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Best Things To See In Obidos And Surroundings In One Day

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Publication

July 5, 2024

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Reading time

10 minutes

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Author

Galyna Rogovska

Discover Obidos must-visit places in one day. Witness the enchanting medieval town in Portugal, exploring its authentic streets, ancient castle, and vibrant atmosphere. Explore the well-kept churches, taste the famous Ginja liqueur, and immerse yourself in the rich history and captivating views.

Interesting facts about Obidos

Various cultures, traditions, and religions have inspired Obidos’s distinctive architectural features. In today’s city, flowers, snow-white villas, serene, picturesque streets, and cobblestone walks are everywhere. According to scientists, the name of Obidos comes from the Latin for “fortified fortress.” The Visigoths arrived in the city after the fall of the Roman Empire and ruled until 713. After driving the invaders out, the Moors built a magnificent fortress that lasted nearly 400 years.

 

King Afonso Henriques drove the Moors out of Portugal in 1148. King Dinis gave Obidos as a wedding gift to his wife in 1282. Presently, 3,300 permanent residents live in Obidos, an urban-style settlement in contemporary Portugal. The walled city is among the most stunning and alluring locations.

Every summer, the city transforms into the medieval Obidos market. This is your opportunity to learn what medieval Portuguese life was like. Enter a world of street markets, cuisine, music, theater, knightly contests, and battles from the Middle Ages!

 

The following is a list of must-see locations in Obidos.

Obidos Castle

This one is among the most well-liked and frequently visited sights in Obidos. Every tourist route includes a stop at the castle.

 

With its imposing towers and stone walls, the exterior of the building still resembles a medieval castle, even though there is a hotel nowadays. You can stroll along the ramparts that encircle the entire city for free and explore the hotel's gardens, even if you are not staying there. Although you will probably stop multiple times to enjoy the expansive views, the walk takes about 45 minutes.

 

The castle's construction started in the 12th century, and its appearance has evolved. The palace is 30 meters long on each side and is shaped like a square. The towers are fifteen meters high. At a height of nearly 80 meters, the castle was constructed, and its decor is Manueline. Construction was completed at the start of the 13th century. The royal family held balls and celebrations here because the castle was near the capital. 

 

Insider tip: There is no charge to enter the Obidos Castle grounds, and a luxurious hotel with rooms available for rent occupies part of the building.

 

Location: Rua Direita Santa Maria, Óbidos 2510-079, Portugal

Central Gate of Porta da Vila

The charming gates, adorned with customary Portuguese Azulejo ceramic tiles, are the first thing that evokes the village's charm. The gate resembles a classic Portuguese castle in shape and design, with two doors.

Image for Porta da Vila Obidos

 

A stairway right outside the gate leads to a hill where you can snap gorgeous pictures of Obidos. Another gate feature is a tiny chapel with a balcony set into the wall. One legend is that a local man built it to memorialise his daughter, who passed away. 

 

The honorable guests were greeted by the city rulers on the balcony. Visiting here in the evening is preferable to avoid the big crowds. Walking on foot is not a problem, as the gate is just a short stroll from the bus stop and parking lot.

 

Insider tip: You can only leave Obidos after drinking at least one glass of ginjinha. While this cherry liqueur is served in many bars throughout Lisbon, most of it is imported from Obidos.

 

Location: R. Josefa de Óbidos 2, 2510-001 Óbidos, Portugal

Temple of Santa Maria

The Church of Santa Maria is one of Obidos' must-visit spots. This graceful temple has a Renaissance-style portal and a snow-white bell tower as decorations. It would help to stroll along Rua Direita Street to reach the temple.

 

The building was first constructed in the twelfth century. Over the next three centuries, it underwent multiple reconstructions before taking on its final form in the 16th century, which is still intact today. Local artists' paintings and azulejo ceramics adorn the interior. Within is also a tomb decorated with carvings and an altar.

 

The church's interior is exquisite, featuring painted ceilings and walls covered in blue and white tiles. Not to be missed are the paintings by renowned Portuguese artist Josefa de Obidos and the Renaissance tomb designed by Nicola Chanterin.

 

The city of St. James's oldest cathedral, which is still in use today, is equally remarkable from an architectural and historical perspective. This temple was built in the 12th century and has been perfectly preserved. 
 

A tour of local churches will be incomplete if you miss the Church of St. John the Baptist, which is not far from the cathedral. The church is also notable for its elegant chapel.

 

Insider tip: This temple was the site of the future Portuguese monarch's marriage to his cousin Isabella in the mid-fifteenth century. A pillory is adjacent to the attraction's entrance.

