Vitória Destination Guide
Vitória is the capital of the Brazilian state of Espirito Santo. Thanks to a beautiful coastline, numerous scenic beaches, a sunny climate and a vibrant night life, Vitoria is also a very popular tourist destination in Brazil. From the warm and friendly locals to the myriad of Vitoria shopping options, this island offers an enriching travel experience. Strategically located near Brazil's main commercial centre, there is a modern and well developed tourist infrastructure which includes an extensive network of Vitória hotels.
With stunning beaches, islands, wonderful weather and amazing monuments to visit, Vitoria is sure to leave a lasting impression!
The Vitoria Destination Guide provides some information on the beaches, islands and numerous other things to see and do while you are visiting Vitoria. The Vitoria tours page will provide you with some further information about the Vitoria tours that we have on offer around town. In addition, the Brazil Country Guide will help you enjoy the hospitality of the Brazilians even more by providing handy information about some additional highlights of this lovely country.
Things to see & do in Vitoria
Follow the links to the right or scroll further down the page for details on some of the many interesting tourist attractions in Vitoria:
An ideal way to get a panoramic view of all that Vitoria has to offer is to drive along the ‘Third Bridge' or the ‘Darcy Castelo de Mendonca Bridge'. This bridge spans a length of 3300 m, rises to a height of 70 m and gives a fascinating glimpse of the ports, islands, and beaches of Vitoria. Vila Velha, Vitoria's neighbour and the erstwhile capital of Espirito Santo, can also be seen.
Vitoria is home to many imposing edifices, churches and monuments, some of which date back to the sixteenth century. The oldest building in Vitoria is the Santa Luzia Church, which was built in 1551. Today it is designated as a national monument and houses the research wing of the University of Espirito Santo and a gallery of art.
Another landmark worth visiting is the Domingos Martins Palace, which used to be the site of the Nossa Senhora da Misericordia Church. Today the Palace houses the State Legislative Chamber.
In addition, you can also visit the Sao Goncalo Church (1707), the Rosario Church (1765), or the Sao Francisco Cloister (1591), which was the first Franciscan edifice to be built. The Sao Tiago Church was erected in the 17th century and is quite the sight to see! The Convento da Penha, a Franciscan convent on the hill at Vila Velha, that is said to be the home of Espírito Santo's patron saint - Our Mother of Penha.
Morro da Fonte Grande, which lies at a distance of seven kilometres from the city, offers a breathtaking view of Vila Velha and Vitoria from a height of 312 m.
Mountain resorts like 'Domingos Martins' and beach destinations are major tourist attractions in Vitoria. Vitoria has an impressive beach line of almost 113 km. The black sand beaches at 'Guarapari' are known to possess curative qualities, while the coastal areas of 'Manguinos' and 'Jacaraipe' have some beautiful beaches.
'Camburi' is Vitoria's most significant beach. The city corporation organises various sports and cultural activities on this 6-km long beach. It is also the place to dig your teeth into some delectable local cuisine. You can sample some moqueca or savour the Capixaba pie from one of the numerous snack bars, hotels and pubs on this beach.
For the tourists who value their fitness regimen, there is the 'Canto Beach' close to the Espirito Santo Yacht Club. It has a broad footpath running along the beach and is a great favourite with the local jogger and walkers. Sua Cove and the Jurema Bend, which is a small land strip connecting Vitoria and Boi Islands, are also ideal for jogging and walking. When you are tired, stop by at one of the snack bars that dot these beaches and replenish yourself.
Vitoria also offers the stunning combination of sweeping cliffs and hills and the beautiful green crystalline sea. From Vitoria to its last town, Itaunas, there is an amazing coastline of almost 253 km. It is along this coastline that tourists soak in the beauty of the clear deep waters, little beaches nestling in small bays, and curative sands.
About 30 km from Vitoria, you can stop by at the tiny fishing hamlet of Nova Almeida and visit the sixteenth-century church of Reis Magos, which is featured on the list of the National Heritage Institute. Or you can stop by the rocky beaches of Northern Vitoria, where rivers like the Doce, the biggest river of Espirito Santo, join the Atlantic Ocean. And do not miss the last beach on the coast line, the Riacho Docent. Located a mere 20 km from Itaunas, this beautiful beach has been in existence since the sixteenth century.
At Itaunas lie sand dunes, some of which rise to over 30 m. There are also the Jesuit Church ruins at Sao Mateus, Guniri Island and Conceicao da Barra, which are interesting spots to visit.
'Boi Island' has three other islands near it with crystal clear waters that beckon the tourists. These are Rasa, Galheta de Dentro and Galheta de Fora.
Do not miss the mini beaches at 'Frade Island', which is the premium residential locality in Vitoria. Frade Island has elegant mansions and bungalows which are interspersed with clear waters and narrow sand strips akin to private beaches. You can get to Frade Island by crossing a bridge from Vitoria.
Another tourist attraction at the beaches and islands of Vitoria is the fishing that is carried on by the local fisherman using the traditional puca. The puca is an indigenous fish trap that brings up an astounding variety of fish and other sea creatures. The fishermen also use fishing nets. Many of them represent the Espirito Santo Yacht Club at the Ocean Fishing International Championship, which attracts some of the finest fishermen on the look out for the beak fish or marlin. While the white marlin is best hunted in November, the hunting season for the blue marlin commences in October and continues until March. But Vitoria is the angler's delight all throughout the year.
Vitoria offers a wide variety of flora and fauna and wildlife, thanks to its extensive forests, mangrove glades, sand banks and lagoons. Wildlife enthusiasts can visit the Tamar project, where they can watch sea turtles laying eggs between the months of September and March. There is also a study centre here offering a deep insight into this species. The Comboios Biological Reserve at Regencia does yeomen service in protecting the sea turtles. This too, en route to Itaunas, is an interesting place to visit.
If you are visiting Vitoria at the end of the summer season, you can enjoy the spectacle of hundreds of swallows returning en masse to rest in the trees along the beach at Castanheiras in Guarapari. If you are an avian enthusiast, then do visit Anchieta, which lies about 80 km away from Vitoria. Here every afternoon, herons fly back to the trees along the river Beneventes to have a good night's sleep!
For yet another comprehensive view of the city of Vitoria, climb up the 308-metre high Fonte Grande Hill, where you will also find the radio and TV towers that service Vitoria.