Óbidos, which stems from the Latin for the citadel, was first mentioned for its beauty in the 13th Century when it was given by King Dinis to his new wife and queen Queen Isabel of Aragon. At the time it was an important trading port and had been previously held by the Moors until their overthrow in 1148. Being
one of the most charming, romantic, and beautiful walled towns in Portugal, one of the first things you will notice are the narrow cobbled streets, whitewashed houses, and terracotta roofs, whilst looking out from carefully maintained walls you can take in the views of the surrounding farmland, with its windmills and abundant vineyards. Remaining the property of the Queens of Portugal until 1883, Óbidos has kept all its charm.
Along with many parts of this region, Óbidos was affected by the earthquake of 1755, and the castle along with some of the churches was gracefully rebuilt. It is possible to stay in the Manueline-style castle that, now converted into one of Portugal's finest Pousadas, houses guests in its luxurious rooms. Other architectural jewels within Óbidos includes the Misericórdia Church (15th c.), the São Pedro Church (18th c.), the São Martinho Chapel (14th c.), and the Paço Real (Royal Palace). The main entrance to the town is from the Southern gate, Porta da Vila, and here you will find 17th-century tiles adorning the walls which house a handsome example of renaissance tombs and paintings by the artist Josefa d’Óbidos.
The town also caters to those just looking to browse, with shops selling local crafts and delicacies on Rua Direita. Alternatively, you could visit one of the local bars and sample the famed local tipple Ginginha, a sweet brandy liqueur made with cherries. Close by you also have the Lagoa de Óbidos, a large lagoon, where water sports are available or you can just while away the time swimming and sunbathing. For those feeling a bit more energetic, you have some of the best golf courses in the world springing up around the area, especially at Praia del Rey, with its 18 hole links golf course and villa complex that hosts the 5 star Mariott Hotel, and is one of the most beautiful and exclusive resort developments on Portugal's Silver Coast. Further south you have the busy fishing town of Peniche, which hosts some excellent seafood restaurants, a 16th Century fortress, and wonderful surfing on its fantastic beach. Just off the coast and accessible by ferry, you have a nature reserve, a magical place home to thousands of seabirds, with its clear blue waters ideal for deep-sea fishing and diving. There is always a great variety of property for sale in Óbidos.