Despite being a tropical country, Brasil is not just about the ocean and high temperatures. Mountain regions offer charm and coziness in towns of milder temperatures and classical architectures, features that are typical of some European cities. Brazilian mountain ranges affords travelers the best programs for the colder periods of the year. Nothing better than to enjoy with fondue, fine wine and the mountains in the background.
Petrópolis, in the state of Rio de Janeiro, is perhaps the most famous of them. This town dating back to the Imperial Period (19th century) has historical buildings. The German influence is greatly represented due to the decree signed by Emperor Dom Pedro II, in 1843, which determined the settlement of a town of German immigrants. Designed by Major Júlio Frederico Koeler, Petrópolis is considered the second planned city of the country, after Recife, which was designed by the Dutch.
The District of Penedo, also in Rio de Janeiro, is located in the south of the State. It’s an ecological park within the municipality of Itatiaia. They say it’s the main Finnish colony in Brasil outside the Southern region, leaving its marks on the architecture and local culture. Quiet hostels, mild weather and the generous topography and wildlife preserve Penedo amidst the growth and the occupation of the region. The district is bordered by Visconde de Maua, which belongs to the municipality of Resende.
Famous for hosting the Brazilian football team during preparations for major competitions, Teresópolis is more than just Granja Comary - home to the Brazilian football team's training center. 75 km from the capital of Rio de Janeiro, the municipality is located in the northern region of the State. In its central region, the average annual temperature is 19°C. Local tourism boils down to natural and urban attractions: the Serra dos Órgãos National Park and Montebello Medieval Castle are two examples, respectively.
Sao Paulo also offers great choices of mountain towns. The first and most famous of them is Campos do Jordão. Located in the interior of the State, more precisely in the Mantiqueira Mountain Range, the municipality founded in 1874 has European architecture and temperatures below the national average, which earned it the nickname "Brazilian Switzerland."
To the west of São Paulo, you will find the town of Cunha, largest producer of pine nut (seed of typical trees of the region) in the State. Interestingly, it concentrates the largest fleet of Volkswagen beetles of the country. Cunha had a golden period of wine production, coming to win silver medal in the South American exhibition held in Berlin in 1887. Nowadays, the city has been trying to rescue the prestige in winemaking, producing table wines with Isabel and Muscat grapes.