Óbidos: what to visit with the Enterprise

Hidden in the centre of Portugal is a treasure that dates to a medieval period and makes us travel back in time. We are talking about Óbidos, a town protected by imposing walls, which attracts thousands of visitors every year for a series of unique events. Discover what to visit in Óbidos with Enterprise and get ready for an incredible Road Trip through the best of Portugal.

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Exploring Óbidos is an authentic historical journey


Very close to the capital, Lisbon, and to the Portuguese coast, Óbidos is a refuge for all those who seek a haven where you can breathe culture, tradition, and history. Its importance dates to the time before the Romans, when the royal family made it stand out from the bourgeoisie, when they chose it as one of their official residences. 


King Dinis would offer this town to D. Isabel, in the 13th century, and Óbidos became part of the House of Queens that, throughout the various dynasties that crossed the Portuguese history, praised it in the most diverse ways.


óbidos what to visit: aerial view historic walled town obidos

What to visit in Óbidos: 3 events not to miss


If you are looking to find out more about Portugal's past and take an authentic trip back in time, Óbidos is the town to visit. If you also happen to be a literature and book lover, guess what: Óbidos should be in your travel plans! But it doesn't stop there: this small town has got used to being big in all the events it holds, so don't be surprised if out of nowhere it turns into the biggest Christmas Village in Portugal.


Ready to set off on your journey? For this adventur find out what to visit in Óbidos at different times of the year with Enterprise car rental.


1. FOLIO - Óbidos International Literary Festival


If you are a self-confessed book lover, then you should know that Óbidos has been the Literary Village of Portugal since 2015. Interestingly, it all started in 2013, with the transformation of a church into a bookshop, which set the tone for the conversion of other numerous spaces in the town into other specialised bookshops, but also into galleries and much more. 


From there to the creation of FOLIO was a leap and in 2015, Óbidos was classified as a UNESCO Creative City in literature. As a rule, this festival is held in October and offers you numerous cultural initiatives.


2. Óbidos Vila Natal


If Lapland is far away from the kids back home, hit the road towards Óbidos with a complete fleet for a family trip in total safety. During the whole month of December, this village becomes Father Christmas' favourite. It is dressed up with all the elements of Christmas imagery: toy factories with elves, various shows for the whole family, Santa's House, an ice ramp, a train, and lots of snow! 


3. Óbidos Medieval Market


If you ask us what to visit in Óbidos, our answer will certainly be to recommend this event. Completing 20 years in 2022, the Medieval Market of Óbidos is one of the best known nationally. 


The town dresses up for an event that takes thousands of people inside its walls, where they can enjoy countless medieval activities, such as a huge parade, the wedding between D. Afonso and Dona Urraca of Castile, a wool market, fights, taverns ready to give you a taste of various delicacies, lots of dancing, theatre, jugglers and much more. Don't forget to rent your costume at the village entrance, to truly embody the medieval spirit.


óbidos what to visit: aerial view historic walled town obidos

When is the best time to visit Óbidos?


Óbidos has been able to grow and promote itself throughout the year with various other events, such as the International Chocolate Festival and the Holy Week, which take place in April, or the SIPO - International Piano Week of Óbidos, in August. However, there is much more to visit in Óbidos, as this is one of Portugal's historical towns.


Town Gate


This is the gateway to Óbidos, where you will find a mural with typical tiles and a chapel in honour of Our Lady of Piety, the town's patron saint. Here you can go up to the walls or wait to walk through the town until it ends and do the inverse route.


Rua Direita (Street)


When we are asked what to visit in Óbidos, the Rua Direita (Street Straight) is, without a doubt, a reference. It is the main road in Óbidos, where you will find all the restaurants and handicraft shops to take home a souvenir and taste the famous Ginja de Óbidos, served in a chocolate glass.


The Churches


Inside the village you can find some churches that are worth visiting. They are the Misericórdia and São Pedro Churches, the Matriz de Santa Maria Church, but you can also visit in Óbidos the Senhor Jesus da Pedra Sanctuary, whose hexagonal interior includes 3 chapels.


Óbidos Castle


Among the things to visit in Óbidos, the Castle is without a doubt the town's ex-libris. It is a Roman construction that was built between the 12th and the 14th century and passed through the hands of Roman Legions, Visigoths and finally the Muslims. It currently houses a "state inn in a historical building". From here you can see the whole town and its monuments and appreciate its architecture, which was restored by King Manuel I after the great earthquake of 1755.


The Walls of Óbidos


You can access the walls at the beginning or at the end of your tour through the town, at the Village Gate or at the Castle. The walls surround the town, in a total extension of 2 kilometres, offering a beautiful panoramic view.  


Usseira Aqueduct


The Usseira Aqueduct was built in the 16th century by D. Catarina, making it the town's first water supply system. The water would be carried along 3 kilometres of arches that crossed the vineyards and crops to the Fonte da Vila, located in front of Santa Maria Church in the square with the same name.


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Visit Óbidos with Enterprise


Still on what to visit in Óbidos, if your trip coincides with the summer, you will find some of the best beaches in Portugal. Take the opportunity to visit the Óbidos Lagoon and practise some water sports, such as canoeing, windsurfing, rowing, and kiteboarding. You may also enjoy a walk along the shores of the Lagoon. Discover the fishing village of Casal da Lapinha and venture to Praia do Bom Sucesso or Foz do Arelho.


Get to know our car rental stations, including the one in Leiria, and start planning your visit to one of the most famous medieval towns in Portugal. Learn more at: car rental portugal.


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