Buzios, Joao Fernandinho ©
Once the preserve of pirates and slave traders, the peninsula of Buzios, 105 miles (169km) northeast of Rio de Janeiro, is today the haunt of the rich and famous who flock to the city (once a fishing village) to enjoy the twenty or so beaches in the vicinity. The peninsula was popularised by legendary movie star Brigitte Bardot in the 1960s, and her statue still graces the main street of Buzios, the Rua des Pedras. The peninsula is a sophisticated beach resort with a very active nightlife and fine restaurants. The west coast beaches offer calm, clear waters while the east coast ones, facing the open sea, are a little wilder and draw the surfers and water sports enthusiasts. Among the most popular beaches are Azeda Beach, Joao Fernandinho Beach (with several bars and known for its good seafood), Ferradura Beach, and Geriba beach, which is popular for surfing.
Buzios can be reached by road from Rio via the Rio-Niteroi toll bridge, or by bus from the Novo Rio Bus Station.