The ultimate reason to visit Obidos in Portugal is just because it’s adorable. This small village is build within castle walls, and going there is like a time-travel in middle ages.
Going there from the train station is a good walk (I wish I had a horse) but the view of the castle at the top of the hill is magical and it just motivated me to keep walking to discover what was inside.
On your way between Lisbon and Porto, you may want to skip the stop to Obidos, but please, please don’t! It is the perfect place to relax, enjoy a good meal, and take a break.
Walking on the Castle Walls
First, Obidos is a very small town so you can do everything by foot. Stop by the Tourist Office before entering the main entrance to get the map of the Historical Center. You can also find one online.
I’d recommend to start by walking on the castle walls to have a general view of the town and surrounding landscapes. It’s only a 1,5 km walk, but watch your steps as there’s no fence to prevent falls. …it’s not dangerous, but just don’t look at your phone while walking, you know.
At the South end, you can climb the tower to have a panoramic view of the surroundings.
Unfortunately, you cannot visit the inside of Obidos Castle (Castelo do Obidos) because it’s a hotel now. …unless you want to book a (expensive) night there, which I don’t recommend.
If you wish you are passionate about books and libraries, I recommend to have a look at the Literary Man Hotel instead. This hotel possess an impressive collection of books.
Typical Streets, Without Cars
Cars are prohibited in Obidos, except for deliveries. It’s perfect to explore typical streets and discover flowery back alleys without having ugly cars in your pictures.
The ultimate reason to visit Obidos is clearly to drink Ginjinha! If you don’t know it already, it’s the second most popular alcoholic drink in Portugal after Porto. It’s made infusing sour cherries in alcohol and sugar. To complete it, it’s served in a chocolate cup. Nom nom nommm!
On the main street, you’ll find an uncountable number of shops selling it directly on the street. Generally, it’s 1€ for one shooter. …that mean that you can drink a lot! But beware, the liqueur has still 20% Alcohol. « But it tastes like cherry! » is not a good argument. I learned it the hard way.
You can easily find it in Lisbon, if you don’t plan on exploring the whole country, but the best place to taste Ginjinha it is in Óbidos, because it’s made there.
Mercado Medieval de Obidos
Bonus point if you go to Obidos in August, you’ll be there for one of the biggest medieval fest in Europe: the Mercado Medieval de Obidos. I missed it, but tell me if you go, I’m very curious!
No need to say that if you plan on going, booking in advance is mandatory.
Tours in Obidos
You can join day tour to visit Obidos from Lisbon. These tours also include Fatima and Nazare. It’s a good option if you only have a little time in the region.
Do you plan on going to Obidos next time you’ll be in Portugal? Please tell me how the Medieval Fest was… or if you drink too much Ginjinha!
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