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Buzios Is A Beach Lover’s Paradise

After a pleasant enough 3 hour bus ride from Rio’s Galeâo International Airport, we found ourselves in Buzios. A playground of Rio’s jet set, the peninsula is a beach lover’s dream with 23 different beaches offering higher than average sunshine all year round. A strange quirk of the place is that many Spanish-speaking people live here, making it unique in a country where Portuguese is the official language.

Originally settled by European pirates and slave traders, unsurprisingly the place prospered and became a picturesque fishing village, famous for its unique combination of rustic charm, incredible beauty and sophisticated boutiques and restaurants.

Buzios Brazil main boulevard fishing village

The main reason people flock here though, is those 23 beaches. Each beach and its surrounding suburb is quite distinct from another, in terms of size, facilities, crowd and overall vibe. So you can either pick your favourite, and stick to it, or if you’re the energetic and outdoorsy type, you can walk to several different beaches in a day.

Quaint Beach in Buzios Brazil

Rock pools & beaches in Buzios Brazil

Calm Ferradura Beach Buzios Brazil

One of the best, in my opinion, and the place we spent most of our time is Ferradura. The place we called home is a cove with calm waters and is a favourite of families and fans of water sports. Besides the tranquility, the beach also offers a range of kiosks on one side, serving cocktails, oysters and a range of freshly cooked meals including shrimp patties, fish fingers and sea bass stew with coconut milk and palm oil.

That was an absolute pleasure. We ordered our food an drinks from the pop-up restaurant and bar, and it was all delivered, cooked to perfection and placed on a table set up for us in the sand. But if you don’t feel like eating a full meal on the beach, there are constant vendors selling a range of warm, delicious bite-sized pies, so you’re never going to go hungry.

Ferradura Bay & beach Buzios Brazil

Restaurant & bar on Buzios beach in Brazil

Our absolute favourite spot for lunch, however, turned out to be at Rocka restaurant, looking out over Brava Beach, a couple of bays over. A funky upmarket beach shack, we spent one entire afternoon there, enjoying seafood and bubbly alongside the beach club and people bronzing themselves on a thin sliver of sand above high tide.

Rocka Brava Beach Buzios Brazil

Brava Beach Buzios Brazil

Seafood platter Rocka restaurant Buzios Brazil

When we’d had enough of the beach, the stylish Insolito boutique hotel back in Ferradura became our base for sundowners, with the DJ creating a great chilled lounge vibe. Then we would inevitably move up to the restaurant deck, also overlooking the ocean for top quality dinner dishes and a great selection of wine.

DJ Booth Insolito Hotel Buzios Brazil

Deck at Insolito Hotel Buzios Brazil

Sundowners Insolito Hotel Buzios Brazil

Restaurant Insolito Hotel Buzios Brazil

In the evenings, when we felt like a bit more action we caught a taxi over to the central waterfront and fishermen’s village, peppered with colourful boats. At dinnertime, the traditional address of restaurants is Rua das Pedras and its Orla Bardot, a beautiful stretch that leads to Praia dos Ossos, the birthplace of the town of Búzios. It gets very lively in the evening as people fill the pavement bars,cafes and clubs whilst families take long, slow walks through the village. Some of the best pizza we’ve ever had can be found at the ever popular Lorenzo Pizzeria & Cantina and another of our absolute favourite seaside places was BarDoZee, a stylish whitewashed restaurant with exquisite food and laid back vibe.

Fishing village streets Buzios Brazil

Buzios Fishing Village Brazil

 

Bar Dozee Restaurant Buzios Brazil

Bar Dozee view Buzios Brazil

Buzios really is an amazing beach holiday that can be a s chilled or busy as you like. So if you find yourself in this part of Brazil, you’d do very well to stop and spend a few days sunning yourself and soaking up the party vibe at night.

 

 

 

 

 

15 Reasons I Love Dubai

Having lived in Dubai for almost five years, I know that much like every city I’ve lived in, it has its good and not-so-good sides. But I think it often gets a bad rap that it doesn’t deserve. So I thought I’d reflect on the things I do love about living in this fascinating city.

Weather

Aside from the recent cloud seeding that had everyone including the weatherman confused, you can’t argue with more than 300 days of beautiful sunshine a year. Whether I actually spend endless weekends outside or not, I like the fact that it’s sunny and that I can lie at the pool or go to a beach whenever I like. It’s pretty good for my mood too.

