Exploring the authentic medieval town of Obidos, Portugal

This medieval town reveals Portugal at its most authentic, writes Natalie Marsh.

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We love… Saint Mary’s Church

Located in the town’s main town square, the church’s origin is said to date back around 900 years, though the building that stands there today is from the 16th century. The inside of the church is covered in signature Portuguese azulejo blue and white tiles from the 1600s, while the rest of its decor is well-preserved and ornate.


Star attraction… The town walls

Encompassing Óbidos, these walls were built between the eighth and 11th centuries but were restored in the 1700s, and provide great views of the town and the beautiful surrounding scenery. Visitors should take care when passing others on the walls, as there are no handrails and they can be up to 13 metres high. There are many places in the town to climb up to them, and they make for a wonderful way to see Óbidos from above.

Getting there… Air, road or rail

Óbidos is in the Centro region of Portugal, about an hour’s drive from Lisbon. If your customers don’t have a hire car, there’s an express bus service from Lisbon. Although slower, visitors can also take a direct train from Lisbon’s Santa Apolónia station to Óbidos’s station, just a short walk outside the town walls.

Make time for… Ginjinha

It might not be a place of interest, but visitors to the municipality should definitely make time to taste this famous liquor. It’s made from infusing Morello cherries with other ingredients. There are many local places across Óbidos to sample this drink, usually served in an edible chocolate cup, and buy some to take home. Try Bar Ibn Errik Rex, a quaint and friendly place, home to some of the best ginjinha in town.

Where to stay… The Literary Man

This hotel is a bookworm’s dream. Books line the walls all over the property, which has a collection of more than 45,000 titles and counting. The Literary Man is a renovated convent with just 32 rooms, a restaurant and gin bar. Average daily rates start from €85 a night.


Book it

Sunvil offers a three-night stay in Óbidos in October, staying at Pousada Castelo de Óbidos, from £989 per person, based on two sharing. The price is on a bed and breakfast basis and includes return flights and car hire.

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