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  • Meredith Peters

Experiencing Village Life in Obidos, Portugal

If you want to visit a charming little town in Portugal where the pace of life is peaceful and leisurely, then Obidos should be on your travel radar.

Obidos Portugal city view

In the Leiria District of Portugal, the small town has quaint cobblestone roads lined with whitewashed homes decorated with splashes of bright color. Add in the mix of flowers often blooming, and you have a picturesque European destination that is perfect for a relaxing vacation.

Although the atmosphere is quiet, there is plenty to see and do in Obidos.

Obidos Castle Portugal
Obidos Castle

Step back in time at the Obidos Castle, which was home to many regal queens after the Moors founded it in the early 700s. It is a heritage hotel so you can book a room and stay in the castle or admire it from the outside if you prefer. The castle was a wedding gift by King D. Dinis to Queen Santa Isabel when they were married there. It certainly is the most unique accommodation option in town.

Igreja de Santa Maria is a stunning church in the main square of Obidos, which was rebuilt in the 1600s after an earthquake. Tiles line the interiors of the religious site that holds the Renaissance tomb of João de Noronha in the Chapel of Our Lady of Mercy. The tomb was carved by skilled French sculptors Jean de Rouen and Nicolas Chantereine.

In front of the church is Praça de Santa Maria, a scenic square where you can enjoy a strong Portuguese coffee and watch the world go by before shopping at the market. Then you might like to head to the Main Street of Rua Direita to pick up some souvenirs like local handicrafts and ceramics.

Of course, historic Obidos, also known as The Town Of Queens, has many museums so you can learn more about the history and background of the town. One of the not-to-be-missed ones is the Municipal Museum on the main street. The old manor holds many excellent works, including paintings by famous artists from the 1600s, Josefa de Óbidos and André Reinoso.

The residents in Obidos are friendly and hospitable. Spend some time just aimlessly wandering the gorgeous streets and chatting with the locals for a few hours one sunny afternoon. Sometimes the days with nothing planned turn out to be the most unexpectedly inspiring ones!

More highlights of Obidos

  • Visit the Baroque church, Santuário do Senhor Jesus da Pedra

  • Buy some cork products which Portugal is famous for

  • Photograph beautiful ceramic tile (azulejos) and maybe buy some to take some home with you

  • Book a wine tasting tour that includes a vineyard visit

  • Stop by the Asian sculpture garden

  • Take a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride through the town

Combining visits to small towns and villages is a great way to experience local culture and a different side of a country as well as seeing the well-known major cities. So, drop us a line to talk about your vacation to Portugal, and let's start planning soon.

Santuário do Senhor Jesus da Pedra Obidos Portugal
Santuário do Senhor Jesus da Pedra


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