Bahia is northwest Brazil's largest state and reveals the country's African soul - in its music, spicy cuisine and candomblé religious rituals. It was here that samba, capoeira and Carnaval originated and there are few better places in Brazil to experience each of these.
Salvador is Bahia's capital and Brazil's third largest city. In fact, it was Brazil's first capital, founded by the Portuguese in 1549, and a visit to Salvador's restored historic centre makes a fine addition to a tailor made Brazil holiday. Pastel-coloured colonial houses and Catholic churches are all part of the city's cultural mix, and guided tours of the historic state capital provide the chance to learn about these many influences.
Salvador is also the gateway to Bahia's excellent beaches, which stretch north to south along the Atlantic coast. There are numerous luxury resorts and hotels on Bahia's stunning coast, attracting surfers, kite boarders, snorkellers and swimmers.