Florianopolis straddles a small peninsula on the mainland and the 18 by 54km island of Santa Catarina. With a subtropical climate, the island has a coastline of over 100km, and some of Brazil's most beautiful beaches. Many of these are accessible by bus from the city center.
Northern beach resorts Brava, Canasvieiras, Daniela, and Jurerê, get very busy in summer. They offer plenty of urban pleasures, with hotels, restaurants and clubs beside calm bayside waters, good for relaxed swimming. The nearby Praia dos Ingleses has rougher waves. Lagoinha, a small fishing village, has a pretty beach and great sunset vistas between Praia dos Ingleses and Canasvieiras. Praia do Santinho is another small beach next to a large resort.
The east coast has the best surfing spots with powerful Atlantic swells: Barra da Lagoa, for beginners; Praia da Joaquina, once the site for international surfing competitions; Praia Mole, popular with young people, and for gay weekend and Carnaval dance parties; and Praia da Galheta, a clothing-optional, surfing, and gay cruising beach, accessible only by foot on trails through dunes at the north end of Praia Mole. Praia do Moçambique, a favorite of those craving solitude, is screened by thick vegetation alongside the 19km of wide open beachfront and strong ocean currents.
To the south Campeche, Armação and Morro das Pedras is each very beautiful, also with good surfing. The isolated and pristine beaches, Lagoinha do Leste and Naufragados can only be reached by trail. Lagoa da Conceição is a lake at island center, relatively shallow and warm, with high winds that make it a windsurfers' favorite. The quieter Peri Lagoon is good for nature walks.
Many more beaches lie a short drive away, along the mainland coast, including the world famous Praia da Silveira, Praia Rosa, Imbituba (Garopaba), and the beautiful Guarda do Embaú with powerful breaks.