Pousada de Obidos - 14th century Medieval castle and 16th century palace
Situated within the magnificent medieval castle walls that encircle the village some 80km north of Lisbon, the exceptional whitewashed, pantiled Pousada de Óbidos was the first to be adapted and restored from a historical monument in 1951. The setting is truly spectacular and the views are breathtaking.
Óbidos’ Pousada is housed within the palace - set within the castle walls - and built by D. Joao de Noronha in the 16th century, with heavy moorish fortifications and Manueline-style windows, it was later remodelled by King Dinis. As you approach the entrance you will be impressed by the Portal de Verga (doorway) with its twisted tree trunk design and topped by the shield and coat of arms of the Noronhas. Inside its walls, the contrast between original stonework and plaster is marked and acts to highlight the traditional decoration and wall tiles. You can also find historical artifacts, a suit of armour and traditional paintings inside the castle - adding to it's historical charm. The castle was damaged during the 1755 earthquake but rebuilt and restored afterwards, and is recognised today as one of the 7 ‘wonders of Portugal’.
Most bedrooms are bright and very traditional in style, some with exposed brickwork, although the feel of the rooms in the new wing is much more modern. There are 9 bedrooms in the castle itself of which 5 are superior 'Castelo' rooms and suites - which come at a slight premium - and 4 are smaller standard rooms. The 2 castle rooms in the towers are more compact with high ceilings and small windows however are very unique and special. There are also 8 rooms in the new wing, 5 of which are standard and 3 are larger superior rooms (2 of which have castle views). All standard rooms in the Pousada vary considerably in size, but most of the standard rooms in the new wing are larger than those in the castle building although they do not have such views. Nonetheless, the cottage rooms are spacious, light and individual in style. They are colourful and bright and each room has it's own attraction. All rooms are named after Portuguese royalty and further information on the history can be provided at reception.
The Pousada’s restaurant showcases the rich flavours of the region and you will enjoy its calm atmosphere and refined setting. Sea scallops, kid, lamb and pumpkin desserts stand out on the menu – when in season. This restaurant also has incredible views over the plains through stunning arched windows.
There is a lift to the cottage rooms for those who require easy access, and breakfast can also be served on the nearby terrace for convenience.
Óbidos is a top-class tourist attraction, known for its dazzling white houses with blue trim, flowering window boxes, ancient winding streets and beautifully paved stone steps. Terracotta roof tiles blend into a wonderfully busy landscape of buildings and colourful gardens, making this a very picturesque setting. Market days are a particular attraction, with the castle providing an imposing backdrop.
The village was conquered and recovered from the Moors in 1148, and with restricted construction in the area, it has retained its boundaries and timeless atmosphere. Remarkably it boasts 14 churches and chapels, with dramatic architecture of different styles.
It is famous for its markets as well as the chocolate festival in March, Easter celebrations, the Medieval market in July, and the Opera Festival in July and August. It is also a popular day trip from Lisbon at the weekend, you will understand its attraction when you take in the bold defensive structures around the village, the whitewashed houses and flowering bougainvillea and honeysuckle bushes.
- Chocolate festival: For several days in March, the medieval town’s narrow streets are transformed into genuine showcases of cakes and sweets that everyone can sample and purchase. You will also find some of the restaurant's dishes infused with chocolate!
- Obidos international piano week: During July and August, the medieval town of Obidos is filled with piano music. Young music students from all over the world take part in the Obidos International Piano Week in order to perfect their knowledge with great masters.
- Obidos Vila Natal: Visit Óbidos' Christmas Village and enter a truly magical world! From, the beginning of December, Óbidos fills up with light, colour and fantasy - transforming it into a dreamlike setting where everyone – children and adults – can enjoy magical experiences amongst a wide array of attractions and amusements. Father Christmas’ House, the crib, drama, games, an ice rink and inflatables are just some of the many attractions that Óbidos has in store for you, offering special moments ideal for the whole family.