church Sao Joao Batista

Informations about Trancoso

Learn more about living in Trancoso.

  Imagine: After a long, relaxing, sunny day on the beach you stroll back home alongside other tourists and some laughing locals. You reach the Quadrado and sit down under a giant mango tree and sip the milk of a coconut offered along the way. You look at some horses grazing in front of the ancient church and you can see the football-crazed youth, shouting and playing on the other side of the square. The lush warm wind hovers around your body and you see people of all colours and countries stroll alongside the beautifully colored little restaurants, boutiques and bars on the Quadrodo. With a content sigh you think of the tasty lunch, the caipirinhas and the good company you might have later after the reviving shower that slowly pulls you home. You have reached... You are in Trancoso!

The heart of Trancoso is the Quadrado, a wide green square with it´s typical charming, colonial style houses and the ancient São João Batista church on it´s top. The Quadrado is listed in brazils cultural and historical heritage and since the establishment of Trancoso in the 16th  century hardly anything has changed here (>go to History of Trancoso). In order not to disturb the graceful peace of this green oasis it is kept free of traffic and the only opportunity to experience this otherwise so idyllic place in full excitement, is the religious celebrations, that regularly take place to honour the saints. And that Brazilians know how to celebrate goes without saying..

On the Quadrado everybody promenades the colourfull little houses harbouring boutiques, art shops, bars and restaurants in a calm and peacefull atmosphere. Soft music -even live- invites you, to eat or have a drink in the open.

The unique diversity of the place also relies on the many international artists that have found an ideal place to let their creativity run free. You will find their work, ranging from pictures and skulptures to decoration, jewelery, handicrafts of all sorts and the latest brazilian designer fashion in the little shops around the Quadrado.

Charming little restaurants which enchant their guests not only with the Brazilian cuisine but also with international specialities, are worth more than one visit. You will find exclusive upper-class restaurants like "Capim Santo" and "Cacao" as well as economical but tasty places like the "Portinha" self-service, where you meet locals and backpackers.

When night falls one best relaxes in one of the numerous bars to warm up for a visit in the discos with their open air dancefloors. The music style goes from traditional brazilian Fórro and Samba to Rock/Pop and Trance/Brazilian Beats. Especially in the high season from Dezember to February you will find excessive beach parties and well known brazilian musicians are giving small intimate debues in Trancoso. Despite all that Trancoso is not a high wired nightlife and party place but keeps it´s own pace and style that is grasped rather spiritually than materially. No wonder thus that Trancoso is cult with the brazilian Jet-Set as well as with backpackers from all over the globe. Also a lot of US-americans, italians, french, austrians, germans, argentinos, israeli and swiss people made Trancoso their permanent home.

But the best about Trancoso is still it´s beautiful and romantic beaches.

In general there are two types of beaches. The first category are the busier ones with bars and restaurants directly on the beach where you can eat, drink and meet people. In the second category, more distant, you find solemn areas where you won´t meet anybody for miles and better have your own food and drinks with you to survive.

History of Trancoso

The history of Trancoso reaches far back in to the 16th century. On 22 of April in 1500 the portuguese conqueror Pedro Alvares Cabral landed with his fleet in Porto Seguro ("safe harbour"), about 30 km north of Trancoso, and set the foundation-stone of the portuguese rule over Brazil. Still today the brazilians celebrate this day as the "discovery" of Brazil.

In the year 1586 a Jesuitenorder founded the village São João Batista dos Indios ,known today as Trancoso. Over centuries Trancoso remained a completely unknown and remote little village.

Only in the late 70ties of the 20th century some dropouts and hippies discovered the village again. In these times the only way to reach Trancoso was by boat or a daylong walk along the beach. In this remote place far away from modern civilization the newcomers were welcomed by the native peasants and although from different backgrounds they lived peacefully together. Some of the new inhabitants became rich by trading modern goods, like gas operated fridges, for at times kilometer-long, for the natives worthless because barren, beach sections. Today this land is worth millions.

The real "discovery" of Trancoso for a broader public only took place in the the 90ies and reached a peak when the first asphalted road to Trancoso was build in the year 2000. Since then Trancoso is growing permanently and rapidly in terms of inhabitants and infrastructure. Without losing it´s unique character of a lush laidback and cosy place it has become a popular and wellknown touristic spot among the Brazilian Jet-Set and travellers from all over the world.

houses on the Quadrado
lojas no Quadrado
praia dos coqueiros
Pablo Tyrol 2010 ............................................