Your guide to discover the best of Domingos Martins! Where it's located, how to get there, best time to visit, best attractions, where to stay and much more.
Domingos Martins is a town located in the state of Espírito Santo, about 1 hour away from the capital Vitória, which has suffered a strong influence from the Germans, Pomeranians and Italians. With just over 30,000 inhabitants, it’s an unmissable place for those looking to relax and breathe some fresh air amongst nature and a beautiful architecture, 500 m above the sea level.
The famous Pedra Azul State Park and the Lagarto Route will make you very grateful to have chosen this destination, and it’s right here, in this complete guide, that you’ll find everything you need to plan your trip: where to eat, where to stay, what to do, what to bring and all the treasures that Domingos Martins has to offer.
Where is Domingos Martins, ES?
Domingos Martins is located in the mountainous region of Espírito Santo, exactly 52 km from Vitória, a journey of just over an hour by car. It takes the same time on the road to go from Domingos Martins to Guarapari, driving for about 65 km.
Domingos Martins, ES on the Map:
How to get to Domingos Martins?
The fastest and most flexible option is, certainly, renting a car. If your starting point is the capital, just get through the BR-262 (Governador Mário Covas Highway) and go on all the way.
If you prefer to save money and enjoy the city’s delights without any financial concerns, the good news is that the time traveling by bus is nearly the same. The company responsible for the trip is Águia Branca, which drops you off in Domingos Martins for around R$16 (depending on the day of the week) in 1 hour and a half.
When to go to Domingos Martins?
The best time to visit Domingos Martins is between late April and early October, when the chance of rain is lower than in the rest of the year, with June being the driest month.
If you’re into a more romantic atmosphere, July is the perfect month to enjoy the Winter Festival. The end of January/beginning of February is when the city’s most traditional event takes place, the Sommerfest.
Weather in Domingos Martins:
How long to stay in Domingos Martins?
To take advantage of everything Domingos Martins has to offer, the ideal is to stay for at least 3 days. But as I always say, the longer you stay, the more good surprises you discover along the way and the contact with the local culture becomes even richer.
What to do in Domingos Martins?
Be amazed by the city entrance and Amarte
The city entrance is the first sign that you’re arriving at a mini Germany in the middle of the mountains. It opened in 1992 and its traditional architecture is super charming!
Right next to the entrance is the Associação Martinense de Artesãos – or Amarte – where Domingos Martins’ artisans produce and sell their pieces. It’s a great tip if you’d like to take a little piece of this beautiful place in your luggage, taste typical delicacies and collaborate with the local economy.
Living the history at Dr. Arthur Gerhardt Square
Dr. Arthur Gerhardt Square is considered the heart of Domingos Martins and is the venue for the main local events. It’s a place with a lot of green spots around its surroundings and where some of the attractions that help telling the city’s history are located.
In addition to the Monument to the Colonist, a tribute to the German settlers, you’ll see the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession, inaugurated in 1866 and the first in the country to have a tower (at the time, the Brazilian Imperial Constitution only allowed towers in Catholic churches. Curious, huh?).
Walk around Rua do Lazer
Rua do Lazer is Domingos Martins’ main spot to visit galleries and eat typical German food. It’s closed to cars, so it’s a bustle of curious tourists looking for the best sauerkraut, German pie or craft beer in town.
Traveling back in time at the House of Culture and Historical Museum
Despite having been inaugurated in 1983, the House of Culture and Historic Museum of Domingos Martins are located in a historic building from 1915.
The museum has a collection of furniture, photographs, documents and objects that belonged to the descendants of German, Pomeranian and Italian immigrants and is a historical treasure really worth seeing up close.
Address: Avenida Presidente Vargas, 531, Headquarters.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday, from 8:00 am to 11:30 am – 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm and Saturday, Sunday and holidays: from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (it’s always recommended to get in contact and see if it’s open due to the pandemic).
Contact: (27) 3268-2550 / [email protected]
Admire the beauty of São Paulino Square
Near the end of one of the most beautiful roads in Brazil, the Lagarto Route, there’s a paradise called Quadrado de São Paulino.
Make sure you have some space left on your camera because there won’t be enough photos from this tour!
