Top 10 things to see in Obidos
Obidos is a lovely little medieval village just one hour north of Lisbon! As one of the most picturesque historical villages, it’s well worth as visit! Lovingly coined “The Wedding Town”, it was a gift to the Queen on her wedding day. In close proximity to the village, you will also find other locations of interest, whether you are looking to relax in nature, or even explore Buddhist gardens! If you’re planning a trip to Portugal, you’ll want to add Obidos to your list, whether you plan on exploring it on your own, or joining a tour from Lisbon!
1. Obidos Castle and Walls
First on our list is the spectacular castle and walls! The castle is currently a hotel, but exploring the gardens and ramparts is not only fun, but it’s also free! There are panoramic views all around, which make for spectacular photos. You’ll get prime views of the quaint little houses, the churches and surrounding green hills. For the ultimate experience, book a stay at the hotel! For families, you can enjoy free accommodation for children under the age of 12!
2. Enjoy the Ginjinha liquor – in a chocolate cup!
Ginjinha is a local liquor made with sour cherries, which are soaked in brandy and seasoned with ingredients like cinnamon and cloves. Anywhere you go in Obidos, you will find this rich and sweet drink. The best way to drink it? In a chocolate cup! You’ll find a wide variety of cafes and stalls selling this for as little as 1€! But if you’re serious about your liquor and want the full experience (sans chocolate cup), we recommend you pop into Bar IBN Errik Rex! If you’re looking to buy a bottle or two to take home, you’re in luck! You’ll find a wide variety of brands and all kinds of fun bottles with shapes like high heeled shoes, guitars and more!
3. Get back to nature at Obidos Lagoon
About a 20 minute drive from the castle, you will find the lovely Obidos Lagoon! A haven for nature lovers and water sports enthusiasts alike! One of the best ways to explore the lagoon is by boat. A two hour trip will take you along the lagoon, past fishermen in their traditional boats, to the lagoon islands and lots of cool birds along the way. You may even get to see flamingos! If you prefer a bit more activity, grab a bike or kayak and go exploring!
4. Visit the Santa Maria Church
This is a church worth visiting! Initially built in the 8th century by the Visigoths, it was later occupied by the Moors and transformed into a mosque. In 1148, and after the conquest of the village by D. Afonso Henriques, it was transformed into a catholic church. Filled with spectacular sculptures paintings and tiles, it is a location made for those who love photography. Fun fact, the church was once the wedding venue of D Afonso and D Isabel, respectively 10 and 8 years of age!
5. Zen out at Buddah Eden Garden
Just a 15 minute drive south of Obidos, in the neighboring area of Bombarral, you will find the breathtaking Buddah Eden Garden! With over 35 hectares of amazingly lush gardens, dotted with fantastic works of art including sculptures, statues, pagodas offer you moments of tranquility. From the imposing central staircase with gold buddahs, to the Koi lake and 700 terracotta soldiers, you will lose yourself in a world removed from the rest of Portugal. If you’re not a fan of walking, the garden has a small train to take you around. There is also an onsite restaurant with delicious food and wine! Also you’ll be able to purchase cool souvenirs at the gift shop!
6. Join the local festivities
If there’s one thing we love about this medieval village, is that they know how to throw a party! Three yearly festivals that attract people of all region of the country! The first takes place in the springtime and is the perfect festival if you’ve got a sweet tooth! The International Chocolate Festival of Obidos welcomes chocolatiers world wide to show off their works of art and compete for Chocolatier of the year and best international chocolate recipe! The summer is the time for the Medieval Festival, where the locals transform into knights, ladies and nobles! You’ll find a wide variety of exhibitions and performances including jousts! Along the village you will also get to enjoy delicious food, served in Middle Age style! At Christmas, the castle grounds transform into a delightful winter wonderland! Vila Natal, is a magical and mystical world with performances, food and beverages, activities and of course Santa!
7. Read at Livraria Santiago
If you’re a bit of a bookworm, you won’t want to miss out on this quaint bookstore in the heart of the village! The beautiful architecture and little reading nooks make this a great little stop for book lovers! If you’re really serious about your books, you may want to book a stay at the Literary Man Hotel! A great place to stay, with an incredible collection of vintage books, everything is literary themed! You can even enjoy a bibliotherapy massage!
8. Buy local products at the Biological Market
A cool little store off the main road of Rua Direita that you don’t want to miss! A cool mix of bookstore and mini market with fresh biological fruit and vegetables, home made jams and other food products, including liquors! A walk around the shop means admiring floor to ceiling displays of vintage and modern books, a variety of teas and coffees, natural soaps and olive oils and great little gift ideas!
9. Get lost in the winding streets of Obidos
Wandering around the winding roads of Obidos is quite an experience! A village full of character, will take you back in time. Starting at the gates of the town, you can walk to the center where you’ll find a variety of little gems to visit. The best part is just wandering the little cobblestone alleys, leading you along gardens and quaint little whitewashed houses with blue and yellow accents. Work your way up to the castle, exploring little book and souvenir shops. At the top, you’ll be blessed with panoramic views all around!
10. Marvel at the Senhor Jesus da Pedra Sactuary
Just outside of the city walls, you’ll find a fantastic Baroque temple, shaped like a hexagon! Built in honor of Our Lord Jesus of the Stone in the 1700’s the interior of this imposing structure is home to three distinct chapels. There is a chapel dedicated to the cavalry, another one dedicated to Our Lady of Conception and the final chapel dedicated to the death of Saint Joseph. You will also find on the main altar a fantastic Paleo-Christian cross!