Self-drive North-east Brazil

A 2 week self-drive itinerary between Recife and Salvador

Self-drive North-east Brazil

The stretch of coastline from Recife to Salvador has some of the best and most pristine beaches in Brazil. It’s easy to travel around from beach to beach and for that reason makes it a perfect area for a self-drive holiday. Traffic is very light once you get out of the cities and having your own car enables you to have greater flexibility in a part of Brazil which has relatively poor transport links. This two week tailor-made itinerary begins in Recife and features time in colonial Olinda, Porto de Galinhas, Sao Miguel dos Milagres and Barra do Sao Miguel in Alagoas, Aracaju, Praia do Forte and finishes in the wonderful city of Salvador. It’s the perfect way to see an incredible area of Brazil under your own steam.


Day 1 – Olinda

Fly to Recife where on arrival you will be met by an English speaking guide and transferred north of Recife to the beautiful colonial town of Olinda for the night, a 30 minute drive.

HotelIcon Pousada do Amparo

Pousada Amparo Pousada Amparo

The Hotel is located in the heart of Olinda’s “Cidade Alta” (old town) among its historical building and monuments, and is the ideal site to watch the city’s world famous Carnival.  This hotel is known for its charm and great location. It is located on the famous street “Rua do Amparo”, which is where the largest number of Brazilian artists can be found. With 18 apartments carefully decorated with a mix of the comfort of the simple life and the excitement of the lively artists, Pousada do Amparo is an excellent choice. Each room is equipped with air-conditioner, mini fridge, safe, telephone, TV, and private bathroom. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, this hotel is an excellent place to relax and enjoy life. In addition, you can enjoy the serenity of the hotel’s surroundings by taking a refreshing dip in one of the swimming pools.

Day 2 – Olinda / Porto de Galinhas

This morning a guide will take you on a walking tour of colonial Olinda before taking you to the car hire office.

It is easier to begin the drive in Olinda rather than Recife due to the traffic and the guide will assist you at the car hire office with the relevant paperwork where you will receive driving instructions, maps and general advice about driving in Brazil.

You will depart from Olinda and drive south past Recife for about 60 minutes to the beach resort of Porto de Galinhas for the next 3 nights.

HotelIcon Nannai Beach Resort & Spa

Nannai_Beach_Resort Nannai_Beach_Resort

Located just 54 km from Recife and 8 Km from Porto de Galinhas, on Muro Alto Beach, is the Nannai Beach Resort. The overall objective of the resort is to provide comfort and luxury in harmony with the surrounding natural environment. The interior and exterior design of the resort focuses on the use of natural materials such as wood and ornamental plants to combine refinement with organic charm. All of the accommodations strive for privacy, tranquillity and comfort, whether one of the 2 categories of apartments, or one of the 3 categories of beachfront bungalows. The beachfront units are equipped with a completely private veranda, a gazebo and a swimming pool, a 29” TV, a DVD player, air-conditioning, a ceiling fan, a sofa-bed, a clock-radio, a private bathroom, a hair dryer, a telephone, a mini-bar, and an electronic safe. To ensure their guests’ entertainment, the Nannai Beach Resort provides a variety of activities, including a large pool with a volleyball court, Jacuzzis, tennis courts, a beach soccer field, a beach volleyball court, a putting green, a kid’s club, a game room, a zip line, a fitness centre, a sauna, aquatic sports (kayaks, snorkelling and boat trips), water aerobics and dance classes. There is also a babysitter service (48 hours advanced notice), a library, a boutique, a cyber café, a 24 hour nurse, a heliport, laundry service and 24 hour room service. Guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at the onsite restaurant that serves regional cuisine and features a large selection of fine wines.

Days 3-4 – Porto de Galinhas

These days are free for you to relax in Porto de Galinhas, snorkel, soak up the sunshine and discover the various colourful chickens which appear throughout the town! Porto de Galinhas regularly wins the award for Brazil’s best beach town.

Day 5 – Sao Miguel dos Milagres

Today you can continue your journey south crossing the state border from Pernambuco and heading into Alagoas towards the small town of Sao Miguel dos Milagres where you can spend your next two nights.

