With the Atlantic Ocean peeking just around the corner and surrounded by morello cherry fields, the literary walled town of Óbidos certainly lives up to one’s top expectations and it is worth of a full day visit. Legends, stories and physical evidence of ancient civilizations will transport you back to more than 2000 years ago.
Lying at a 45 minute drive from Lisbon’s International Airport, just right next to the A8 highway exit (Óbidos) this charming town always held an important role since its origins.
Roman, Moor and Visigoth Influences
Even though the ocean lies at some 15km away, Óbidos was once a town with harbour. It first grabbed the attention of Romans due to its strategic connection to the ocean and later deserved the attention of the Moor invasions, that fortified the hill building a strong hold around it.
Romans and Arabs left the biggest evidence of their presence around. Epic clashes during the Christian Reconquista took place right outside these castle walls.
The Wedding’s Gift
Until the late 1800s, the land of Óbidos was offered as wedding present to the Queen.
It is considered by many one of Europe’s most romantic medieval towns, with picturesque streets lined with little houses and whitewashed churches. The Portuguese “azulejo” (tiles) is symbol of local arts and crafts.
All-Year-Round Events & Festivals
Boasting centuries of history and local heritage, Óbidos has a very busy yearly agenda with medieval events, chocolate festivals, art galleries, religious celebrations, and a myriad of catholic temples and original book shops.
Óbidos is a must visit if you’re travelling through the region. The town is very well kept under its original trace and it is better to visit outside the busy Summer season.