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  • Tony

Road trip to Central Portugal: Obidos, Nazare, Peniche, and Mafra

A quick weekend road trip just north of Lisbon to Obidos, one of our favorite stops during our first visit to Portugal a few years ago. Located in the central part of Portugal between Lisbon and Porto this part of the country contains a wealth of treasured landmarks and history of the country. We were prompted to visit the area by friends from the Algarve who were visiting Nazare just to the north of Obidos. We came up a day ahead of them in order to revisit one of our favorite medieval walled cities, Obidos.

Obidos is a bit of a tourist mecca especially on religious holidays and during festivals like the medieval fair and the chocolate festival. Regardless we enjoy the feel of the quaint village, its many shops and restaurants and the architecture. During our first visit year ago we stayed in the historic castle converted to a small hotel, complete with thick stone walls, small windows and odd shaped rooms it was a fun experience. For this stay we chose a former convent inside the walls that has also been converted into a small hotel.

The village was alive with visitors for the Palm Sunday weekend

A few unique doors of the village.

Since we are here during Holy week we encountered a few processions, and symbolic decorations.

We stopped at this eclectic old bar for a nightcap after dinner. The decor on the walls varies from intricate Portuguese pottery pieces, antiques and historic jugs, and vintage war memorabilia. The ceiling is full of small liquor bottles suspended. Homemade Ginjinha is their specialty, a common liquor here made from Morello cherries. We met a couple from Portugal and Brazil and had a nice conversation over drinks. The owner (Large man in blue sweater in the video) was part of our conversation, a very intelligent man with an impressive wealth of knowledge about Portuguese and world history.

In Obidos the wall surrounding the city is intact all the way around and you can climb the steep stone stairs to the top and walk all the way around the city. The views are great from up here

Off to Nazare located about 30 minutes drive north from Obidos, famous for its world class surfing as is much of this coast. Nazaré however holds many records for its 100+ foot wave break and the daredevils who attempt to surf it. When the perfect combination of tide and swell direction converge, usually in February, the crowds of onlookers and experienced surfers gather to attempt the monster waves that are the result of a deep underwater canyon leading to the shore. Surfers are carried out to the waves and brought up to launching speed by skilled jet ski drivers then dropped onto the face of a 10+ story wall of water hoping to stay on their boards and not get pummeled by the crashing waves. Onlookers gather around the old lighthouse converted to a viewing point and small museum to the waves and those who have surfed them.

As we were driving home we stopped in Peniche, Baleal, and Ericeira all small surf and fishing towns along the Silver coast

Heading inland a bit from Ericeira, we stopped at the historic town of Mafra and its 18th century Palace. Stunning! The 40,000 sqm Palace, the Basilica and it's 6 Organs, the National Library with it's collection of over 30,000 volumes of preserved books and documents, the Royal Franciscan Convent, the Gardens, and the Baroque architecture. We will come back when the 6 pipe organs are played, and when the 98 bells are rung from the twin towers.

1 ความคิดเห็น

30 มี.ค.

Great pictures, the processions looked like something out of a movie. Im sure you still made time for the opening week of Baseball...

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