HotelIcon Casa Acayu

Pousada do Caju,Sao Miguel dos Milagres Pousada do Caju, Sao Miguel dos Milagres

This boutique-style pousada is located in the quaint fishing village of São Miguel dos Milagres, around 100 kilometres north of Maceió. It nestles among swaying coconut palms and verdant tropical gardens, a mere 150 metres from the unspoiled beach of Toque. A circular balcony surrounds the building, providing access to the seven comfortable designer rooms, all of which are equipped with air conditioning, minibar, 29” television and DVD. Other facilities include a lovely lagoon-style swimming pool with sunken bar and hydro-massage.

Day 6 – Sao Miguel dos Milagres

A day to explore São Miguel dos Milagres, located on the Coral Coast, about 100 km north of Maceió. The town is surrounded by lush coconut groves, pristine white sand beaches and an emerald green ocean. During low tide natural tide pools form, providing excellent conditions for snorkelling and scuba diving. Manatees can be observed on the nearby Tatuamunha Beach. The cosy and tiny fishing village is home to only 6500 inhabitants and it is one of the eldest towns of the state. The town’s history is closely related to the battle between the Dutch and the Portuguese. It holds many fine colonial mansions, churches and old sugarcane mills dating from the beginning of the 20th century.

Day 7 – Barra de Sao Miguel

Carry on driving south through Alagoas perhaps stopping at beaches on the way until you pass Maceio and reach the town of Barra do Sao Miguel where you can spend your next two nights.

HotelIcon Gungaporanga Hotel

Gungaporanga Hotel Gungaporanga Hotel

The Gungaporanga Hotel is located only 35 km from Maceió on top of a cliff with stunning views of Gunga Beach and Barra de São Miguel. It offers an outdoor swimming pool and spacious bungalows, two of them with private pool. All are well equipped and feature a modern décor including LCD cable TV with DVD player and a minibar. Some rooms have a private hot tub. The infrastructure includes a sauna, fitness centre and games room.

Day 8 – Barra de Sao Miguel

A day to explore the most visited town of Alagoas state. Barra de São Miguel is situated about 30 km south of Maceió, between the famous beaches of Gunga and Francês. The town is privilegedly set along pristine white sand beaches with crystal clear waters, stunning dunes, mangroves and nearby paradisiacal islands and coral reefs. Pools are formed during the low tide, offering excellent snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities, whereas the high tide offers some first-class surfing. Schooner, sailing boat and jangada trips are offered to nearby Gunga Beach. Other outings include trips to the nearby island of Tres Corações, where the sea acquires shades of red, when it meets the Niquim River. The Alto de Santana viewpoint offers a stunning view over Barra de São Miguel and its surroundings.

Day 9 – Aracaju

Carry on driving south and cross into the state of Sergipe and to the state capital of Aracaju for the night.

Sergipe is a sugar-producing region that was strategically important in colonial times. Offshore oilfields have brought new prosperity to the city in recent years. Although Aracaju is modern city, being laid out on a grid pattern, not far away are the colonial towns of Laranjeiras and São Cristóvão, the former state capital. From the southern border of Sergipe, a short boat trip across the Rio Real enables visitors to reach Mangue Seco, a small village with splendid beaches at the northernmost point of the Bahian coast.

HotelIcon Hotel Radisson Aracaju

Hotel Radisson Aracaju Hotel Radisson Aracaju

This brand new hotel is situated on Atalaia Beach just 14 kilometres from Aracaju airport. It has 148 rooms (superior, deluxe, premium suites and royal suites), some of which offer views over the beach. Two restaurants offer a choice of international and Mediterranean cuisine.

Day 10 – Praia do Forte

Carry on driving south crossing the state border and into Bahia until you reach Praia do Forte where you can spend your next two nights.

