View of Praça dos Namorados and Curva da Jurema Beach with the Third Bridge and the "Convento da Penha" in the background
Vitória, the small and cozy capital of Espírito Santo, is a city on the southeast coast of Brazil, famous for its beaches and culture, and for its proximity from many other touristic destinations in the state. Most of the city's neighborhoods are surrounded by parks and forests and many cultural events add an extra bliss to the city throughout the year. One might also consider staying in a hotel in Vitória while visiting nearby cities and regions of interest during the day like Vila Velha, Guarapari, Domingos Martins, or Serra, all of them with many attractions less than 2 hours away by car or bus. Vitória is also a perfect stop for travelers planning to go from the state of Rio de Janeiro or east of Minas Gerais by bus or car to beach destinations in the south of Bahia, like Prado, Caravelas and Abrolhos, or even Porto Seguro.
Vitória, with around 315,000 people, is considered by the UN to be the fourth best place to live in Brazil.
Founded in 1551, is the third oldest capital of Brazil, after Salvador and Recife. For a long time it was only a ‘city-port’, suffering various French, British and Dutch attacks, after sugar and ‘pau-brasil’.
Its name is attributed to a victory over the native Indians, when, seeking refuge, the Portuguese fled to the island, and then achieved victory, renaming the village, at the time known only as “Vila Nova”, to “Vila Nova da Vitória”. It has many nicknames, like Ilha do Mel (Honey Island), Cidade Sol (Sun City) and others.
It is located in the southeastern region of Brazil, the most developed in the country. The location is strategic, close to the big urban centers, and it is, in average, one hour away by plane from São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte.
Circled by the Bay of Vitória, the main island has mangroves, beaches, granite formations and many smaller islands.
The municipality of Vitória is made of an archipelago with 34 islands and a continental area. Its total area is 104 km2, including the main island, the continental area, the coastal islands and the oceanic islands of Trindade and Martin Vaz. It used to have more than 50 islands, but now many of them have been incorporated, by landfills, to the main island.
The highest point is the Maciço da Fonte Grande, a granite formation 309 meters tall, and then there is the Pedra dos (Dois) Olhos, 296 meters tall.
The climate is tropical humid, with a maximum average temperature of 30,4ºC and a minimum of 24ºC, with most of the rainfall in the months between October and January.
Vitória Airport (VIX) - also known as Eurico Salles Airport - is located near the north end of Camburi beach. It's about 10 minutes by taxi to most hotels and served by many bus lines. It receives daily flights from most state capitals in the country, mostly via Rio de Janeiro (the nearest gateway), São Paulo, Belo Horizonte or Salvador.
Among the main airlines serving the airport are TAM, Gol and Azul.
The bus line 212 direction Aeroporto / B.Mar x Mario Cyprestes takes you from the airport via the Camburi beach, the port and the city center to the main bus station in 50-60 minutes.
Vitória's long-distance bus station is downtown, also with many bus lines serving it. There are many buses arriving and leaving during the day from cities like Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Salvador, Belo Horizonte, Brasília and others. It's around 20 minutes away from most of the hotels by taxi and 30 to 35 minutes by bus.
The bus 212 Aeroporto / B.Mar x Mario Cyprestes takes you from the bus station via the city center, the port and the Camburi beach to the airport in 50-60 minutes.
The bus trip from Rio de Janeiro takes about 8 hours, and from São Paulo some 14 hours, but most of the bus times are at night, making the trip not as tiring and time-wasting.
The two main roads are the BR-101, which runs south-north just inland of the coast, linking Vitória to Rio de Janeiro, to the south, and Salvador, to the north, and BR-262, that runs east-west, leaving Vitória and going to Belo Horizonte. Another road, local highway 60, runs along the coast southward to Guarapari.
Parque Pedra da Cebola (Onion Rock Park) - Located in the Jardim da Penha neighborhood near the university, the centerpiece of this park is an unusual rock formation. A popular place for local couples to hang out.
