Praia do Forno © Leonardo Shinagawa
Once the preserve of pirates and slave traders, the peninsula of Buzios, 109 miles (176km) northeast of Rio de Janeiro, is today the haunt of the rich and famous who flock to the city to enjoy the 24 beaches in the vicinity. The peninsula was popularised by legendary movie star Brigitte Bardot in the 1960s, whose 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 ideal for swimming, while the east coast beaches face the open sea and are a little wilder, drawing surfers and water sports enthusiasts to its choppy waters. 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.