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This medieval walled city is one of Portugal’s biggest attractions. According to tradition, King Dinis of Portugal was passing through the area with his wife, Isabella of Aragón. Isabella remarked on the quaint beauty of the city and King Dinis grandly gave her the village as a present. Óbidos has been a royal wedding present ever since.

Óbidos is a maze of narrow streets, alleys and tiled gatehouses built centuries ago. There are quaint chapels sprinkled about, and the homes are attractive, with pleasant yards and gardens which overflow with geraniums and bouganvillea. It seems as if around every corner is another tile mosaic, picturesque square, or tempting gift shop. The most remarkable feature of Óbidos is its high walls, which completely circle the small town of about 4,000 people. The walls are about a mile long in total, and you can climb up to the walkway and walk all the way around the city! Even after centuries of hot Portugal sun, the walls look as if they could hold off any invading army.

Of course, that depends on the army. The army of tourists that descend upon Óbidos every year is most welcome for the money they bring into the local economy. There are two main streets in the town, both of which are lined with gift shops, restaurants and hotels.

Everything is very tastefully done, however: you’ll see no neon signs or McDonalds here. If you’re shopping, be sure to try a complimentary sip of Óbidos’ famous, locally made cherry wine. There are an assortment of decent hotels in Óbidos, most notably the world-famous Pousada de Óbidos, located in the old castle located at the northern end of the city. There are plenty of good places to eat in Óbidos, some of which have been in business a long time!

Óbidos is a fun place to explore, and there are many things to do besides walking round town or on top of the walls. The people of Portugal have recognized the beauty and importance of this small walled town: in July 2007, it was named one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal by the people, who had voted on-line and via cel phone for a period of several months.


Other places nearby Óbidos: Alcobaça, Batalha, Lisbon and Sintra.

By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
09 Aug 2011

Things to do in Óbidos

Walking the Wall

113403The entire town of Óbidos is ringed by a high stone wall, constructed during the medieval era. Back in the day, defenders would man the wall and guard towers with bows, crossbows and other weapons ...
City Walk
Óbidos, Portugal
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