Enjoy nature at Pedra Azul State Park
Pedra Azul State Park is the real treasure of Domingos Martins.
With landscapes that will make your heart skip a beat, the park has a fauna and flora with several species that can be seen during the visit.
To really dive into the region’s nature, there are many options of trails, where you can swim in the natural pools in the middle of the rocks and see the most beautiful landscapes of the trip.
The entrance to the park is free, but it’s by arrival order and only 50 people are allowed in the morning and 50 in the afternoon.
Opening hours: from 8:00 am to 9:30 am and from 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm, with stayings until 4:00 pm
Administrative service: Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm
Address: Rota do Lagarto, s/n, Km 03. Pedra Azul District, Domingos Martins-ES. CEP:29278-000
Accelerate your heart at Pedra Azul Aventura Ecopark
If you are an adrenaline addicted, Ecoparque Pedra Azul Aventura is a must on your visit to Domingos Martins.
The park is right in front of Pedra Azul State Park, and offers radical attractions such as the famous quad bike ride, as well as rappelling, paintball and trails.
For an immersive experience in nature, the park also offers a camping area (not bad waking up with a view like that, right?).
Address: Rota do Lagarto, KM 03 – Girardi Farm – Domingos Martins – Espirito Santo – 29260 000
Contact: [email protected]
Dive into a sustainable experience in Fjordland
Fjordland is an ecological complex that offers activities based on sustainable principles, in order to help with the environmental development of Domingos Martins region.
It’s possible to interact with nature in a gently way by taking an ecological horseback ride around Pedra Azul, visiting the stables or passing by the local organic garden.
It’s a beautiful experience and the entrance fee, which costs only R$5, helps to finance social and environmental actions around the region. It can’t be better than that, can it?
Address: Rota do Lagarto, Km 2.2 – Pedra Azul, Domingos Martins – ES, 29278-000
Reservations are made through the website.
Check out the beautiful Germânia train station
The former Germânia Railway Station was inaugurated in 1900 and was named after Domingos Martins when the municipality gained this nomenclature, in 1921. Later on, it turned into Germânia Station and now it’s called Vale da Estação. Phew!
The train line connects Vitória to Rio de Janeiro and the historic station is a stopover for the Capixabas Mountains Train, in addition to serving as a support point for the sale of local products.
The place is open for visitation and it’s really charming!
Relax and enjoy the landscape during a Train Ride
The traditional train ride through the capixaba mountains is a great option for nature lovers who prefer to admire it from the comfort of a seat. The trip through Serra do Mar covers 46 km in 2 and a half hours, between the cities of Viana and Floriano Peixoto.
The route passes through some dreamy places, such as waterfalls, tunnels and bridges.
Enjoy the day at the Cascata do Galo Waterfall
Cascata do Galo Waterfall is one of the main tourist attractions in Domingo Martins, if you’re looking for a fresh water bath or for some adventure.
The 70m high fall in the middle of the Atlantic Forest forms natural pools among the rocks and is perfect for a day at the waterfall in good company.
The route that leads there is also much sought after by lovers of cycling, rappelling and hiking.
Have some fun with Rafting and Buoy cross
Rio Jucu’s way down is an attraction in Domingos Martins for those who love to venture out into nature.
Some companies, such as Emoções Radicais Esportes de Aventura, carry out this activity in two ways: rafting, for the bravest, or buoy cross, for those who want to relax or are with children.
Enjoy the best of the cultural Local Events
Sommerfest is a Cultural Festival of German Immigration, which takes place on Domingos Martins at the end of January and beginning of February.
The festival celebrates the arrival of the first German immigrants in the region, in 1847, and is held around this theme: the decoration, the food, the clothes, everything has the colours of the German flag. The event has a special program with various cultural activities, organized by the Department of Culture and Tourism.
Expect lots of beer, sauerkraut, German dancing and a vibrant energy!
International Winter Festival of Classical and Popular Music
Domingos Martins Winter Festival is considered the greatest music festival in Espírito Santo and is one of the most important in the country, always held in July.
The event includes presentations and workshops taught by renowned professors, and each year it welcomes thousands of people to enjoy the cold weather and the magical atmosphere the festival creates.
