For most visitors, Florianópolis encapsulates the perfect beach destination, and satisfaction comes in the simplest of ways: a beach recliner [sun-lounger] a sunshade and a beach. But even the most sedentary of tourists will at one stage or another want to leave the comfort of the beach where they are staying to visit other parts of the island. This entry is part of a trilogy (that includes forthcoming entries on Centre-Lagoa and the South) with tips and basic guidance on the most interesting points on the island.
On the north of Florianópolis we find the two beaches best loved by the Argentinians that crowd them: Canasvieiras and Ingleses. It is here that we find the biggest concentration of tourists on the entire island. Distances between beaches are not that big, although roads can become irritantingly slow during the high season, when bottlenecks are a permanent feature on an island with precarious road infrastructure.
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From west to east, the following are the main beaches on the north of the island:
Daniela. It’s 3 km long, with calm waters (no waves) and fine sand. Appropriate for families with children. On the left-hand side of the beach there is a mangrove where shrimp, crabs and cockles are caught.
Forte. Between Daniela and Jurerê, it is also quite suitable for families with kids. Forte is the site of the Fortaleza de São José da Ponta Grossa, part of the fortification system erected by the Portuguese to defend the island from invaders. No easy parking near the beach, which explains the fact that it’s usually less crowded than other beaches on the region.
Jurerê. Two beaches for the price of one. On the left-hand side, the private housing development of Jurerê Internacional. If you drive your car there you might be forgiven for thinking you are in Miami, with its mansions and luxury cars. If you want to see with your very own eyes where the rich live, this is one of the best places to do so. Calm waters and a wide seafront. To the right of Jurerê Internacional you will find Jurerê beach proper. They both have good infrastructure and lots of beach-goers.
Canasvieiras is next, with complete infrastructure, hoteles, restaurants and clubs. A piece of Argentina in Brazil. Calm waters, warm sea and a very narrow strip of sand that nearly vanishes during the high tide. From Canasvieiras there are boat trips to the Baía dos Golfinhos and Anhatomirim Island.
next we find the beaches of Cachoeira do Bom Jesus and Ponta das Canas. The sea on the former is similar to Canasvieiras, calm and mild waters. Well-equipped but quieter than Canasvieiras. Ponta das Canas evolved from an initial fishing village. Another beach suitable for families. White sands and warm waters. Lots of Argentinians around.
Lagoinha is one of the quietest beaches on the north of Florianópolis. It’s 1 km wide, with white sands and calm waters. You will only find summer houses there. It’s not easy to park nearby, though you can reach the beach on foot from Ponta das Canas.
Praia Brava, our next stop, attracts surfers with its waves. In spite of the waves and the cool water temperature, it is still a beach suitable for families as the sand strip is really wide. There are bars and restaurants. As you arrive in the the beach you will be shocked by the amount of houses built on the area.
Ingleses is the next beach, another favourite among Argentinians. It is one of the beaches with the highest concentration of houses on the entire island. At Ingleses the waves are more intense that at Canasvieiras and the water is cooler. Sandboarding is practiced at the dunes separating Ingleses from praia do Santinho.
Santinho beach, isolated from the rest, attracts travellers looking for piece and quiet. The rising number of houses will no doubt endanger that feeling of tranquility felt at Santinho. Strong waves and plenty of surfers. On the right-hand side of the beach you will find one of the most expensive hotel complexes on the island.
On the west coast of the island, half way between the centre of Florianópolis and the northern beaches, you will find the Portuguese villages of Sambaqui and Santo Antônio de Lisboa. Two interesting places for a walk with the family, although the beaches are not good for bathing. Both villages have a handful of seafood restaurants as well as crafts shops.
Leave your general queries on Florianópolis at the entry Destination: Florianópolis.
Category: Destination: Santa Catarina