Óbidos is considered to be one of the jewels of Portugal’s national heritage, is World Heritage Site and one of the jewels of the Silver Coast Towns. Recaptured from the Moors in 1418, Óbidos was once the favourite retreat of King Sancho I and was a wedding gift from King Diniz to Queen Isabel. It’s unspoilt beauty is reflected in the narrow cobbled streets, elegant whitewashed buldings with balconies decorated with flowers.
Óbidos has dozens of restaurants, bars and cafes. Dinner for two with wine and coffee is around 40 euros. Óbidos has a year-round calendar of events including the Medieval Festival, Opera, a Piano Festival and the famous (and delicious!) Chocolate Festival.
Caldas da Rainha
Caldas da Rainha has a market every day in the central square selling fruit, vegetables, nuts, cheese, flowers, sausages and cakes. It’s all fresh, local produce. The side streets are packed with small shops selling all the things that have disappeared from the High Streets of many British and European towns.
Caldas is excellent for clothes shopping with branches of Mango and other well-known retailers. A new shopping mall opened in the centre of Caldas da Rainha in 2009. Vivaci has lots of shoe, sports,lingerie, kids, casual and perfume shops including Zara, Pull and Bear and Intimissimi as well as an excellent multiscreen cinema with Hollywood movies in English released at the same time as London.
Peniche is a short drive from Praia D’El Rey. It is very much an old-style fishing town. Every evening the fishing boats leave harbour and return to port during the early morning with their catches of Sea Bream, Sole, Halibut and of course, sardines. The catches are on sale that day in the big covered market in the centre of Peniche and in the many fish restaurants throughout the town. You can book fishing trips and day trips to the Berlenga Islands in the harbour.