The colonial gem of north-east Brazil


Located by the sea, with a lovely historical centre, a fabulous climate and one of the best carnivals in Brazil, what is there not to like about Olinda?!

Set in the state of Pernambuco in the north east of Brazil and only 5 miles away from Recife airport, the town of Olinda is an UNESCO world heritage site and rightly so. It has achieved this status because of the number of 16th and 17th century historical buildings which congregate around the cobbled streets lining the town.

The town is great to visit whether on a day trip from Recife or as part of a longer stay and has a huge amount of museums and churches to keep a visitor entertained. Just to the north of Olinda can also be found the town of Igarassu, home to the oldest church in Brazil. Although the city beach isn’t the best in Brazil there are a number of good beaches just to the north which are well worth visiting.

During carnival the town attracts huge amounts of visitors, many of whom will be staying in Recife and come to Olinda to party. In fact, Olinda ranks as the 3rd biggest carnival in Brazil behind Rio and Salvador attracting over 2 million partygoers! Carnival in Olinda is less structured than it is in Rio or Salvador which is a big part of its popularity, the streets coming alive on every corner with locally arranged blocos (block parties) with wild revelry and fabulous giant puppet costumes.

Whether you visit during carnival or anytime during the year, Olinda is a wonderful town to include on a holiday to Brazil.