The island of Maio is preparing itself for tourism development
Maio, a quiet and peaceful destination with beautiful beaches
The island of Maio (Ilha do Maio) is located east of Santiago and is part of the island group called 'Sotavento', which forms the eastern end of the Cape Verde archipelago. Maio looks abandoned, flat and bare. The landscape closely resembles that of its nearest neighbour, the Island of Boa Vista. Long beautiful deserted beaches as well as quiet and vast stretches of pristine white sand beaches are lined with coconut palms and exotic flora.
Vila do Maio is a small village. The sunny streets with low and colourful houses as well as the many cobbled streets enjoy a carefree and relaxed atmosphere. There are several restaurants and a beautiful church in Portuguese Baroque style: Nossa Senhora da Luz.
Just outside Vila do Maio, to the north, you will find beautiful salt marshes, once the island's economic mainstay. Nearby is a very nice beach with white sand.
All of Maio's beaches are beautiful, but the best beaches are in the north of the island. These beaches are remote, deserted and longing to be explored to uncover their splendour. Some of the island's beaches are populated by turtles and serve as their favourite breeding grounds to lay their eggs. Protecting the turtles and their habitat is important, so activities such as buggy rides are not allowed along these beaches.
The island is an ideal location for holidaymakers seeking a quiet, peaceful beach location, with sleepy local towns and warm, clear waters. The island's landscape is desert-like with several sand dunes, occasional palm-filled oasis, and minimal evidence of its volcanic past.
The new port infrastructure of Maio will be completed by the end of 2022
The works of the new port of Maio are progressing at a good pace. This new infrastructure will have a "roll on, roll off ramp", making the island easily accessible from the island of Santiago, 50 km away, and home to the capital Praia and its international airport. Maio can already be reached within 10 minutes by a domestic flight three times a week. Maio's regional airport will also be expanded into an international airport in the coming years.
A special economic zone for tourism
At per initiative of the government, the Special Economic Zone of Ilha do Maio (ZEEIM) was officially created.
The tax benefits of this zone will currently mainly benefit the "Little Africa Maio" project, the largest tourist development in Cape Verde, with a value of 500 million euros. But also other international investors who establish themselves or carry out activities on Maio can now benefit from a special regime in regard to tax and customs regulations.
A paradise for private and institutional real estate investors
Due to the expected huge growth of the tourism industry, as well as the new passenger and cargo port, Maio is now on the map of the international hotspots for real estate investors. The currently very low prices make it possible to achieve unprecedentedly high returns over the coming years at extremely low entry prices through capital growth, but also the increasingly important rental market.