Salvador de Bahia – a holiday option with a combination of history, Afro-Brazilian culture and relaxation.
On the Bahia state coastline, at the entrance to the vast and magnificent « All Saints Bay » (Baia de Todos os Santos), Salvador de Bahia offers you a refreshing vacation in an authentic and welcoming Brazil. It was the original capital of Brazil and is steeped in history where you can visit a whole quarter that has around 800 well conserved buildings dating back to the Renaissance and up to the 18th century.
You can discover this amazing heritage by visiting the historical quarter of Pelourinho (the pillory, referring to the one that was once installed in the main square and used to punish the slaves). This area of old coloured houses and cobbled streets has been renovated and is now one of the best preserved heritage sites in Brazil. During this tour a personal guide will take you on a trip into the history covering most of the Portuguese colonization of Brazil.
Salvador de Bahia is an important historical town, but also has a beautiful coastline of 50kms with lots of tropical beaches. It is also an emblematic place for mixed races where 82% of its population declares itself of Afro descent. (ref: IBGE 2014).
Nick-named the « Black Rome », It is the true birthplace of Afro-Brazilian culture and proudly claims its omnipresent African origins. You can see this influence especially during the carnivals and capoeira demonstrations, which are a mixture of wrestling, dance and spirituality. Also in the syncretic religious cult practiced in this region, the Candomblé, which combines Christianity and African polytheism. With its 365 churches, the city is strongly influenced by religious thought, and spiritualism is everywhere.
It is therefore above all an ideal destination if you are interested in the Brazilian culture and its various facets. A vacation in Salvador de Bahia will be a unique opportunity to meet the soul of Brazilian culture. When leaving, you will have a better understanding of the creation of the contemporary society of this country, while also enjoying the friendly atmosphere unique to the capital of Bahia. Not forgetting the beautiful local crafts, and delicious African cooking with its indigenous influences based on seafood. Definitely some of the best cooking in the country!
In the Salvador de Bahia stay
The Pelourinho district
with its baroque churches and colonial houses
The crafts of the Model Market
The amazing and mystical church of Bonfim
Our Salvador de Bahia Tour Package:
- 1 private transfer from the airport to Salvador de Bahia and your hotel
- 2 nights in a hotel with a double room
- 1/2 a day’s visit with a personal guide around the historical’ centre of Salvador de Bahia (3hrs)
- 1/2 a days « panoramic » visit of the town on a private tour with a guide and vehicle. (3hrs)
- 1 private transfer from your hotel to the airport.
A destination with spectacular historical treasures
With the guided tours you will go on during your stay, you will discover the most important monuments of the first capital of Brazil.
The first excursion will be dedicated to the Pelourinho district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. the Cidade Alta, the original Baroque style colonial town is magnificent with its cobbled streets lined with superb polychrome houses in pastel colours, its wide paved squares (Praça da Sé, Praça Tome de Souza …) and its magnificent and imposing religious buildings decorated with gold.
Strolling with your guide in these charming narrow streets full of history, you will discover many examples of Afro-Brazilian culture. Numerous craft shops, percussion or capoeira schools, painters, sculptors and other artists, a whole world will be displayed before you, proof of the exceptional cultural vitality of this place.
During the second visit, you will continue discovering the city down to the waterfront and to the port. It is connected to the historical district by a surprising public elevator, the Elevador Lacerda, dating from the end of the 19th century and offering a breathtaking panoramic view over the bay. Notably the Mercado Modelo, a large building erected on the waterfront in which are grouped many craftsmen and souvenir sellers, an ideal place to do some shopping.
Then on further north along the Itapagipe peninsula to visit the “Sacred Hill”, which houses the church Nosso Senhor de Bonfim. This high place of worship of Bahian Catholicism is one of the most important in the country. It is easily recognized with its thousands of fitas, famous lucky ribbons dedicated to the local saint. With their myriad colours, they will make wonderful gifts to take back to France!
Other visits also planned, such as the Dique do Tororo, a lake on which stands imposing coloured statues of the principal saints of Candomblé. You can also admire the architecture of the famous Fort Mont Serrat, as well as the first lighthouse of the Americas in Barraun
Explore the good life and amazing landscapes of Salvador.
Salvador is a metropolis on a human scale. It adapts to your rhythm and your desires thanks to the many activities you can do here. Here are some ideas.
Looking for a place to relax ? This town has tens of kms of beautiful beaches, with long stretches of sand or small rocky coves : at the southern end of town, the Barra beach in the chic quarter has warm waters, bright sun umbrellas and the old lighthouse. At Itapuã, you can enjoy the beach in the shade of the coconut trees for a lazy afternoon eating acarajé, delicious shrimp donuts sold by the Bahians dressed in their traditional costumes.
If you like art and nature, rendez-vous in the Pituaçu parc to wander, run or bike round this preserved ecosystem decorated with 800 modern sculptures. An even more exotic excursion will take you to the Itaparica island, Famous for its superb coral reefs and fishing villages. It’s easy to get to, take a regular boat crossing from the lower end of town.
If you enjoy good food you will love the famous Bahian cuisine with its regional specialties such as the Acarajes, the Moqueca de Peixe, and the bobo de camarao. And why not a good caipirinha, The national cocktail made with cachaca and lemon juice ? To be drunk in moderation but while dancing to the rhythm of the local bands.
If you’re lucky, you can see the Olodum, band play, they invented the now famous batucada, a percussion parade with an unusual and enchanting rhythm. It takes place two Tuesdays per month during the local winter (European summer) in the Pelourinho quarter. In this same quarter you can attend a mass at 6pm every evening accompanied by a batuque at the Nossa Senhora do Rosario dos Pretos church.
