Brazil’s tropical playground is an area known as the northeast that encompasses nine states that between them cover an area larger than the UK, Germany, France and Italy combined.
Fortaleza, the capital of Ceará, is the seventh most populous metropolitan area in Brazil with over 3.6 million inhabitants. It is the closest of the major Brazilian cities to Europe, and flight time between Lisbon and Fortaleza is just seven hours. To understand the size of Brazil, that is not much longer than the flight time between Porto Alegre in the south of Brazil and Fortaleza.
With a coastline of over 350 miles (570 km) of mostly-unspoilt sandy beaches Ceará, and especially the coastal region close to Fortaleza, have been a popular holiday destination for Brazilians for a number of years.
Two of the most popular destinations are Canoa Quebrada and Jericoacoara. Canoa Quebrada, located 113 miles (182 km) east of Fortaleza, was once a sleepy fishing village, but is now better known for its bohemian lifestyle and laidback bar and restaurant scene. A trip to Jericoacoara is an adventure in its own right as the village is not accessible by normal vehicles, at least not the final part across the dunes, where buggies and 4×4 vehicles have to be used. The village, located over 186 miles (300 km) west of Fortaleza, is basically a few sand streets lined by simple houses.
Six matches, including a quarter-final and one of Brazil’s group matches, will be played in Fortaleza during the World Cup at the totally renovated 65,000 seater Estadio Castelão that was originally built in 1973 and is home to Fortaleza EC and Ceará SC.
Castelão – Schedule:
Saturday, 14 June, 16.00 (Uruguay x Costa Rica)
Tuesday, 17 June, 16.00 (Brazil x Mexico)
Saturday, 21 June, 16.00 (Germany x Ghana)
Tuesday, 24 June, 17.00 (Greece x Ivory Coast)
Sunday, 29 June, 13.00 (round of 16)
Friday, 4 July, 17.00 (quarter-final)