Obidos, a medieval town in Portugal, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Besides being a Portuguese queen's wedding gift, Obidos has a lot to offer.
Its narrow cobblestone streets, a medieval castle, and painted-whitewashed houses will fascinate visitors. Let’s begin by exploring this medieval town, Obidos.
Streets of Obidos
[Photo credit: Fernando Pinho]
The cobblestone streets in Obidos are lined with cute cottages, small cafes with outdoor seating, and a historic castle. Moreover, the nearby 16th-century aqueduct is also worth seeing in Obidos. Most people only visit Obidos for a day trip, but staying overnight in a medieval town would be a wonderful experience.
On the main street, Rua Direita, you will find boutique shops selling embroideries, ceramics, wine, and souvenirs. Some doorways are low, so watch your head as you enter. Another way to explore the streets is on a guided tour. Why not learn as much about the medieval history of Obidos as you can?
Certainly, the main attraction of this town is the castle. Take a walk along the old medieval walls for beautiful countryside views. Please note that there are no handrails for safety. In total, the walk is 1.5km.
If you wish to see the castle interior, you’ll need a night’s stay at the luxurious Pousada do Castelo. I highly recommend this if you’ve never stayed in a castle.
Igreja de Santa Maria
The main church in the center of town is Saint Mary’s. Over the year, the structure underwent many changes. A major earthquake in the 15oos caused a small amount of damage to the medieval structure, leading to its current Mannerist style construction.
Nearly every inch of the interior walls is covered in ancient tiles from the 1600s and 1700s period.
Santa Maria is also the church where King Afonso married his cousin in 1441 at a very you age. Something worth noting, outside the church, you’ll see a stone pillory marking the spot where a fisherman had brought back the body of the queen’s son.
[Photo credit: Fernando Pinho]
When you visit, be sure to try a delicious drink called ginjinha poured into chocolate cups. Ginjinha is a sweet cherry liqueur. Popular not just in Lisbon but also in Obidos. If you try it, let me know what you think.
International Chocolate Festival
Each year in Obidos, the International Chocolate Festival takes place. Those visiting the walled city can experience the culture here with workshops and chocolate tastings.
Artisans show off their artwork made entirely of chocolate. It is fun to get the whole family involved, even the kids. Get your ticket early so you do not miss out.
Each summer, for three weekends, merchants and Portuguese artisans attend the Medieval Market in Obidos. This incredible four-day (Thursday-Sunday) festival takes place near the castle.
Best Time To Go
The best time to visit Obidos is during the months of May to October. During these months, there is less rainfall, and the weather is warm. However, in the summer months (July & August), the city can be crowded with buses and tourists. To avoid the crowds, I suggest visiting early in the morning.
Where to Stay in Obidos
In Obidos, Pousada do Castelo is a romantic option for staying for a night. It is considered one of the world's seven wonders, dating back to the 12th century. The luxurious hotel consists of 14 rooms and 3 suites, each named after a king or queen who visited the town.
Casa das Senhoras Rainhas is a renovated boutique hotel located within the walled city. In addition to one suite and nine guest rooms, many of these feature balconies. The restaurant serves great local wines and breakfast.
Is a day trip to Obidos now on your bucket list? Let us know!