Obidos is the finest example of a Portuguese walled town dating back to 1214 and is a favourite tourist destination of the Lisbon region. It is easily accessible from Lisbon for a half-day day trip or even a day if you have more time.
Its narrow-cobbled streets and traditional white, yellow and blue painted houses are neatly tucked in behind the well-preserved walls. The imposing medieval castle is now a hotel. We drove to Obidos arriving early to get ahead of the crowds. The main gateway into Obidos is Porta da Vila, but unfortunately was under renovation when we visited. I had so wanted to see this.
We climbed up to the castle but could only enter the courtyard. This was enough for me to get some great framed photos looking back through the open door. Loved the shadow effect.
Next was our attempt to walk along the top of the wall. You can walk quite a way and while some parts seemed easy, other parts were more challenging. Suffice to say I was just happy to get to the top. We did try other parts that seemed a lot safer.
I wish that we had discovered a few of the back streets for a better look at the amazing alleys filled with colour.
Flowers were everywhere further adding colour to the mix.
Although not many cars were allowed into the town, those that were obviously knew exactly how to manoeuvre the narrowest of alleyways.
There were a few churches in the town. St James Church has been converted into a bookshop and craft centre. We visited the Church of Santa Maria do Obidos just off the main street. The dark timber, blue tiles and ornate ceiling with mimimal lighting was breathtaking. Definitely worth a visit.
The Obidos region is famed for the cherry liqueur called Ginjinha d’Obidos and no trip to Obidos is complete without savouring this sweet tasting drink in one of the town’s small bars or from small stalls along the main streets.
Ginja is served with a cherry in the glass but a modern twist is to serve the drink in a chocolate cup. Yep, had to have one of these. They were around €1 per cup.
So much colour in this place. Step inside the tourist shops, take photos of the signs and wall decorations. You may even come across a busker or two.
After leaving Obidos, we called in to visit an old hexagonal shaped church (Santaurio Do Senhor Jesus Da Pedra) in a nearby village. Another stunning example of blue tiles that is so popular in Portuguese churches.
So would I recommend Obidos as a photographic adventure. Absolutely. Just spend time wandering, looking and discovering all that this awesome little walled town has to offer. Oh and the beautiful weather (late September) we had just added to the picture.
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