A weekend in Buzios

Buzios is a beautiful fishing town set on an ocean peninsula 105 miles east of Rio de Janeiro. My flat mate had spent a weekend there and recommended that I go check it out and so last Friday afternoon I set off with my overnight bag to Rio’s enormous bus station, Novo Rio, to get the air-conditioned coach for the three hour journey out of the city.

It’s really simple to  book your ticket online  and I was very impressed with the punctual service , arriving in Buzios town centre, bang on schedule,  just as it was getting dark.

I was booked into La Pedrera Small Hotel & Spa, a lovely boutique hotel perched high on the hill overlooking Praia Joao Fernandes, at the northern tip of the peninsula. It turned out to be a great location and an easy walk downhill to a selection of fabulous beaches, bars and restaurants: although I did mutter a bit to myself as I struggled with the steep climb back up the hill at the end of the day.

My trip to Buzios was all about the beaches – yes I know that I am currently in Rio and there are two of the worlds most famous beaches here, but I wanted something a bit more relaxed and laid back and I was not disappointed. The vibe in Buzios is most definitely chilled. I spent Saturday on the beautiful Joao Fernandes beach, watching the world (and numerous vendors plus a dog on a paddle board) go by, and then as the afternoon drew on I wandered through the lovely area (town is far too grand a word) of Ossos and out onto the harbour front towards the town centre.

I decided on a late lunch at one of the many bustling fish restaurants lining the sea front and enjoyed a simple meal of fresh grilled fish washed down with ice cold beer. As I waited for my food to arrive I noticed something bobbing up and down in the bay. As I looked closer I realised that it was in fact two large turtles enjoying a gentle afternoon swim in the harbour. What an amazing sight.

Lunch over, I tackled the steep hill back to my hotel and finished the day in perfect style with a massage in the hotel spa. Sunday was spent in much the same way. A different, equally stunning beach (there are so many to choose from), another great lunch of grilled fish and then, unfortunately, it was time to head back to the bus station and make the journey back to Rio. I could have easily stayed another couple of days as there is plenty to keep you occupied and I left having seen only a fraction of the stunning scenery and beautiful beaches.

The people were incredibly friendly and welcoming and I felt completely safe travelling and exploring alone. The only slight problem of being solo there is that most restaurant meals are served for 2 or 3 people and the portions are enormous! Not normally an issue for me, I can rise to most eating challenges, but even I found it a struggle to make a dent in the huge amount of food served. A nice problem to have, I realise, and certainly not something that would ever stop me visiting Buzios again!

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