Set on a hill north of Recife and surrounded by lush trees, Olinda is one of Brazil's most beautiful colonial towns.

Nestled amid palm trees on the top of a hill overlooking the deep blue tones of the Atlantic ocean and the shimmering skyscrapers of Recife, Olinda is charactarised by grand baroque churches, amber-coloured tiled rooftops and colourful houses sloping down the steep hills of the historic centre. Founded in 1535, the old city is spread across several small hills looking back towards Recife, but it belongs to a different world. In many ways Olinda is the Greenwich Village of Recife; it's here that many of the larger city's artists, musicians and liberal professionals live. It is most renowned, though, for its Carnival, held at the same time as the Rio Carnival, famous throughout Brazil, which attracts visitors from all over the country, as well as Europe.

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