HotelIcon Tivoli Eco-Resort Praia do Forte

Tivoli Ecoresort, Praia do Forte Tivoli Ecoresort, Praia do Forte

Tivoli Eco-resort Praia do Forte is located on a magnificent strip of Brazil’s coastline where constant sunshine meets breathtaking palm tree fringed beaches to create the tropical paradise of your dreams. Situated just north of Salvador the resort makes a wonderful combination with the city and is built to high eco-design specifications in a wonderful setting. The Tivoli Eco-resort comprises of 248 apartments, including several suites scattered over 250,000 square metres of supreme beachfront property. Each room is decorated to combine comfort with natural style and comes complete with a sea facing balcony and hammock for relaxing. All rooms are ensuite and air conditioned and contain a safe, minibar, cable TV and Wi-Fi connection. The onsite spa offers a wide range of treatments along with a sauna and climate controlled pool. For those looking for something a little more active there is a fitness centre and gymnastics room and activities such as yoga, pilates, dance, capoeira lessons, crafts and eco walks. There is an extensive range of services including 8 swimming pools, a football pitch, tennis courts, beach volleyball court, watersports centre and an amphitheatre for evening activities. The three restaurants and two bars offer something for all tastes including regional and international cuisine.

Day 11 – Praia do Forte

A free day to relax in Praia do Forte. Explore the ruins of the Garcia d’Avila fortress, discover turtles at the Tamar Project or simply laze on the beach.

Day 12 Salvador da Bahia

Today you will make your final drive, a short distance to the Salvador international airport, where you can drop your car off.

You will then be transferred into the city of Salvador where you can stay the next two nights.

HotelIcon Hotel Villa Bahia

Villa Bahia, Salvador Villa Bahia, Salvador

Situated in the heart of the Pelourinho and in the Largo do Cruzeiro de São Francisco with its beautiful church lies the Hotel Villa Bahia, two former colonial homes which have been transformed into one of the most elegant hotels in Salvador. A wonderful place to stay. The beautiful Hotel Villa Bahia is perhaps our favourite in the city. The Villa is comprised of two adjoining 17th and 18th century colonial homes, remnants of the Portuguese era. Villa Bahia is overlooking the colourful facades of Pelourinho, the seventeen rooms of the hotel have been carefully renovated to preserve their original design. The hotel is really wonderful creating an authentic colonial atmosphere, enhanced by two garden courtyards, a refreshing plunge pool and a panoramic terrace. Not only this, each of the rooms have air conditioning, TV and DVD player, Wi-Fi and a safe. All of the rooms are unique and they contain their own charm such as high ceilings and four poster beds, our favourite room is Madagascar.

Day 13 Salvador da Bahia

Today you will be met by a private speaking English guide and for a walking tour of Salvador. You will head to the Pelourinho, an important historical area and a symbol of the black movement in Bahia. The Pelourinho is home to important churches, museums, Brazilian artists’ studios, galleries, shops and restaurants. Your guide will explain to you the significance of the area as you walk around the city with time to visit all the main sights of interest.

Day 14 Fly home

Following a private transfer to Salvador airport, today you will wave goodbye to Brazil and board a flight back to the UK after what will have been an unforgettable Brazil holiday.

What’s Included

  • Return international flights to Brazil
  • Private arrival transfers from Recife airport to Olinda
  • 11 days car hire in a Renault Sandero 1.6L with a/c or similar plus insurance
  • 1 night in Olinda at the Pousada do Amparo in a deluxe room with breakfast
  • Half day walking tour of Olinda
  • 3 nights in Porto de Galinhas at the Nannai Beach Resort in a deluxe room with breakfast and dinner
  • 2 nights in Sao Miguel dos Milagres at the Pousada do Caju in a superior garden view room with breakfast and dinner
  • 2 nights in Barra de Sao Miguel at the Hotel Gungaporanga in a deluxe bungalow with breakfast
  • 1 night in Aracaju at the Hotel Radisson Aracaju in a deluxe room with breakfast
  • 2 nights in Praia do Forte at the Tivoli Eco Resort in a premium room with breakfast and dinner
  • 2 nights in Salvador at the Hotel Villa Bahia in a deluxe room with breakfast
  • Walking tour of Salvador
  • English speaking guides for all transfers and tours.

Not Included

  • Beverages and meals which are not specified;
  • Phone calls and personal expenses;
  • Travel insurance;
  • * All other services stated as optional or not explicitly stated as included.*

From: £3,210 per person, based on 2 people sharing

This is a guide price based on the use of standard rooms at low season, all transfers and international flights (from Europe).

Please enquire and we will provide a full quote for you.

All our itineraries are tailor-made to your own requirements so can be modified however you wish.