There is Vila Natal – held in December 2021 and the next fair several months away – the Obidos International Chocolate Festival, between March and April, and the village is still in the same place, waiting for us. Because it’s worth it. A visit outside the most famous seasons attracts thousands of tourists. Then it’s time to discover what Óbidos has more to offer.
It has walking trails, friendly accommodation, and a range of bookstores that are similar to toy stores for adults. Not to mention the charm of the city itself, with its medieval features, and the feeling of closeness between locals and tourists, which is very different from what happens when walking in big cities.
Here’s an itinerary for Óbidos for us as well as to unwind from all the bragging about the trip to Dubai that MAGG has shared for the past few days. If we talk in a record book about everything the future holds, we will talk about what is left of the past in Óbidos, such as the old vineyards in a rocky area and the well inside Poço dos Sabores, now a restaurant with modernity.
Sleeping place: Encosta d´Óbidos
Historic and modern features meet at this Obidos property, next to the hill of Obidos Castle. Decked out in blue, hand-painted tiles and brown cork, Encosta d´Óbidos’ decoration includes everything needed for a well-deserved vacation: a bedroom, obviously, a living room, a full kitchen and a patio for strolling along the slope overlooking the medieval village and vineyards.
Among the amenities you are entitled to when staying here are free toiletries, access to Óbidos or ginginha wine workshops, an Óbidos guide and cultural advice.
One night for two starts from €65 on Airbnb.
Where to eat: Poço dos Sabores
When we visited Marta Fidalgo at Sal, the beach club in Dubai for which she is responsible, we realized that entrepreneurship and catering are in the blood of the Fidalgo family. Marta succeeded in the city of luxury and her brother in Obidos, after a long journey: she went to a restaurant run by chef Jamie Oliver in London, to another famous restaurant in the famous Piccadilly Circus, and was the head chef of Taberna Creativa, owned by Chef Vitor Rocha in Sintra. He stayed there until the epidemic and later decided to get into a personal project.
“I’ve always wanted to have a little corner,” Fábio Fidalgo tells MAGG. The former restaurant, an icon in Óbidos, is closed, and Fábio believed Poço dos Sabores—which retains its usual name and the iconic well in the middle of the restaurant—was his chance to make a wish come true.
Doors open on November 2, and those who enter will find a wide selection of Portuguese, but more modern cuisine, including vegetarian options. On Friday, May 27, a new menu, created by Chef Ricardo Re, adapted to the flavors of summer, will be launched.
New suggestions for starters are included, right after the usual couverture, salmon, seasonal fruits, fruit coles and crunchy corn. In fish, roasted corn with grilled sardines and Italian onions as well as turbot with mussels and lemon malandrinho. As for the meat, it’s grilled blank, with fresh and glazed peaches, accompanied by potato chips, low-heat pork belly, Asian dressing, saffron and coconut.
“We do our best to use locally sourced ingredients. For example, aromatic herbs, lettuce, and some cabbage from a lady who lives 200 meters away and sells them in the Caldas Fruit Yard, which is popular nationwide, I think one of the few places outdoors.” Fabio highlights. For desserts, the organic fruit supplied by Fabio Fidalgo’s father is used.
Among them are the new kiwi tart with sour cream, as well as the alcoholic almond cake, chocolate and coconut mousse.
Paying attention to what’s local and more natural is great and could go further soon. “behind [do restaurante] We have a plot of land where we plan to create some greenhouses so that we create as many things as possible by ourselves, close by, so as not to leave too much of an ecological footprint”, Fábio advances.
What to visit (or walk and eat)
In a town known for being Villa Natal, always with the house of Santa and Jean tempting us with hot chocolate, and also through the Óbidos International Chocolate Festival, washed down with a fruit skewer or in the form of a tablet, I also need to give it some vigor to balance the moments of gluttony.
That is why the Óbidos Mais Ativos project was launched, with which a series of walking routes are connected to get to know the area better. One of them, on a plain level, is PR1 – Parque da Vila, with two versions: the Forest Service, along the vast forested area of the Parque da Vila and passing along the Cruzeiro da Memória; And the sports circuit (PR1.1), starting with the sports field and great views of the castle.
Among the most difficult routes, on the third level, is the Limestone Route – PR13, which invites you to discover centuries-old trails, ancient vineyards in rocky areas and karst landscapes, including the Typhonic Valley of Óbidos and floodplains filled with gardening.
There are also other ways to discover Óbidos, which replace walking with practice through workshops. You can take a Galician bagpipe lesson with Luís Eusébio from Luthier d’Óbidos (price on request), learn and watch bananas cooked with liqueurs and natural juices (with tasting) at Adubai Óbidos (20€ per person) or spend a night inside the palace Step back in time and flavor a menu accompanied by raw sparkling wine (price upon request).
Finally, bearing in mind that in addition to Vila Natal is the Vila Literária, dedicate part of the tour to discovering the different bookshops in the village, from the Livraria de Santiago to the Literary Man Hotel, within the Litary Man Óbidos Hotel.