Parque da Fonte Grande - Located in the central portion of the island, this is the biggest park of Vitória, preserving an important remaining area of the Atlantic Forest. Visitors can choose from many planned walks inside the forest and spot native animals such as snakes, small mammals, and many species of birds. The area's highlight is its 309m high mountain from which you can appreciate beautiful views from Vitória and nearby cities. To get there from the neighborhood of Praia do Canto, take the direction of Maruípe and make a right turn on the Police Station Headquartes, towards Serafim Derenzi Road. From there, just keep going straight ahead until you see the sign to get in the park. The route should take 15 minutes by car. The park is open from tuesday to sunday, from 8am to 5pm.
Praça dos Namorados - A very long beachside park that runs from the yacht club at Praia do Canto all the way down to Curva da Jurema near Shopping Vitória.
Catedral Metropolitana, Vitória's cathedral, dates from 1551. Located downtown.
Capela de Santa Luzia, near the cathedral, is Vitória's oldest religious building. Open weekdays 8AM to 6 PM. Tel.(27)3222-3219
Convento da Penha - Just across the Terceira Ponte (Third Bridge), in Vila Velha (Espírito Santo) is this hilltop Franciscan convent dating from the 16th century.
At UFES (Federal University of Espírito Santo) , one can find Portuguese courses for foreigners at its Language Center . There are beginners and intermediate courses, and each level takes 1 semester.
A panela de barro, a traditionally-made clay pot used for cooking moqueca capixaba.
Shopping Vitória is a fairly standard shopping mall located near the Terceira Ponte.
Just south of Camburi is the Praia do Canto neighborhood, where you will find a couple of streets lined with restaurants of all types.
Triángulo das Bermudas (Bermuda Triangle). This area between Joaquim Lírio and João da Cruz streets in Praia do Canto has a lot of bars and restaurants that are very popular, particularly on the weekends.
Rua da Lama, just west of Camburi near the federal university, has a string of bars including Cochicho da Penha, Tel.(27) 3225-0417
On most nights, there are live music events on the beach at Curva da Jurema. Music varies and there are plenty of drink kiosks to keep people happy.
Wunderbar Kaffee. In the corner of Rio Branco and Chapot Presvot streets there is this delicious bar with great beers (Brazilian and foreign), excellent music (jazz, "chorinho", "bossa nova", Brazilian world music) and good food (German and Brazilian). Rio Branco Street, 1305 - Lj 4 - Praia do Canto, phone (27) 3227-4331
Pousada da Praia, Av. Saturnino de Brito, 1500 - Praia do Canto, Tel.(27) 3225-0233. This reasonably-priced pousada sits on a small peninsula that juts out from the south side of the river at the south end of Camburi. The rooms are nothing special, but this place has great views of the bay, free breakfast, and you might even get a free invitation to a forró dance held there if you happen to stay over a weekend.
Best Western Porto do Sol, Av. Dante Michelini, 3957 - Praia de Cambori , Tel.(27) 3337-2244.
Novotel, Av. Saturnino de Brito, 1327, Tel.(27) 3334-5300
The telephone area code for Vitória is 27 (as well as in central and northern parts of Espírito Santo).
Even if it is not very reported, most of brazilians high and mid-populated cities have the same kind of criminality problems, and with Vitória it's not different. Remember to do the same cares.
To enter in the poor streets over hills. If you need, try to get the company of a local friend to visit any poor neighboorhood.
Walk along empyt streets at night. Preffer taxis to back to your hotel.
Around the Curva da Jurema and outside of the Shopping Vitória at night. The presence of muggers over bicycles there is common.
In the Vitória's downtown, day or night. The Vila Rubim people's tradeshop is always frequented for muggers. Avoid to walk alone if you dont know the place very well.
Vila Velha — Famous for Convento da Penha (a 16th-century hilltop Franciscan convent), and the beaches of Praia da Costa, Itapuã, and Coqueiral de Itaparica.
Guarapari - A popular beach resort town. Famous for its lively ambiance, with many clubs and beach parties, especially during the summer months.
Domingos Martins - To get a taste of a town colonized by German immigrants, and the famous Pedra Azul (Blue Rock).
Santa Teresa - To get a taste of a town colonized by Italian immigrants.
Itaúnas - Famous for its dunes and forró, a Northeastern Brazilian dance.
Rio de Janeiro - World-known city famous for its breathtaking landscape and annual carnival.