What to See in Obidos
One of the absolute highlights of visiting Obidos is walking the city’s Moorish walls and admiring the amazing views of the magnificent town completely contained below. Majestic and fully intact, the 1.5km looped wall reaches as high as 13 metres in some spots and there are four separate staircases from which you can access the wall. A walk around the perimeter takes around an hour but there is no guardrail and it can be narrow in parts. From the walls you can not only see down into the town but you can see the surrounding scenery, including the Obidos Lagoon, one of the town’s most recognisable landmarks after the castle. The lake lies on the coast and opens up into the ocean. It is the largest saltwater lake in Portugal and its spot on the coastline, surrounded by beaches, makes it a popular destination for swimming and other water sports. A walk along the walls is a great way to see the mix of landscapes that surround Obidos, from the coast to the hills. The castle itself is a little younger than the walls, built in the 13th century and transformed into a Manueline palace in the 16th century.
Today, the castle has been converted into a beautiful luxury hotel and high-end restaurant called the Pousada of Obidos. Some of the rooms still have stone walls and four-poster beds and are named after the famous monarchs who have stayed in the town. In 1951, the castle was classified as a National Monument of Portugal and many historical artefacts, including the furniture and other precious items like paintings, were brought to the castle. The castle is open to the public, even if you are not staying there, so you can wander around the castle and note these impressive features.
Obidos is also known for the traditional Portuguese drink ginja. A sour-cherry liqueur, a version of ginja has been made since Roman times but originated in its current for from a 17th century monastery recipe. On the main street in Obidos, Rua Direita, you will find many shops selling the drink served in dark chocolate cups you can eat afterward.
One of the best things you can do in Obidos is to simply explore its beautiful cobbled lanes and get lost in the medieval architecture. Gor for a stroll through the streets and you will find restaurants, bars, bookshops and other hidden gems tucked away in the little streets as well as other important sites such as the Renaissance-period Santa Maria Church and Paço dos Alcaides, a 16th century style palace. For the nights, there are plenty of places to try traditional Portuguese fare.
If you’re interested in visiting the unique town of Obidos, have a look at our Discover Portugal group tour or our small group tour of Lisbon and Portugal. Both tours visit Obidos and travellers enjoy a sightseeing tour and see all the key monuments of the city. For more tours in Portugal, please have a look at our country profile.
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