There is Vila Natal – which took place in December 2021 and the next is in several months -, the International Chocolate Festival of Óbidos, between March and April, and the village is always in the same place, waiting for us. Because it is worthy of it. A visit outside the most famous seasons that attract thousands of tourists. It is therefore time to find out what Óbidos has more to offer.
It has walking paths, cozy living quarters, and a collection of bookstores that are like adult toy stores. Not to mention the charm of the town itself, with its medieval features, and the feeling of closeness between locals and tourists, very different from that you get when walking in big cities.
Here is an itinerary of Óbidos because it is ours and also to relax us from all the ostentation of the trip to Dubai that MAGG has shared in these days. If in one of the logbooks we talked about everything the future has in store for us, then we will talk about what the past left in Óbidos, such as the old vineyards in a rocky area and the well inside Poço dos Sabores, a restaurant now with a modern one.
Where to sleep: Encosta d´Óbidos
Historical and modern features come together in this accommodation in Óbidos, located near the hill of the Óbidos castle. The decoration of Encosta d´Óbidos features blue, striking hand-painted tiles and brown cork, and includes everything you need for a well-deserved vacation: a bedroom, of course, a living room, a full kitchen and a patio for strolling. along the slope overlooking the medieval village and the vineyards.
Among the services you are entitled to while staying here are free toiletries, access to Óbidos wine or ginginha workshops, an Óbidos guide and cultural tips.
One night for two people starts from € 65 on the Airbnb platform.
Where to eat: Poço dos Sabores
When we visited Marta Fidalgo in Sal, the Dubai beach club she is responsible for, we realized that entrepreneurship and catering are in the blood of the Fidalgo family. Marta is successful in the city of luxury and her brother in Óbidos, after a long journey: she moved from a restaurant run by chef Jamie Oliver, in London, to another well-known restaurant in the famous Piccadilly Circus and was head chef of Taberna Crziale, owned by chef Vitor Rocha, in Sintra. She stayed there until the pandemic and later decided to venture into a personal project.
“I’ve always wanted to have a little corner,” Fábio Fidalgo tells MAGG. The former restaurant, emblematic of Óbidos, closed and Fábio thought that Poço dos Sabores – which keeps its usual name and the iconic well in the center of the restaurant – was his chance to make a wish come true.
The doors opened on November 2nd and those who enter will find a wide choice of Portuguese cuisine, but more current, including vegetarian options. This Friday, May 27th, a new menu will be launched, created by chef Ricardo Rei, adapted to summer flavors.
The new proposals for appetizers include, immediately after the usual topping, a salmon ceviche, seasonal fruit, fruit coulis and crunchy corn. In the fish, toasted corn with grilled sardines and Italian onions and also turbot with mussels and lemon malandrinho. As for the meat, it should be grilled empty, with fresh and glazed peach, accompanied by chips and pork belly at low temperature, Asian marinade and saffron and coconut risotto.
“We do our best to use locally sourced ingredients. For example, herbs, lettuce, some cabbage from a lady who lives 200 meters away and sells them in the nationally iconic Caldas fruit square, I think it is one of the few outdoors. “, underlines Fabio. For the desserts, organic fruit provided by Fábio Fidalgo’s father is used.
Among them is the new kiwi tart with sour cream, as well as the shortcrust pastry with almond liqueur, chocolate and coconut mousse.
The focus on what is local and most natural is great and may soon go further. “Behind [do restaurante] we have a plot of land where we plan to build greenhouses to have as many things as possible created by us, nearby, so as not to leave too much ecological footprint “, says Fábio.
What to visit (or walk and eat)
In a city known to be Vila Natal, always with the house of Santa Claus and the elves who tempt us with hot chocolate, and also by the International Chocolate Festival of Óbidos, washed down with a fruit skewer or in the form of a tablet, I must also offer some activities to balance the gluttony moments.
This is why the Óbidos Mais Ativos project was launched, to which a series of pedestrian paths are associated to get to know the region better. One of these, at an easy level, is PR1 – Parque da Vila, with two versions: the forest circuit, along the vast wooded area of Parque da Vila and passing along the Cruzeiro da Memória; and the sports circuit (PR1.1), starting from the sports field and with a superb view of the Castle.
Among the most difficult routes, on level three, there is the limestone path – PR13, which invites you to discover centuries-old paths, ancient vineyards in rocky areas and karst landscapes, including the Typhonic Valley of Óbidos and its alluvial plains rich in horticulture .
There are also other ways to discover Óbidos, which swap walking with doing through workshops. You can take a Galician bagpipe lesson with Luís Eusébio from Luthier d’Óbidos (price on request), learn and watch flambéed bananas cook with liqueurs and natural juices (with tasting) in Adubai Óbidos (20 € per person) or spend a night inside the palace to take a step back in time and in the flavors of a menu accompanied by raw sparkling wine (price on request).
Finally, taking into account that in addition to Vila Natal there is Vila Literária, dedicates part of the tour to discovering the various libraries of the village, from Livraria de Santiago to the Literary Man Hotel, inside The Literary Man Óbidos Hotel.