 

Location: Praça de Santa Maria, 2510-001 Óbidos, Portugal

Old City and Central Street

The authentic main street of Óbidos has remained virtually unchanged since the Middle Ages. It is paved with traditional paving stones and leads up to the castle. Visitors can enjoy the baroque churches, family-run restaurants, and unique shops by walking along the street. 

Image for Obidos

 

It also houses the Municipal Museum, which has exhibits ranging from archaeological finds from the 15th to 17th centuries to sculpture and painting. 

 

The Church of Santa Maria (Igreja de Santa Maria) was built on the site of a Visigothic church from the 8th century. This is where 10-year-old King Afonso V married his 8-year-old cousin Isabel in 1444.

 

The inside of the church is completely tiled, and there is also the tomb of the city governor, Joao de Noronha, a church pastor who died in 1575. This street, closed to traffic, is used by rare cars that deliver goods to shops and hotels. During the day, the street is continuously crowded with guests and visitors from Obidos.

 

Insider tip: The Old Town's central square is encircled by tall walls of flower gardens, which house artwork from the Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque periods, which have been repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt over the ages.


Location: R. Josefa de Obidos, 2510-001 Óbidos, Portugal

Medieval Market

More than a decade ago, reconstructing the Middle Ages began to draw in foreign visitors. Everybody in the area goes out on the streets these days to experience Obidos' and Portugal's history. Anyone on vacation is welcome to participate. 

Image for Medieval Market Obidos

 

Those who attend the fair wearing fashionable apparel receive a discount. During this period Óbidos is always mysterious and a little scary, giving it a medieval feel.

 

During the summer, Obidos appears to be taken back in time - every year, knights, ladies dressed in period attire, craftspeople, Templars, and even executioners parade through the streets. Bagpipes sound, ringing laughter and horses neigh are heard.

 

Insider tip: Take your chance to smell wild boar roasted on a spit, seasoned with exotic spices, and the aromas of flowers hang here.

 

Location: 2510-074, Óbidos, Portugal

Obidos Lagoon and Beaches

This spacious lagoon is between sandbanks and the ocean, a few miles west of Obidos. Its waters are perfect for water sports like sailing and kite surfing, and there are year-round schools that provide instruction. Walking, cycling, and observing wildlife are all made possible by the path along the lagoon's edge.

Image for Obidos Lagoon

 

Numerous beaches are near the city, only thirty minutes from the coast. These beaches are along Portugal's Silver Coast, which runs from Lisbon to Figueira da Foz and is renowned for its crystal-clear waters.

 

Obidos, like most of the beaches on the Silver Coast, features a lagoon in addition to the ocean. On the northern side, the lovely Praia Foz do Arelho beach, with its golden sand and many waterfront restaurants, is also located.

 

Praia do Bom Sucesso is to the south, a peaceful spot with hiking trails and breathtaking views encircled by a rocky headland. You can swim on both beaches since they face the lagoon and the ocean.

 

Insider tip: If you want to try surfing and bodyboarding, further south is Praia de Rei Cortiço, a long stretch of sand with dunes and white cliffs.

 

Location: Lagoa de Obidos, Portugal

Golf Experience

For lovers of active recreation, the Royal Óbidos Spa & Golf Resort, located north of Lisbon on a peninsula between the Atlantic Ocean and Óbidos Bay, is a great idea to visit. The course is 6400 meters long and has difficult terrain. Players of any level are allowed, and the academy has developed special programs to reduce handicaps.

Image for Obidos Golf

 

Insider tip: Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced player, there is a suitable course for all skill levels. Beginners can use the easier tees, while more experienced players can challenge themselves from the back tees.

 

Location: Cabeço da Serra - Vau, 2510-665 Óbidos, Portugal

Summary

Obidos is the most romantic city in Portugal, having completely preserved its medieval appearance. It is an outdoor museum, still enclosed mainly by the fortress wall, and has been designated a national world heritage site.

 

Óbidos itself is a unique landmark in Portugal. It can be considered an authentic museum village. From the outset, the visitor feels like he is in a storybook. When restoring medieval buildings, restorers were able to achieve this effect. The fortress complex is one of Portugal’s seven wonders and a national architectural monument.

 

Obidos is a beautiful town with fragrant flowers, white villas, and historic homes. Stroll through quiet, charming streets, stop by many gift shops, sample the best Portuguese wines and cuisine, take in the distinct Middle Ages atmosphere, unwind on a beach by the sea, and just take in the breathtaking views of the city.


Please check our best tours from Lisbon to Obidos and join our happy clients!

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