Contacts for information: (27) 99971–7410 / [email protected]
Throughout the month of December, Domingos Martins is taken by the Christmas lights that decorate every corner, uniting the Christian celebration with the German culture.
The breathtaking spectacle features performances throughout the city, especially at the opening night, as well as the daily countdown to turn on the lights. It’s really beautiful!
Spend an afternoon in Venda Nova do Imigrante
If you have a little time left, we highly recommend you to spend an afternoon in Venda Nova do Imigrante. In addition to the city being such a charming spot, it’s the perfect opportunity to taste the traditional and original Socol and the luxurious Jacu Coffee.
Discover the stunning waters of Alfredo Chaves
The neighboring district, Alfredo Chaves, owns one of the most breathtaking landscapes you’ll ever see. The Cachoeira de Matilde waterfall has a 70m high fall and is formed by rocky steps that make the view even more impressive.
The region has some activities for the brave ones, such as rappelling and paragliding.
What to bring to Domingos Martins?
- Trail boots
- Biodegradable sunscreen
- Biodegradable repellent
- Legging pants
Hotels in Domingos Martins
Rabo do Lagarto Lodge
In addition to the stunning view of Pedra Azul, every detail of the place was designed in an environmentally responsible way. I don’t even need to mention I didn’t wanna leave, right?
Sesc Domingos Martins
Sesc Domingos Martins is considered a tourism and leisure center and is located in a green area with lakes, squares and a bistro that serves typical regional food. It’s perfect for a family trip!
Pedra Azul Lodge
Pedra Azul Lodge is an incredible option to stay close to Domingos Martins’ postcard.
Besides the beautiful view, it has a restaurant, thermal pool, gym, trails and tennis courts. And the view is a spectacle itself!
Aroso Paço Hotel
If you are looking for a non-obvious accommodation close to Pedra Azul, we recommend Aroso Paço Hotel. The hotel is at a classic mansion that makes you feel in ancient Greece.
As it’s on the top of the mountain, it works as a lookout point for the Pedra Azul State Park.
Rua de Lazer Lodge
To stay in the heart of Domingos Martins, the best option is Rua de Lazer Lodge, a charming little corner close to shops, bars and restaurants.
It’s perfect for a couple trip!
Where to eat in Domingos Martins?
There’s no lack of restaurants in Domingos Martins, whether it’s in the city center or in the Lagarto Route with a beautiful view.
If you’re looking for a gastronomic experience with a beautiful view of Pedra Azul and a super cozy environment, Espaço Vellozia is a great option.
The tip is to order the polenta dos tropeiros, au gratin with Parmesan cheese and stuffed with shredded pork loin.
Address: BR 262, Km 90, s/n – Pedra Azul, Domingos Martins – ES, 29278-000, Brazil
Contact: (27) 99995-4306
If you’re on a budget, we recommend having a meal at the Alecrim Restaurant. In addition to being a house surrounded by flowers and super cozy, the food is homemade and very well rated.
To dive into the local cuisine, order the fettuccine with cheese sauce and crunchy socol.
Address: Praça de São Paulinho – Rod. Geraldo Sartório, store 1 – Domingos Martins – ES, 29278-000
Contact: (27) 99749-9450
For a tasty snack or dessert in the city center, with no harm done to your wallet, look for Klein Sabores.
If you are a sweets lover it’ll be difficult to choose which pie to order!
Address: Rua João Batista Wernersbach, Centro, Domingos Martins – ES29260-000
Contact: (27) 99898-2818
In this mountainous climate, there’s nothing better than drinking a local craft beer, right?
Trarko Brewery was the first brewery in the city and started selling traditional labels of the drink. Today they already have nine beers of their own label!
Address: Av. Pres. Vargas, 782 – Centro, Domingos Martins – ES, 29260-000, Brazil
Contact: (27) 3268-1808
Domingos Martins is a captivating corner of Espírito Santo and we left with a broken heart for not being able to stay longer. Enjoy every second of this beautiful trip!
Note: This unforgettable experience was an invitation from the Espírito Santo Tourism Department with the support of Sebrae-ES and ABAV and we have no words to say how much we thank you for these unique moments!