Saly Portudal, or Saly for short, is an African beach paradise with a European level of service, a rapidly gaining popularity in the resort area of Petit-Cote on the coast of Senegal. In European guidebooks, Saly is usually referred to as the “pearl of West Africa”, and there is every reason for such a pompous epithet: the hotel service here is of the highest standards, the beaches are the cleanest, and the Atlantic Ocean is affectionate and rebellious exactly in measure to please lovers of floundering in shallow waters, and wild surfers and kiters. Add to this excellent fishing opportunities and a convenient location for sightseeing trips into the interior of the country – and it becomes clear that Saly is a real “X-point” for fans of a wide variety of recreation.
How to get to Saly
According to allcitycodes, the nearest airport to Saly is in Dakar (80 km). You can only arrive at Dakar International Airport from Russia with a transfer, there are no direct flights. Flight options include Air France via Paris, Lufthansa via Frankfurt, Turkish Airlines via Istanbul, Alitalia via Milan, Iberia via Madrid and North African carriers Tunisair via Tunisia, Air Algerie via Algiers and Royal Air Maroc via Casablanca.
It is most convenient to get from Dakar airport to Saly by taxi, you can bargain for 70-80 USD.
Do not forget that in Senegal the cost of the trip must always be negotiated in advance.
In addition, most Saly hotels offer a transfer service, which can be ordered in advance when booking a hotel or separately via the Internet. The cost should also be no more than 80 USD.
Getting around in the city
You can move around the resort area and the village of Saly on foot, the distances here are small. Fans of a relaxed vacation are advised to use taxi services, since there are plenty of them here, and the rates are more than reasonable, especially by European standards.
Cuisine and restaurants in Saly
There are many options in Saly for an inexpensive and delicious lunch. Each hotel has its own restaurants, and an impressive list of catering establishments near the hotels and in the city center is added to this. The cuisine is predominantly French (as a result of colonization), Mediterranean and national Senegalese. One can also find Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants. Be sure to try the delicious Atlantic seafood (in particular, shrimp) and wash down your meal with Senegalese beers: Gazelle is the undisputed favorite of local bars of any level and the stronger (and more expensive) Flag.
Shopping and shops
You can buy Senegalese souvenirs and other African little things in souvenir shops at hotels, artisan shops and at the Saly handicraft market (Marché Artisanal). The market is a cluster of thatched huts, each of which sells one or another interesting thing: from ritual masks, drums and figurines to Senegalese baskets and even dwarf baobabs. Be sure to bargain mercilessly!
In the city center there is also a supermarket (a concrete building with blue visors) – here you can buy “edible” souvenirs from Senegal.
Entertainment and attractions of Saly
The main attractions of the city of Saly and the resort area are the sun and the ocean. There are all conditions for a comfortable beach holiday and all kinds of active entertainment related to water. Popular activities include catamaran trips, jet skiing, surfing, scuba diving and snorkeling. Each hotel has its own sport nautique station – water sports. Often hotels offer a free first check-in on some kind of water “transport”.
Saly is one of the best offshore fishing spots in Senegal; it even hosts international sport fishing championships. Blue marlin, Atlantic sailfish and swordfish can be caught from the waves of the Atlantic.
In the vicinity of the city you can ride on quads (it is recommended to take a guided tour). Among the places of interest are the baobab forest and fields with termite mounds.
From Saly, several excursions are arranged along the coast and into the interior of the continent:
- Pink Lake Retba (50 km north of Saly) is a reservoir located almost at the very edge of the ocean with a hypertonic solution of various salts and microelements. Magnesium salts give it a rich pink color. You can swim in Retba, and like the Dead Sea, its waters will keep your body on the surface. Salt is being mined on the banks, buy a bag or two.
- Sine-Salum, the delta of the Salum River, is located south of Saly. Get here on all-wheel drive jeeps or quads. Along the way, you can see the villages of local residents, and when you arrive at the delta, go on a boat trip on a motorized pirogue.
- The Bandia Natural Reserve is located 15 km from Saly and offers an introduction to the delightful flora and fauna of Senegal. Buffaloes, rhinoceros, giraffes, crocodiles and giant tortoises will roam in exhilarating proximity.
Pay attention to the largest baobab in the country – it is more than a thousand years old!
- Goré Island is an architectural evidence of the European colonization of Senegal. Explore the picturesque port and narrow streets lined with colonial architecture, and visit the Museum of Slavery, a sad testament to the long-suffering fate of the West African population.