Francês is a surfer’s paradise. Given its proximity to Maceió (22km), Praia do Francês has long functioned as a day trip destination: cars and buses roll in on weekend days and clear out by sunset. But this is changing quickly as more travelers fall in love with the beach town, and pousadas (guesthouses) have popped up left and right to accommodate the influx of visitors.
The action is concentrated on one end of Francês’ fine, white sands, where just-offshore reefs create calm green waters, and a string of restaurants serve beer and fried shrimp. Alagoas’ best waves are at the southern end – don’t despair if you’re not traveling with your own equipment: bodyboards and longboards are available for rent right on the sand. Swimmers opt for the protected reef at the beach’s northern end. Walk a few minutes in either direction to escape the crowds.