My History in Floripa
A brief tour of the Island
I had the pleasure of living two years on “Ilha da Magia”. It will be difficult to summarize all my experiences and favorite places in this beautiful place, but I will try.
Florianópolis is a very peaceful and safe place. Life moves at a more relaxed pace than that of a big city and is very pleasant for tourists in the summer season.
Our favorite beach is Praia Mole, its sand is soft, its water is deep blue and the environment is very pleasant. Further south, on the same side of the island, are Joaquina and Campeche. In Joaquina they do surfing events and there are also the famous dunes where you can practice sandboarding (which by the way is really fun). Campeche is a beach that we also like for its length and great movement. Right in front of Campeche beach, is Campeche Island. To get there you need to take a boat from Barra da Lagoa, Campeche or Armação. It is a very nice island and the water is very clear, but be warned, because the island is only open during the summer and there are no restaurants or any vendors in the entire island, so if you plan to visit, take water, sunscreen and snack food. I cannot leave out the natural pools of Barra da Lagoa that have a unique beauty and to get there it is quiet. Many fascinating places!
On the other hand, Lagoa da Conceição is a “small town” made for tourists. I personally enjoyed going with friends to this area of Floripa. The region has great seafood restaurants on Avenida das Rendeiras and a very eclectic nightlife. During Saturday and Sunday afternoons, some restaurants place tables in front of the lagoon and promote live music performances. Many people sit and watch the sun hide behind the mountains and enjoy the atmosphere. It's magic!
To the north of the island is Jurerê International, an area that has become famous for being the vacation destination for soccer players and Brazilian artists. It is a neighborhood of large and elegant houses that faces the beach. Also a place with the best hotels and resorts, restaurants, bars and clubs for parties. P12, for example, is a “beach club” with a swimming pool, jacuzzis, bars and restaurant, which hosts national and international shows with the best DJs and artists. It is next to the São José da Ponta Grossa Fortress, built in the 18th century to defend the coast of Santa Catarina. It is also a very pleasant place to visit.
In a more central area of the city, there is the famous Avenida Beira-Mar, which is a very popular corridor for walks and exercises. I loved to skate all over the boardwalk. Many people go every day to run, skate or just admire the landscape facing the sea, in contrast to the tall buildings that stand out in the area. From there you can already see the continent, which can be reached via the Hercílio Luz Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in Brazil, and the second longest in Latin America.
Further north of this area, on the west side of the island, is Santo Antonio de Lisboa. I really like this place because it has a historic colonial village feel to it. In the sea you can see fishermen's boats and in the area there are no buildings, only houses. Along the coast there are bars and restaurants with gastronomic options for all tastes. Going a little further north you reach Sambaqui. In this neighborhood, I discovered with some friends the SambaHere, a perfect place for lovers of samba and forró. But if you don't know how to dance to those rhythms, don't worry. In this place they give free classes to start the party. Great, don't you think? I took class with my friends and we enjoyed it all night!
Another place where I used to go a lot to shop and enjoy the historic environment, is the public market which is located in the center of Floripa. There are restaurants with good seafood and live music. There, around, there are several souvenir shops in Florianópolis. It is worth remembering that the shops in the center of Floripa are open from Monday to Friday, from 7 am to 7 pm, and on Saturdays until 2 pm. From 1pm on Saturday, everything in the center starts to close and on Sundays there is no movement (I went on a day that was all closed and believe me, there is no soul alive in the city ... hahaha).
Taking advantage of the fact that I am talking about the city center, there is a typical restaurant that we would love to go with friends on Saturdays, because there they close the corner, put the tables on the street and invite a group to play samba live. The restaurant is called Canto do Noel. The atmosphere is very fun and pleasant. People dance samba around the musical group, the feijoada is delicious (there are also other meals, but if you are in Brazil you should try the feijoada), and you can stay there all afternoon, while the sun goes down, drinking beers or caipirinhas to the rhythm of samba. Not bad, is it?
Finally, I was also able to enjoy the Brazilian Carnival in Florianópolis. As in other places in Brazil, there are events all over the city and people dress up and go out on the streets in “bloco” or “blocoinhos”, always with lots of music and drink. It's crazy! Recommended for those who like crowds and street parties, outdoors. I also went to the Sambódromo where the samba schools with “drums” and carnival costumes are presented. A fantastic cultural event, with good energy and you could even say that it is a small version of the Rio de Janeiro parade. It is worth living the experience!
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