November 26, 2018
Welcome to the most interesting place on Earth: Óbidos. Our hidden medieval village is a surprise for all its visitors and its irresistible enchantments will melt your heart the moment you visit this magical place.
This beautiful place almost heavenly made is a charming village inside the district of Leiria. One hour away from Lisbon by car this is probably the best way to get to Óbidos, but there are always bus excursions from other points of the country that are quite affordable and comfortable. Its location is just perfect: right in the centre of Portugal and near some of the best beaches like Foz do Arelho and Peniche. Somehow, Óbidos is special for all reasons and we couldn’t forget this little wonder with so much to offer.
Just like the rest of the country, Óbidos has also got a very rich history. The castle is the first thing that immediately spotlights, and we feel a growing curiosity about it. I mean, who doesn’t want to know all the details behind the castle and all its secrets?
The village was founded in 308 b.C. by the Celts, but it is during the 1st century that the Romans conquer the village and it is lately invaded and occupied by the Visigoths and Arabs, successively. In 1148 the First King of Portugal – Afonso Henriques – conquers Óbidos that was occupied by the Moors till then. To make this even more interesting, it is said that our King and his men disguised themselves as cherry trees to conquer Óbidos. The cobbled and narrow streets clearly remind us of these medieval times. A walk around the village will be enough for you to admire some of its most interesting and historical spots, such as the church of Santa Maria, which was the place where our ten-year-old king Afonso V and his eight-year-old cousin, Isabel, got married. Apart from this, the church houses an impressive collection of tiles from the 17th century that are easily seen on its walls. Another curious place is the Casa de Óbidos (House of Óbidos), which was built in 1889.
We easily relate Óbidos to its famous drink, Ginjinha, a liqueur made with sour cherries and a kind of brandy. But don’t think its flavour is too sour that you can’t drink. It is incredibly sweet and you will see it being sold in chocolate cups. This cute little surprise makes your visit even more interesting, doesn’t it?
The Gastronomy in Portugal is very famous around the world due to our fish and meat of great quality and Óbidos knows how to highlight its reputation. The West region offers delicious dishes from pork, goat or stew rabbit, but there are also the impeccable shellfish dishes, as well as the eels and clams. Whatever you choose, there will always be a delightful banquet.
So we have the castle, the food, the iconic streets, but wait, there is more! As I told in the very beginning, there is so much you can do in this little village and fun is guaranteed. On a day you should visit the Porta de Vila, an incredible chapel whose interior is covered with impressive tiles from the 18th century; the Town Walls are another thing you must do, because this way you have a broad and imposing view of the village; do some shopping on Rua Direita (Direita Street) that attracts the tourists with its traditional souvenirs; and the Aqueduct from the 16th century, which was used to transport the water to Óbidos and this one in particular is very well preserved, compared with other aqueducts in Portugal. And to make your stay even more peculiar, did you know that you can choose the castle to stay overnight? Feeling like a King never sounded so easy, right?
A travel to Portugal is always a good idea and Óbidos should be in your list for all these good reasons. The medieval aspect gives this village a rough, but also a delicate image and this is just so enchanting. Join our Group Tour, or go on a Private Trip, and discover this medieval place and its marvellous surroundings!
Joana is Portuguese and she loves to share her passion about travelling.@Joana Cabo Read more posts written by Joana Cabo