- the western islands Santo Antão, São Vicente, São Nicolau, Santa Luzia and the islets Branco and Raso are rocky, volcanic, agricultural islands.
- the eastern islands Sal and Boa Vista are flat, desert islands with economies once based on salt and now turning to tourism, having more in common with the Sotavento island Maio.
Minor islets include Ilhéu de Sal-Rei and Ilhéu do Baluarte off Boa Vista, Ilhéu dos Pássaros off São Vicente and Ilhéu Rabo de Junco off Sal. The total area of the Barlavento Islands is 2,239 km2 (864 sq mi).
- Valor simbólico do centro histórico da Praia, Lourenço Conceição Gomes, Universidade Portucalense, 2008, p. 58-59
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- Barlavento Islands article at Britannica Online, accessed on 1 January 2010