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Once the wedding present of a queen, the preserved medieval town of Olying 100 km north of Lisbon is without doubt one of Portugal's most classic walled settlements. Obidos is a magic place, full of history, culture and patrimony.
Walking the ramparts, visitors can enjoy views of windmills, vineyards and surrounding farmlands.
Conquered from the Moors in 1148, the town of Obidos was traditionally given as a wedding gift by the King of Portugal to the new Queen.
Places to see in Obidos
Resembling an open-air museum, this walled medieval town has been preserved to look like a picture-postcard, with its monuments, narrow winding streets and white-washed houses with windows and terraces full of flowers.
From Porta da Vila, the southern town gate whose interior is decorated with 18th century tiles, to Rua Direita, a street filled with small shops where visitors can buy traditional ceramics, wicker baskets, miniature windmills and hand-made embroidery and woollen articles, and to the 15th century royal castle that has been converted into an inn, Obidos seems to go back in time to the days when the Court visited the town.
Other interesting places:
» Carmo Church (Romanesque-Gothic)
» Santa Maria Church, famous for being the site where the 10-year-old Afonso V married his cousin aged 8, also boasts exquisite 17th-century tiles and a fine Renaissance tomb
» Misericórdia Church (15th-18th centuries) and São Pedro (18th century)
» St. Martinho Church
» Nearby, Senhor da Pedra Sanctuary
Also worth seeing are the works of Josefa de Obidos (a 17th century artist that lived most of her life here), displayed in the Municipal Museum.
The region around Obidos is essentially agricultural, with vast vineyards producing a variety of good wines. On the other side, the beaches, from bustling Santa Cruz to the beautiful and wild Praia Azul, are increasingly sought after.
Lagoa de Obidos (Lagoon) is ideal for the practice of nautical sports.
Caldas da Rainha
To the north is the Spa town of Caldas da Rainha that is renowned for for its Spa Hospital and local ceramic industry that can be seen in the Ceramic Museum. Within this town is also the José Malhoa Museum, a prominent artist who lived from 1855 until 1933. The museum not only exhibits a substantial collection of this artist’s works, it also has on show many of the works created by the amusing ceramist and caricaturist of the same period, Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro.
To the west of Obidos is the small fishing town of Peniche that besides its excellent fish restaurants is also known for the Fortaleza, an uncomfortable 16th Century fort that was used as a prison for political prisoners during the dictatorship of Salazar. A local museum exists to tell the stories including the famous escape of Álvaro Cunhal, the notable leader of the Communist Party. From this town there is a ferry that takes visitors to the Berlenga Islands, a voyage of about one-hour and about 11 kms from the mainland. These are rocky virtually uninhabited Islands that are reserved for bird life. On the largest of the Islands is a 17th Century Fort that has been converted into an unpretentious Hostel. From here small boats can be obtained to explore the coves, reefs and grottoes. A 70-metre tunnel opening approaches the spectacular Covo do Sonho on the Island of Furado Grande into a cove lined by red granite cliffs.
Today a lively, commercial centre, Torres Vedras is well known for the fortified defences - the Lines of Torres - built by the Duke of Wellington to stop Napoleon’s troops during the French invasion. Rising above the town, the walls of the 13th-century castle have been restored and enclose a pleasant garden and the church of Santa Maria do Castelo. The Municipal Museum, in the 16th-century monastery of the Convento da Graça, is dedicated to the Peninsular Wars but also features the 15th-century Retábulo da Vida da Virgem from the Flemish school and many archaeological finds. The monastic church also features an enormous 17th-century gilded altarpiece. The most famous event in Torres Vedras is its Carnival, attracting thousands of visitors each year and considered to be the most Portuguese Carnival.
How to go there?
Obidos is located about 80 km north of Lisbon and just a short drive from Caldas da Rainha and Peniche.
Check our Private Tours to visit Obidos and its region or contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Points of Interest:
Golf Courses in the West region: the NEW Bom Sucesso Golf Course, Campo Real, Golden Eagle, the prestigious Praia D'El Rey, Vimeiro and the 9-holes of Botado.
» The Hotel Marriott Praia d'El Rey Golf & Beach Resort, 5 stars
See our Golf Hotels offers in the Lisbon area.
See as well:
» The West Region: new golf destination in Portugal
To the top
Windmill near Obidos, Portugal
Peniche - Berlenga Island
Obidos - Typical Houses
Peniche - Fisher Nets
Torres Vedras - Santa Cruz Beach