hotels, serenity, diving opportunities, long beach strolls, and vegan or vegetarian dining. Sal Island and its enticing motto, “No Stress,” seemed like the perfect fit after an extended period of intense work. Our quest for the ideal holiday haven led us to the Meliá Llana Beach Resort & Spa.
Upon contacting the hotel, we received a detailed email from Lara, the Guest Experience representative. She reassured us that the resort could accommodate vegetarian guests, even though some items, like tofu, might not be readily available on the island. We were content with this arrangement and eagerly looked forward to our stay.
The Meliá Llana Beach Resort & Spa surpassed our expectations. The spacious and immaculate rooms provided a comfortable and inviting retreat. As for our request for vegan and vegetarian food, the offerings were not only fulfilling but also exceptionally appetizing.
Unfordable experiences in Sal island
The resort’s entertainment team deserves special mention. Unlike many resorts that incessantly push activities, they respectfully inquired once or twice, allowing guests to choose their level of participation. An evening event called “White Night” caught our attention, featuring a DJ and a fun atmosphere. We decided to join the festivities one evening, creating unforgettable memories with the friends we had made at the resort. Overall, we can wholeheartedly recommend the Meliá Llana Beach Resort & Spa for a peaceful and enjoyable getaway.
Diving is a quintessential experience on Sal Island, and finding a reputable dive center is crucial. Initially, the search was a bit challenging, with numerous search results under “diving Sal Island” sporting varying ratings.We tried to explore the mysteries of Sal island. To make an informed choice, I consulted friends and received a recommendation. However, it turned out that the recommended dive center had been destroyed by a fire a few weeks before our visit, leaving us in a mild state of panic.
A stroke of luck led me to ScubaCaribe, a dive center that left a favorable impression from the moment I discovered it. I decided to contact them via email, inquiring about the possibility of diving with my certifications and the arrangements for transport to the dive center, as our hotel was quite a distance away.
ScubaCaribe’s prompt and detailed response alleviated my concerns. They offered a pre-booking package, a common practice among dive centers that not only secures your reservation but also offers pre-booking discounts. It’s a convenient arrangement for both divers and dive centers.
An added bonus was the reasonably priced taxi service, which cost only around 3 € for the transfer to the dive center, saving me from the lengthy morning walks.
The pre-booking process was smooth, with payments conveniently made through PayPal. I eagerly awaited my upcoming dives, brimming with excitement for the adventures that awaited me in Sal Island’s mesmerizing underwater world.
As we explored Sal Island, we discovered its hidden gem—fish soup that left a lasting impression. This savory dish, teeming with delectable flavors, showcased the island’s culinary excellence. We found it to be the perfect way to refuel after our diving expeditions.
Unfortunately, amidst the joy and wonder, an unexpected event took place. As I was about to embark on a dive, I experienced a heart attack—a frightening episode that was both shocking and alarming. My life was hanging in the balance, and the island’s enchanting allure was juxtaposed with this critical health emergency.
In the following days, I found myself far away from my homeland, navigating a medical crisis in an unfamiliar place. The care and support I received were commendable, emphasizing the kindness and empathy that can be found even in the most unexpected of circumstances.
While Sal Island may have been the backdrop to this life-altering incident, it also became a symbol of resilience, strength, and the compassion of its people. The island’s beauty, the pleasures it offers, and its unexpected challenges now hold a special place in my heart.
In retrospect, my visit to Sal Island was a blend of unforgettable moments—serene beach walks, exhilarating dives, Cabo Verde diving, delicious cuisine, and a health scare that highlighted the importance of being prepared for the unexpected. Despite the trials, the island’s enchantment endures, forever etched in my memory as a place of both adventure and resilience.