At DaHungryCouple, we try not to have favourites. However, when visiting Óbidos, it was difficult NOT to include this beautiful hamlet as one of our favourite little towns in Portugal.
Located about an hour north of Lisbon, Óbidos is a city heavily patronised by Portuguese queens during the 12-15th Centuries and stands as a model of medieval architecture.
Oftentimes, Óbidos is included as part of a full day trip with the localities of Fátima, Nazaré and São Martinho do Porto. They are highlighted for the following reasons:
Fátima- a religious town full of monuments and one of the must-see pilgrimage points of the Catholic Church.
Nazaré- a surfer’s mecca that hosts one of the broadest and most inviting public beaches in Central Portugal. It is Central Portugal’s ‘alternative to the Algarve’.
São Martinho do Porto- known as a relaxing seaside coastal town, and considered the ‘ultimate starting point for exploring the Costa de Prata’.
While we don’t discount that these villages are well worth visiting (especially Nazaré, which featured on my initial research trip in Portugal in 2017), we still can’t get away from Óbidos and her charms. Take for instance the world-famous Ginjinha, a unique and tasty liqueur ubiquitous throughout the village. This potent potable is typically served with chocolate, allowing for a deeply satisfying mix of sweet and sour. Careful though! Ginjinha is not a flavour for the timid!
During May/June each year, sour cherry harvests often take place, with exact timing depending on how mild the winter has been. Ginjinha producers then create an infusion of ginja berries (or sour cherries) and aguardiente (a potent liqueur popular throughout Portugal) mixed with sugar, cinnamon and water, which is typically left to infuse for roughly 5 months. The result: a gorgeous blend of sour and sweet with an alcoholic kick not easily forgotten!
Popular locations around the village include: the Óbidos Castle and her (walkable) fortified city walls, the Porta da Vila (or entrance to the old town), and the Igreja da Misericordia, a 16thCentury church with azulejos and painted columns seemingly made for Instagram! We aren’t against visiting these locations, but we’ve found that relaxing into the feel of the town is much more enjoyable than simply including it as a stopping point in a string of day-trip locations.
We prefer to take our time and allow the feel of the village to bathe us in its history. Under the proper conditions, we wouldn’t be against an overnight stay. This kind of stay would be in direct contrast to the high number of day-trippers roaming the city streets (especially during morning time). Perhaps we will soon have an opportunity to introduce an overnight stay in Óbidos to clients and guests…