There is Vila Natal – which took place in December 2021 and the next one is still a few months away – the Óbidos International Chocolate Festival, between March and April, and the village is still waiting for us in the same place. Because it’s worthy of him. A visit outside of the most famous seasons that attract thousands of tourists. Then it’s time to find out what else Óbidos has to offer.
It has hiking trails, friendly accommodations, and a collection of bookstores that are like adult toy stores. Not to mention the charm of the city itself, with its medieval features and a sense of connectedness between locals and tourists, very different from walking around in big cities.
Here is an itinerary of Óbidos because it is ours and also to take a break from all the swagger of the trip to Dubai shared by MAGG over the past few days. If in one of the logs we have talked about everything that the future holds for us, then we will talk about what the past has left in Óbidos, like the old vineyards in a rocky area and the fountain in the Poço dos Sabores, a restaurant now with a modern one.
Overnight: Encosta d’Óbidos
Historical and modern elements come together in this accommodation in Óbidos, which is located next to Óbidos Castle Hill. Featuring shades of blue, striking hand-painted tiles and brown cork, the decoration of Encosta d´Óbidos includes everything needed for a well-deserved getaway: a bedroom, of course a living room, a fully equipped kitchen and a terrace for hillside walks with views of the medieval village and the vineyards.
Amenities you are entitled to when staying here include complimentary toiletries, access to Óbidos wine or ginginha workshops, an Óbidos guide and cultural advice.
A night for two people starts at €65 on the Airbnb platform.
Where to eat: Poço dos Sabores
When we visited Marta Fidalgo at Sal, the beach club in Dubai she is responsible for, we realized that entrepreneurship and gastronomy run in the Fidalgo family’s blood. Marta is successful in the luxury city and her brother in Óbidos, after a long journey: she visited a restaurant of chef Jamie Oliver in London, another popular restaurant in the famous Piccadilly Circus and was chef at the Taberna Criativa. owned by chef Vitor Rocha, in Sintra. He stayed there until the pandemic and later decided to venture into a personal project.
“I always wanted to have a little corner,” says Fábio Fidalgo to MAGG. The previous restaurant, a landmark of Óbidos, closed and Fábio thought that Poço dos Sabores – which retains its usual name and the iconic fountain in the center of the restaurant – was his chance to grant a wish.
The doors opened on November 2nd and whoever enters will find a wide range of Portuguese cuisine but more up to date, including vegetarian options. This Friday, May 27th, a new menu created by Chef Ricardo Rei and adapted to the flavors of summer will be launched.
Following the usual couvert, the new appetizer suggestions include a salmon ceviche, seasonal fruit, fruit couli and crispy corn. Fish-roasted corn with grilled sardines and Italian onions, and turbot with clam and lemon malandrinho. Meat is grilled empty, with fresh and glazed peach, accompanied by potato chips and low-temp pork belly, Asian marinade and saffron-coconut risotto.
“We try our best to use locally sourced ingredients. For example aromatic herbs, lettuce, some heads of cabbage from a lady who lives 200 meters away and sells them in the Caldas fruit square, iconic throughout the country, I think it’s one of the few outdoors ”, Fabio points out. Organic fruit from Fábio Fidalgo’s father is used for the desserts.
These include the new kiwi tart with sour cream, as well as almond liqueur shortcrust pastry and chocolate coconut mousse.
The attention to what is local and more natural is great and could go further soon. “Behind [do restaurante] We have a plot where we want to build some greenhouses to create as many things as possible from us nearby so as not to leave too big an ecological footprint,” says Fábio.
What to visit (or walk and eat)
In a town known as Vila Natal, always with Santa’s house and the elves tempting us with hot chocolate, and also at the Óbidos International Chocolate Festival washed down with a fruit skewer or in the form of a tablet, I must also offer it some activity to balance the gluttonous moments.
For this reason, the Óbidos Mais Ativos project was created, to which a series of hiking routes are linked to get to know the region better. One of them, at an easy level, is PR1 – Parque da Vila, with two versions: the forest circuit along the vast forested area of Parque da Vila and along the Cruzeiro da Memória; and the sports track (PR1.1), which starts at the sports field and offers a magnificent view of the castle.
Among the most difficult routes at level three is the Limestone Route – PR13, which invites you to discover centuries-old paths, old vineyards in rocky areas and karst landscapes, including the typhonic valley of Óbidos and its flood plains full of horticulture.
There are also other ways to discover Óbidos that swap the walking for the doing through workshops. You can take a Galician bagpipe course with Luís Eusébio by Luthier d’Óbidos (price on request), learn to play flambéed bananas with liqueurs and natural juices (with tasting) at Adubai Óbidos (20€ per person) or spend a night inside spend the palace to step back in time and the flavors of a menu of raw cava (price on request).
Bearing in mind that in addition to Vila Natal there is also 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 at The Literary Man Óbidos Hotel.