Travel

The Middle East is so well situated that flying anywhere in the world is far easier than it is from most other regions. And Dubai is so geared for travelling, that popping down to the airport for a quick trip feels as easy as going to the local supermarket.

Airlines

Along with that, the region has some of the best airlines in the world. Emirates, Etihad and Qatar are all first class airlines and make travelling a pleasure.

Cosmopolitan Crowd

If you’ve never been to Dubai you wouldn’t believe how cosmopolitan the city is. You can go to most dinner parties and everyone around the table will be from a different country, often with parents of different nationalities and a childhood spent in exotic locations. So unless you’re a real introvert, chances are your group of friends is from all over the world, and that in itself makes life in this city fascinating.

Jetty Lounge beach bar One & Only Royal Mirage hotel Dubai UAE

Coastal Vibe

The city of Dubai has literally risen from the desert over the past few years. It is now more city than sleepy fishing village or pearl diving post. Yet somehow, when you live here, it still has that laid-back coastal vibe to it. Once you descend from the tower blocks, you feel like you’re living in a (very sophisticated) coastal town. It’s not too small, or too big (yet).

Beaches & Yachts

Keeping with that sophisticated coastal town vibe, most residents in this city like to do things in style. So along with a few stunning beach bars, there are also plenty of great beach clubs and more than a handful of companies that rent out private yachts. So spending a stylish day out in the sun is very easy and does make weekends that much more enjoyable.

Sitting on the yacht in marina

Safety

Overall Dubai is a pretty safe place to live and raise children. And relative to most other countries in the region, it’s way more stable. Just ask the millions of regional expats that live here. So when it comes to planning a family that makes a big difference.

Dubai’s Ruler

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is undoubtedly a visionary leader and very passionate about wanting the best for his people. It’s hard to fault that. He’s also pretty cool. He drives himself around, is genuinely liked and respected by locals and expats alike. And somehow he still finds time to take part in desert horse races. I don’t see many other leaders doing that.

Open Space

The desert is obviously a beautiful part of Dubai, and being able to simply drive into it and camp is a real luxury for people. But just having lots of open space is a luxury too. The city doesn’t feel overcrowded or overwhelming, and that helps with its relaxed vibe.

Sun setting in the desert in Dubai UAE

No Tax

What’s not to like about this one? More money in my pocket means more travel.

Signature Restaurants

OK it isn’t London, New York or Paris, but slowly the city is developing a great foodie scene. The Michelin Star chefs all like to open signature restaurants here, and some homegrown stars are beginning to emerge. So we’re starting to get a taste of the best from all over the world, which isn’t bad for a small city in the desert. To top it off, Zuma and Le Petit Maison have recently been ranked in the world’s top 100 restaurants for the second year running.

Dream Cars

Luxury cars are dime a dozen here. Every second one is a Rolls, Bentley, Ferrari or some other customised marque. It does make for pretty viewing, but the good thing is that overall, cars are comparatively affordable here and filling the tank is ridiculously cheap. That means you’re more likely to upgrade to the luxury car you’ve always wanted.

Bentley car at polo game Dubai polo club

Luxury Shopping

Dubai is a shopping mecca. It has the world’s biggest mall, plans for an even bigger one, and dozens of other designer stores and souks. The city wants the best, so they encourage the world’s best stores and top designers to open up here. And there’s plenty of cool homegrown talent that’s starting to emerge too.

Snow Skiing

Dubai has some quirky places, like Ski Dubai where you can snow ski any time of year. Yes it’s bizarre, but that’s what makes it amazing. And it’s a pretty cool place to practice skiing or snowboarding too.

Indoor snow ski slope Mall of the Emirates Dubai UAE

Thinking Big

I love the fact that Dubai’s leaders think big. Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building (for now) and Palm Jumeirah are engineering marvels, and are very cool too. I love the idea that anything is possible here. It’s a much better mindset than the negativity you often hear in other cities.

Final Word

As I said, every city has its good and its bad, and you will find something to moan about wherever you live. But I know I’m not alone in loving Dubai. There are a few million expats living here, and a fair bunch of them think the same way as I do. So if you had any preconceived ideas about the city, maybe you should put them aside for now, and come and take a look for yourself. It’s a great place.