Óbidos: the most magical medieval village in Portugal
There is a mystical atmosphere even before passing the Portas da Vida of Óbidos, as if there was a magic potion that took us back in the centuries as soon as we set foot in the village. Does anyone doubt that Óbidos is the most magical medieval town in Portugal?
Vila de Óbidos: the most magical medieval town in Portugal. It’s a firm statement and, if you have any doubts or have never visited, visit or revisit this delightful village and then tell me how it was and let me know if I’m right or not.
History tells that, because it is located near the capital and because it is located at a high altitude, a few kilometers from the coast, Óbidos was a privileged strategic location for the Portuguese kingdom.
Before that, the Romans, on their arrival in the Iberian Peninsula, had already made it flourish. However, the fact that Vila de Óbidos was chosen by the royal family, made it prosper and these traces of attention can still be seen and felt along its streets, alleys, and walls.
“Since King Dinis offered it to his wife D. Isabel, in the 13th century, it became part of the Casa das Rainhas, which, throughout the various dynasties, benefited and enriched it. It is one of the main reasons for it. find so many churches in this little town.”
Óbidos: the most magical medieval village in Portugal. When is the best time to visit Óbidos?
The town of Óbidos can be visited at any time of the year, as, with or without events taking place, strolling through the streets, alleys, and walls of Óbidos is, in itself, a day well spent.
So it’s a perfect destination for a romantic weekend, a perfect destination for a family weekend, or a perfect destination to go for a walk with friends! 🙂
Ginjinha de Óbidos is a traditional liqueur from the west of Portugal and around here it is typical to drink ‘ginjinha’ in chocolate cups. But there are other gastronomic gems that you should try while in town, such as the fish stew from Lagoa de Óbidos.
Ah, about half an hour away, you will find Praia d’El Rey, known by golf lovers and situated on the beautiful coast of the Atlantic Ocean.
And, in just over 15 minutes, you are in Caldas da Rainha – don’t forget to take a stroll through Dom Carlos I Park, with an extraordinary view of Termas das Caldas da Rainha (the reflection of the thermal springs in the park’s lake transforms the most inept in a world-class photographer!).
Vila de Obidos: the most magical medieval town in Portugal. Where to stay?
To stay within the walls and experience this aura of magic and mysticism, I suggest you go to Casa Do Relogio, if you book in advance you can get very competitive prices, from €50/night, we are talking about an 18th-century building, restored to the detail!
If this one is not going to delight you or if you want to check other options, we can help you directly or you can search here:
If you want to enjoy golf and a few days at the beach, and for those on a budget, Praia d’El Rey is top!
Here, two hotels stand out: Hotel Praia D’El Rey Marriott Golf & Beach Resort (from €172/night) and The Beachfront – Praia D’El Rey Golf & Beach Resort (from €173/night), but there are other options, again, we can give you a hand if you like!, or you can search here:
Óbidos: the most magical medieval village in Portugal. What are we going to do in Óbidos?
Walk the walls
The view is awesome! And if it’s one of those radiant sunny days with a light breeze, you really feel like staying there!
As the route has no protective barriers, pay attention to those who suffer from vertigo, if you don’t want to take chances, there are plenty of things to do around Óbidos.
“Within the walls, we find a well-preserved castle and a labyrinth of streets and white houses that enchant those who walk there. Among Manueline porticoes, flowered windows and small squares, there are several reasons to visit, good examples of religious architecture and civil society from the village’s heydays.”
Visit the Mother Church of Santa Maria
The Igreja Matriz de Santa Maria is beautiful and a must-see.
But there are other places that you should put on your list, such as the Igreja da Misericórdia, the Church of São Pedro, the Pelourinho. Outside the walls, don’t forget the aqueduct and the round-shaped Senhor Jesus da Pedra Sanctuary.
And these are just some of the monuments that justify a visit to Óbidos!
Drink a Ginjinha (in a small cup of chocolate!)
Going to Óbidos and not drinking the famous ‘Ginjinha’ is like going to Rome and not seeing the Pope. (cliché, I know!, do forgive me for the easy joke!)
Usually, you drink Ginjinha de Óbidos in a chocolate cup, but I prefer it without the cup. I would suggest the following: try it once with and once without the chocolate cup and choose your favorite way to drink your ginjinha (you can like both and alternate!). But don’t forget, if you’re driving, don’t drink, buy your bottle of Ginjinha de Óbidos in one of the countless gift shops on Rua Direita and try it at home with friends or family!
Did you see the logic? In the end, what matters is that they try it! 😀
Experience one (or all) of the numerous events in Vila de Óbidos
You can experience one of the numerous events in Vila de Óbidos or you can visit more than once and visit all these events and activities because it will be worth it.
Each one of them is so unique and involving that it counts as a visit to parallel dimensions of the same reality.
The best known are without a doubt, Óbidos Vila Natal, the Festival Internacional do Chocolate and the Mercado Medieval de Óbidos. But Vila de Óbidos has other events and shows that deserve our attention, such as the Classical Baroque Music Seasons, Cravo Music, and the Opera Festival, wonderful for hot summer nights!
Meet Josefa de Óbidos
Conhecem a ? Não? Então esta é a vossa oportunidade, no Museu Municipal de Óbidos vão encontrar as obras desta pintora de referência do século XVII (sim, uma mulher irreverente, com arte a correr-lhe nas veias que, em pleno século XVII, conseguiu vencer a dura barreira do patriarcado e tornar-se numa pintora icónica! Não é extraordinário?)
Do you know Josefa de Óbidos? No? Then this is your opportunity, at the Óbidos Municipal Museum you will find the works of this 17th-century reference female painter (yes, an irreverent woman, with art running through her veins who, in the 17th-century, managed to overcome the hard barrier of patriarchy and become an iconic painter! Isn’t that extraordinary?)
Josefa de Ayala Figueira, better known as Josefa de Óbidos, born in Spain, produced her work in Portugal. Her influences, which are reflected in her paintings, include great masters, such as Zurbarán and Francisco de Herrera, or the Portuguese André Reinoso and Baltazar Gomes Figueira, her father.
At a time when many enjoy their holidays in Portugal, take the opportunity to take a look at our suggestions, whether for a weekend getaway or for a few weeks of delicious and relaxing holidays:
Go, try it, and then tell us how it went!!!
Happy holidays and have fun!!!!