Established in 1551 on an island at the confluence of rivers and the ocean, Vitoria is the capital of Espirito Santo state. Vitoria is a handsome port city, with a modern, industrial appeal and beautiful, tranquil beaches. What's left of the original old city can be explored on the island, which is connected to the rest of the metropolitan area by bridges, with the most affluent neighbourhoods situated close to the historical centre.
Known as capixabas, locals are a warm and welcoming lot, embracing the influx of tourists drawn to the flourishing economy, infrastructure and booming nightlife scene. Vitoria scores highly for quality of life by Brazilian standards, and boasts all the amenities visitors could wish for.
The best beaches in Vitoria include the beautiful Praia da Costa in neighbouring Vila Velha, and the Canto and Camburi beaches to the north. Other attractions include the ornate Palacio Anchieta, the old Governor's Palace, the meticulously restored Carlos Gomes Theatre and the lovely Pedra da Cebola Park â€' great for a stroll and a picnic.
Espirito Santo lacks high-profile tourist attractions, but as a result, the state is less crowded, less commercialised and often cheaper than many others in Brazil â€' a good option, therefore, for those seeking an authentic, laid-back and affordable holiday exploring little villages along the coast.