Óbidos is now hosting the International Chocolate Festival, which is one of the oldest festivals in the country, taking place for 21 years in Óbidos. This festival started on 10 March and will run until 26 March, from Friday to Sunday.
In the first three days of the event, around 40 thousand people passed through Óbidos, which reveals the importance of this festival. However, Óbidos is not only known for its addictive chocolate, there is so much to celebrate in Óbidos, the history, the ginjinha and all the little places that make this town a very worthy place to visit. So, if you miss the festival, you can still visit this gem at any time of the year with the advantage that it will be less busy.
In fact, this article will be about some hidden gems I found on my visit to the enchanted town of Óbidos.
The magical hidden spot
On my visit to Óbidos there were a couple of things that caught my eye. One of them was a beautiful garden next to the castle. I visited it around 5pm and the sunlight passing through the tree leaves had a bright colour, like gold. I have no idea if there is any legend about that garden, but it is really magical.
The village of Óbidos is located on top of a hill and is surrounded by a fortified wall that remains a well-preserved example of medieval architecture. The streets, squares, walls and its castle are a popular tourist destination. However, unfortunately, the castle itself cannot be fully visited as it has been converted into a guesthouse.
Violin + traditional snack
When I visited Óbidos, walking through the streets, there were some places that caught my attention. One of them was the Casa Portuguesa do Pastel de Bacalhau, where there was a guy playing violin, something quite unusual.
I decided to go in to see the musician and, like me, many tourists passing by stopped with curiosity. The place had a beautiful red decoration with old books on the right side, like a library, which makes complete sense as Óbidos was also listed as a UNESCO city of literature in 2015, and sells a different snack – pastel de bacalhau with Serra da Estrela cheese.
“Pastel de Bacalhau is sold anywhere in Portugal, but we wanted to make it special. We wanted ours to be different, so we added the Serra da Estrela cheese, which goes very well with the pastel de bacalhau.
Therefore, we decided to make this pastel de bacalhau a brand and we created the Casa Portuguesa do Pastel de Bacalhau, the first shops were in Lisbon and in Porto. Meanwhile, we opened other shops in Aveiro, Cascais, Vila Nova de Gaia and recently in Óbidos", said Sónia Felgueiras, Marketing Manager of Valor do Tempo.
"Óbidos is actually a journey back in time. The whole medieval village transports us to our very ancient imagination. The village is very picturesque and charming and is a tourist spot, no doubt, and the Valor do Tempo group works in the tourism sector and, as such, Óbidos was an obvious place, a perfect location for us to have our products", she added.
There is also something that is very traditional in Óbidos, whereby I found a lady doing what is called Portuguese-certified filigree, on the first floor of one library near the castle.
"Filigree is an ancestral process of creating a very fine mesh with two twisted wires to make a jewel. This technique is very old and it exists in other countries, but Portugal has its own jewelry design, for example, the Vienna heart only exists in Portugal”.
In this respect, Sónia also told me that a shop has recently opened in Óbidos with these jewels, which is called Joalharia do Carmo and which was not open at the time of my visit.
If you wish to visit Óbidos, it is only 1 hour from Lisbon and it can be a great opportunity to enjoy Portugal in a different way.
When we lived in Portugal (1980-1993) would always take visitors or family who came to visit to Obidos. Such fond memories growing up on Portugal. Saudades
By David Southwell from USA on 27 Mar 2023, 14:54