The island's most famous attraction are its beautiful beaches along its mountainous southeast side, an area of quiet coves and rocky headlands. You can wander along miles and miles of quiet white sandy beaches with transparent waters that are safe and pleasantly warm. There is plenty to experience; the island is a paradise not only for those who enjoy secluded beaches but also for those who like aquatic sports as surfing and snorkeling.
The best beaches face the ocean and the most beautiful are:
- Praia do Farol das Conchas - access is on foot from Nova Brasilia and it takes 5 minutes; its main attraction is Farol das Conchas
- Praia Grande is semi-deserted beach and recommended for surfing; it's a 25 minute walk from Nova Brasilia
- Praia do Miguel - deserted beach, surrounded by cliffs and native vegetation forms beautiful scenery, an ideal place for eco-tourism; also popular for surfing; access is on foot from Nova Brasilia or Encantadas and it takes about an hour
- Praia de Fora das Encantadas - this beach is semi-deserted and also has good waves and a few barracas (bars); it is about 1,5 - 2 hours walk from Nova Brasilia and 10 minutes from Encantadas.
The Farol das Conchas (Conchas Lighthouse) guides the navigators at the entrance to the Paranagua Bay. It was built in 1872 on orders from Dom Pedro II and stands picturesquely on a hill on the southeastern face of the island. Access is on foot from Praia das Conchas and the hike up to the lighthouse is facilitated by a long staircase.
Farol das Conchas is the best place for a stunning panoramic view of the island, bay and mountains. From here you can see several beaches to the north and south, including the strip of sand that connects the two parts of the island; you get a good idea of the shape of the island.
Everybody who comes to Ilha do Mel do this nice walk, wich consists going from one village to another, or going to Encantadas to Brasilia, the 2 main villages in the island. The'island is small and its possible to do it quite often, beside this you can check a Fort with some interesting architetural spots, or just enjoy the beaches... for those who like a little of adventure, you can circle the island walking at low tide, but start early morning...
The Portuguese fortress was intended to guard the entrance of the bay, where Antonina (see the page) - the first town to be built in Parana - was once the main harbour.