Within the walls we can travel in time through several different historical periods. The Town Gate
combines and old medieval castle door with Baroque decorations. Stroll along Rua Direita (Main Street)
and enjoy its white houses until you get to Paço dos Alcaides
, a 16th Century style palace. The town also includes the Renaissance-period Santa Maria Church
and many other interesting monuments and buildings, as well as some sections of the castle walls that were restored or altered after the 1755 earthquake.
A Glass of Ginja
Óbidos is located in the Lisbon
district's Western agricultural region, roughly one hour's drive away from the Portuguese capital. This is the place where one of the tastiest Portuguese traditional drinks is produced: the famous Ginja de Óbidos
an intensely flavoured liqueur that gets its name from the local sour cherries from which it is made. The making of this kind of drink can be traced back to ancient times — during the days of the Roman Empire, writer and philosopher Pliny the Elder was already singing the praises of local sour cherries. However, it is believed that the Ginja de Óbidos
in its current form originated from 17th Century monastery recipe.
This drink is one of the town's trademarks. It is produced by several local businesses, farms and family wineries and is served on practically all local establishments. The Ginja de Óbidos
(also known as ginjinha
) is often served in edible chocolate cups - needless to say, the mix of flavours is positively addictive!
From the Lagoon to the Ocean
From the town walls you can see the Óbidos Lagoon
, with 7 square kilometres and an average depth of 2 meters. Here, one can enjoy the freshness of its waters, go on boat rides, go windsurfing and observe the local wild life — several types of herons and other birds, as well as water species such as the sea bass, mussels and eels. Besides the hilltop castle, the Lagoon is Óbidos' most recognisable geographical landmark.