DREAMY FISHING VILLAGE RELAXATION AT PRAIA DO FORTE, BRAZIL
Our trip to Brazil fell during Christmas time and in a quest to get some relaxation time into our hectic South America itenary, we tried a mini break to the dreamy upscale fishing village of Praia do Forte.
It’s 60 km or an hour and a half drive from the Salvador de Bahia and is the perfect getaway to unwind and relax mid trip. Praia do Forte lies north of Salvador and is situated along the beautiful Coconut Coast, which as the name suggests is lined with coconuts!
Literally in a nutshell, Praia do Forte is a centre for environmental conservation. The main street (Alameda do Sol) is lined with exclusive boutique shops leading down to a quaint little church and the acclaimed Turtle conservation project (TAMAR) and beautiful white sandy beaches surrounded by picturesque palms tress and horse riders.
For our two night stay, we picked a family run pousada called Refugio da Vila and was literally a 2 minute walk to the beach. Infact we could hear the sea from our room as it’s only 100 metres away frm the beach. The small hotel is quite rustic and homely and the interiors are in keeping with the natural environment of the area.
It had everything you could want for a relaxing retreat including hammocks on each balcony, swimming pool area, lush gardens, pool bar and a lovely restaurant. Additionally there is a spa providing relaxing massages and a library is located on the lower ground floor. The rustic charm of the hotel fits in perfectly with the laid back lifestyle of the village as opposed to a larger resort, which you will find on the beach.
Our first night at the Pousada was Christmas Eve and as with a lot of places in Europe they celebrate Christmas Eve in Brazil. Therefore a lovely Christmas party was hosted for all the guests with food included. A table was allocated per party and decorated in beautifully tasteful Christmas decorations and fairy lights.
The vibe at the hotel was pretty laid back however the service is not and staff are attentive and the food is fresh and delicious with seafood taking centre stage on the menu due to the seaside location.
The breakfasts were full of regional fresh fruits and pretty breads, pastries and pancakes.
THINGS TO DO
Well, trust me, you will never be bored here. We spent our two days just relaxing and blending into the every-day life of a sleepy fishing village, watching the locals go about their business, going for long uninterrupted walks on the white sandy beaches and sustaining ourselves on fresh juices and snacks.
The village is surrounded by ruins of old castles, a lagoon, which is good for canoeing and the Sapiranga Forest Reserve. If you are feeling adventurous, there is a zip-line and hiking trails as well as biking trails if you hire a bike. there is also the opportunity to try an array of watersports, which can be arranged down at the beachfront.
Praia do Forte has been hailed to have an amazing sunrise and sunset so it’s worth getting up early for. The sunrise in Praia do Forte is said to be one of the most beautiful in Brazil.
One of my favourite things to do apart from relax on the beach and watch the sunset was visit the local base of Projeto Tamar. This is a non-government organisation aimed to protect sea turtles. The base is open throughout the year and from July through to September, biologists can be seen managing the nests. In the summer months, you can see the newly hatched turtles making their way to the sea.
One of the great tourist attractions of the village is the D’Ávila Lighthouse on the San Antonia Fort, which was built in 1971.
Beside the beach is a beautifully white-washed local church, San Francisco. You can attend mass or just go in to look at the pretty architecture.
Other things, which we personally didn’t do due to time constraints, the time of year and the fact that we were there for lounging and enjoying the slow paced atmosphere, is watch humpback turtles from July-October and visit the national forest for some thrilling outdoor activities as previously mentioned.
I would usually give you some foodie recommendations however, I had such fun that I can’t recall the cafes. My suggestion would be to walk up and down the areas around the main street (Alameda do Sol) and see what there is on offer and what you fancy. We stumbled upon many small café style restaurants with outdoor seating and I can guarantee you will not be disappointed! Most of the café style restaurants are pretty affordable unless you pick one of the couple of places that do a la carte or fine dining options however for me this village is the sort of place you would want to opt for local cuisine, which is served and eaten with the locals. A truly memorable experience.
I can however recommend a fantastic sweet treats place called Creperia do Totonho which is just on the main street. They specialise in not only crepes but also cakes, pastries, ice-creams and well anything equally sweet and indulgent.
So after all that sea air and chill time, were we relaxed and ready to take on Rio de Janeiro? Hell yeah!!
Loteamento Aldeia dos Pescadores
Lotes 6, 7 e 8
Praia do Forte
Mata de Sao Joao •
Tel: +55 71 3676-0114
If you fancy a chat about the picturesque fishing village of Praia do Forte, you know what to do!
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