Maio Cabo Verde, Paradise Island in Kap Verde

Welcome to Maio Cabo Verde

The island of Maio is situated in the Cabo Verde archipelago, south of Boa Vista and east of the island of Santiago. One of the “Sotavento,” or leeward, islands of Cabo Verde, it is renowned for its gorgeous sandy beaches, a lush and lovely forest and for an air of sleepy and calm tranquility.

Maio island wants you to experience leaving your footprints in its beautiful peaceful white sandy beaches.

Maio Cabo Verde's Last Paradise...

For anyone looking for peace and quiet in lovely surroundings, Maio (or "May" in English) is a great place to be. There are several quiet and traditional towns dotted around all over the island, all with colorful buildings and a sense of the Portuguese colonial days, and all are a little sleepy. Time seems to stand still here.

The capital of the Island is Vila do Maio, also known as Porto Inglês, and the town is a little more lively and is located right on the oceanfront in the southwest of the island. In the center of town, the Praça Fina is the popular meeting place of the locals in the evenings and a fun place to be. The town offers a selection of restaurants and bars and a fair amount of shops.

As for beaches, traveling west from Vila do Maio, it is worth visiting Praia da Vila and going eastward, Praia Ponta Preta is an excellent swimming beach.

Exploring the forested area in the west of Maio, Morrinho and Calheta are two small towns worth seeing. While Morrinho is pretty much a ghost town but still interesting to view, Calheta is pretty, with colorful houses and homes lining the streets.

Nearby, visit Morro, a town nestled within a grove of coconut palms and offering a beautiful swimming beach. Take care during the summer months, as this beach is also popular with the turtles, which lay their eggs around that time. Tourists are asked to please keep their distance from the nests, as the turtles can easily become upset and desert their eggs.

Among other landscapes on Maio, there are hilly scenes, an almost desert terrain, limestone valleys and salt marshes. There are also flourishing acacia forests which form the largest continuous woodland region of the whole of the Cabo Verde archipelago.

The island is particularly popular with birders, who will see a variety of different species, including ospreys, bar-tailed larks, sea swallows, waders, cream-colored coursers and more.

The only drawback with this quiet and lovely place is the fact that Maio is not all that easy to get to. The island only has air connections with Praia, capital of Santiago, and flights are not available on a regular basis. Also, while the harbor can handle ships, there are not that many boat connections for visitors to the island. Suffice to say, if you are planning to visit Maio during your Cabo Verde vacation, plan well to avoid disappointment.

To see more of this lovely destination, watch the video included above showing scenes of Vila do Maio and other parts of the island.


Photos in the compilation above are CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Pedro Hormigo

Cabo Verde Property & Maio Land For Sale

We offer land and property for sale on Ilha do Maio between Vila do Maio and the town of Morro. All you have to do is complete the required information on the Contact Form, then submit to us at

Read More
welcome to Maio Cabo Verde sign

Cabo Verde Paradise

Best Beaches in Cabo Verde

Maio is endowed with extensive beautiful beaches, especially on the West and South /Southwest coasts. Along with their crystal waters, they are one of the potentials to exploit in the tourism development projected for the island.

View Funchago

The Cape Verde Phenomenon

Most visitors come to Cape Verde with the idea of sharing the Cape Verde phenomenon. The usual manner of participation is the search for retirement and business properties.

Due to international airports and a government emphasis on their development, Sal, Santiago and most recently Boa Vista has monopolised foreign investment to the exclusion of the small island of Maio. Maio has always taken a back seat to the other islands because of it‘s remoteness and it’s inability to showcase itself to the world. It is often viewed by other islanders as a quaint but insignificant part of the country. Yet incredibly it is only 18miles away from Praia (10 minutes by plane) and 2 plus hours by boat.

Also hampering Maio development is its inadequate transportation system. There is no scheduled bus or designated taxi system nor adequate boat connections. This may be enough to discourage many from living on Maio. This small island has many negative aspects, but it’s pluses are significant and numerous:

  1. fabulous white sand beaches and a clear blue sea (30% of Cape Verde’s white sand beaches)
  2. perfect weather, sun all year round and little rain
  3. no pollution
  4. no serious crime
  5. land prices at a fraction of the other islands and building costs 30% under those of Santiago
  6. small pleasant population (c 6,500)
  7. desalination plant
  8. friendly local government (Câmara) ready to assist foreigners in every aspect of land purchase and commerce
  9. most trees in the country
  10. a new hospital
  11. internet and cable TV
  12. a picturesque mountainous interior
  13. no snakes or dangerous wild animals

Maio is waiting in the wings to surge ahead of the pack to be the featured player in Cape Verde development!

Don’t Miss Maio!

The three most important factors in buying property anywhere is, as we all know :


Friends on Maio

Protect the unique fauna and flora of Maio (one of the islands of Cabo Verde) and at the same time create opportunities and long-term benefits for its people.

Maio Biodiversity Foundation

Casablanca Supermarket - In Morro, we are open every day 7:30am to 8pm. All our meat is freshly frozen and stock quality food at low prices, and cool drinks.

CasaBlanca Supermarket

Maio ferry service timetables for travel between Praia (capital of Cabo Verde) and the island of Maio. Currently only Sotavento visits Maio, twice weekly.

Maio Ferry Service Timetables

Maio Island Information and Typography

Maio is the easternmost of the Sotavento islands of Cabo Verde and is located south of the islands of Boa Vista and east of Santiago.
The island is also known for its large forest, which is unusual for Cabo Verde.

The official language is still Portuguese, although the majority of Cabo Verdean's speak Creole ('Crioulo') which is derivation from Portuguese and African languages.

Porto Inglês (Portuguese for "English Port" or "English Harbour") and Vila do Maio ("Town of May") are the same town, but a recent move has been to use the original Portuguese name.

Alternative Language Specific Country Names for Cabo Verde & Maio

  • Cabo Verde, Ilha do Maio, Djarmai
  • English: Republic of Cabo Verde (formal) Island of Maio
  • Danmark: Kap Verde, Kapverdiske Øer
  • Deutschland: Republik Kap Verde, Kapverden (Swiss), Kap Verde Inseln, die Insel Maio
  • España: Cabo Verde, República de Cabo Verde (formal)
  • France: Cap-Vert
  • Ísland: Grænhöfðaeyjar
  • Italia: Isole di Capo Verde, Isola di Maio
  • Nederland: Kaapverdie, Republiek Kaapverdie (formal)
  • Norge: Kapp Verde, Republikken Kapp Verde (formal)
  • Portugal: Cabo Verde, República de Cabo Verde (formal) Ilha do Maio
  • Suomi: Kap Verde
  • Sverige: Kap Verde

The official language is still Portuguese, although the majority of Cape Verdean's speak Creole ('Crioulo') which is derivation from Portuguese and African languages.

Contacto Maio Information logo Maio Cape Verde
Work: Casa Blanca Supermarket, Morro, Maio, 6100. Cabo Verde
Email: Maio Cabo Verde Maio CV


The views expressed in this website are purely those of and not those of the Governments of Maio or Cabo Verde. The views should not be construed in any way representative of the official position of the Maio or Cabo Verde government on policy matters and other diplomatic initiatives.

View Website Disclaimer - click here

Are You Ready to Buy Real-Estate on Ilha do Maio?

Learn More