Óbidos: Portugal’s Captivating Medieval Town

Nestled in the foothills of Portugal’s Serra d’Aire hills lies the charming and historic town of Óbidos. With cobblestone streets, whitewashed buildings, and the imposing 12th-century castle perched over the town, Óbidos is one of the country’s most captivating destinations. This medieval town is a must-visit destination for travelers looking to experience the heritage of Portugal.


History of Óbidos

Óbidos has a long and varied history that dates back to pre-Roman times. Archaeological excavations have unearthed ruins of a settlement from the Iron Age, indicating that it was inhabited as early as the 5th century BC.

The town was later conquered by the Moors in the 8th century and served as an important center of commerce and trade. In the 12th century, King Alfonso Henriques gifted Óbidos to his wife, Queen Urraca, as a wedding present. She had the castle built to defend the town and it has remained a prominent feature of Óbidos ever since.


What to See and Do in Óbidos

Óbidos is a small town but there is plenty to see and do here. The main attraction is the impressive 12th-century castle, which is now a popular hotel. Visitors can wander the castle grounds, explore the dungeons, or even stay overnight in one of the luxurious rooms.

At the center of town is the Praça da República, a beautiful square lined with cafes and restaurants. Here, visitors can sit and relax while taking in the atmosphere of this charming medieval town.

The cobblestone streets of Óbidos are filled with quaint shops selling traditional Portuguese products, such as handmade pottery, regional wine, and the famous ginjinha liqueur. Óbidos is also known for its colorful painted houses, which are a sight to behold.


Annual Events

One of the highlights of visiting Óbidos is the plethora of annual events that take place in the town.

The Medieval Market is a popular event that takes place in the summer months. It features a large marketplace of medieval-style stalls selling traditional crafts, jewelry, and food. The atmosphere is electric, with jugglers, stiltwalkers, and musicians entertaining the crowds.

The Óbidos Chocolate Festival is another popular event that takes place in February. Visitors can sample different chocolate treats from around the world, as well as traditional Portuguese delicacies.

The Óbidos International Music Festival is held in July and features a variety of music styles from classical to jazz. It attracts musicians from all over the world and is a great event for music lovers.


Where to Stay in Óbidos

Óbidos is a popular tourist destination and there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from.

The most popular option is the 12th-century castle, which has been converted into a luxury hotel. It offers luxurious rooms, a swimming pool, and stunning views of the town and surrounding countryside.

There are also a number of boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts scattered around the town. These offer a more intimate experience and are perfect for travelers who want to stay close to the action.

Finally, there are plenty of self-catering apartments and villas available. These are ideal for longer stays as they offer more privacy and independence.



ÓbidosÓbidos, nestled in Portugal’s Serra d’Aire hills, enchants visitors with its medieval charm and rich history. Dating back to pre-Roman times, this picturesque town boasts cobblestone streets, whitewashed buildings, and the imposing 12th-century castle overlooking its surroundings. Must-see attractions include exploring the castle grounds, wandering the quaint shops selling regional products, and soaking in the atmosphere at Praça da República. Óbidos also hosts vibrant annual events like the Medieval Market and Chocolate Festival, offering a taste of tradition and culture. With accommodation options ranging from the luxurious castle hotel to cozy boutique inns and self-catering apartments, Óbidos invites travelers to immerse themselves in its captivating ambiance and heritage.

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