The carnival will be a dream come true in your vacation package
The carnival takes place in February each year and is a unique moment to experience the festive fever of this town.
More than a million people come from all over Brazil, and the world, to participate in undoubtedly one of the most exciting festivals on the planet.
For one week, the whole population is in the streets to « pular » (dancer and jump) night and day to the axe, the local carnival music. Huge trucks are covered with amplifiers and a dance stage for music groups to perform live in the streets, these « Trios electricos », parade in the town followed by a huge crowd dancing and gyrating to the feverish music played by the locals and famous musicians. When the party is at its peak, it is sometimes difficult to escape the crowd as it is so packed so the only choice is to dance along and enjoy the fun !
However, remember two things: if you want to come to Salvador de Bahia at carnival time you need to book 6 months in advance. Also, hotel prices rocket at this time and can be twice or even five times the normal price with a minimum booking of 3 nights.
Detailed program of our Salvador de Bahia package
Day 1 : Salvador de Bahia IN
Arrival at the Salvador de Bahia airport.
Your driver will be waiting in the arrival hall to take you to your hotel.
Arrival and check-in at your hotel and time to unpack.
Night at hotel.
Day 2 : Salvador de Bahia– Visit of the historical quarter
After a copious hotel breakfast, you will meet your guide at reception for a historical tour of the upper part of town, on foot.
For about 3hrs, you will discover the magnificent historical town centre that has been well preserved and maintained as it was the original capital of Brazil.
With the baroque style buildings some of which are now shops and the golden laid churches, you will see all the splendor of this period unfold before you.
If you wish, you can also ask the guide to take you on a visit of the town museum, la casa do Olodum, la casa cultural Jorge Amado or the superb Museum Afro-Brasileiro (entrance fees not included).
Around noon, you can choose to come back to your hotel or lunch in one of the local restaurants.
Afternoon is free to do as you please.
You can enjoy the hotel facilities such as the pool to avoid the heat at midday. You can also go to the beach by taxi and enjoy the coastline and beaches. Barra beach is the closest, but you can also cross the bay and find more deserted beaches on the continent or on the Itaparica island.
Night at hotel.
Day 3 : Salvador de Bahia –Panoramic tour
Tropical fruit juices, cakes, sweet & savory local specialties await you for your breakfast at the hotel.
After discovering the historic town centre the day before, the panoramic tour will take you around the main monuments in the different quarters of town in a private vehicle with a guide so as not to miss anything at each place.
You will go along the Itapagipe peninsula to admire the amazing view before reaching the Bonfim church, the highest place of worship for the Bahian Christians with its famous ribbons and ex-votos.
You will then carry on towards the Dique de Tororo and its 8 statues of Orixas, the main saints of the Afro-Brazilian religion, the Candomble.
Finally, you can visit the Fort of Mont Serrat, one of the most striking examples of Brazilian military architecture.
At the end of the morning, you return to the hotel to check-out.
Depending on your flight time, a driver will pick you up and take you to the airport.
Arrival at the airport and end of our services.
Accommodation in Salvador de Bahia
Hotel Sol express Vitoria Marina (low prices)
Located in the oldest part of town, the Sol express Vitoria Marina hotel is a modern building facing the ocean and has plain rooms that are equipped with all necessary comforts rooms. With a swimming pool on the roof and a jetty into the sea with a restaurant and water slide you will enjoy this pleasant and calm hotel.
If you want to control your expenses or you are a family, this is an excellent choice due to its good value for money.
Pousada do Pilar (Standard)
The pousada do Pilar is a small charming residence well situated in the historical centre of Salvador de Bahia. Its one of the only hotels in this quarter with rooms that have a terrace and view of the bay, one of the reasons we have put it in our selection.
The 9 rooms available are big and comfortable and have a good combination of natural materials, local craftsmanship and modern amenities. It’s an ideal choice for couples looking for a quaint hotel among friends or for a longer stay. Good value for money, but you have to book well in advance as it is very popular especially in high season.
Convento do Carmo (superior)
In the centre of the Pelourinho quarter, the Convento do Carmo is an unrivalled establishment in Brazil. It was historically the first ever hotel in Brazil, built in an ancient convent dating back to the colonization of Brazil. Its thick walls guaranty quiet and cool temperatures.
Completely renovated and adapted to its new role as a hotel it has beautiful rooms with top quality materials and a classic style done with excellent taste. It is an exceptional place where luxury and history mingle perfectly well. The ideal place for all travelers looking for top quality accommodation or simply want to splash out and stay in a famous location drenched in history!
prestations de haut niveau ou tout simplement se faire plaisir en séjournant dans un lieu chargé d’histoire !
Villa Bahia (superior)
Ideally located in the historical quarter of Pelourinho, the Villa Bahia is a charming hotel with very good services. The hotel has 2 old buildings dating back to the XVIth century looking out over the magnificent baroque Sao Francisco. It has 17 rooms all decorated differently, and is a charming place to stay surrounded by Portuguese colonial history. Each room is tastefully decorated with classic furniture but modern colours and materials successfully evoking the Portuguese colonial Renaissance. To add to this there is a terrace and small pool to allow visitors to relax and enjoy their surroundings!
An exceptional place with a unique charm, run by a Frenchman who promotes the local culture in a luxurious atmosphere that will please the most exigent clientele. A unique villa which justifies its prices that are above the local average. A must for those looking for quality and charm.