Discovered by Brazil’s hippy crowd in the 1970s, placid beach town Trancoso has managed to stay remarkably faithful to its liberal, small-town soul. A world away from Rio’s busy beaches, this Bahia hideout marches to the beat of its own drum – and a very mellow beat it is, too. Many shops don’t open their doors until mid-afternoon, when the owners return from the beach or the leafy town square, the Quadrado, where you’re as likely to see the town patriarchs as a troupe of famous models. And that’s the thing about Trancoso: its cool, low-key character has drawn its fair share of the rich and famous, but they tend to like it precisely because they can let their guard down and embrace the carefree culture.
When to go
You can visit year-round, but the months between December and March are the most popular, when temperatures are consistently warm and there’s little rain. Be aware that Christmas and New Year tend to attract a crowd, so if you’re hoping to see the town at its most peaceful, it’s best to wait until they’ve passed.
PlanesThe nearest airport is Porto Seguro, an hour’s drive away. Unless you’re already in Brazil, you'll need to fly via Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo; both can be reached direct from many European capitals and larger US airports. The Smith24 team can arrange your flights and transfers for you; call anytime, day or night.
TrainsBrazil’s passenger trains are few and far between, so it’s road and air travel only for this one.
AutomobilesIf you’re coming from anywhere further than Salvador, you’re looking at a lengthy drive. It’s best to fly into Porto Seguro, then take a car or taxi from there.