Colourful Óbidos is one of Portugal's must-see medieval hill towns. Whitewashed - except for the colourfully painted doors and flowers - this historic centre is still surrounded by its protective castle-esque wall. The medieval castle (which looks like it's straight out of a Lego kit) to go with the wall, occupies the highest ground. It's been turned into a pousada - an historic hotel owned by the Portuguese state - and is now one of the best places to stay in Óbidos.
And that's not the only beautiful medieval building put to fresh use, some of the best bars and cafes in town occupy the most charming buildings. Which is one of the reasons why Óbidos is worth an overnight stay.
The walls date from the Moorish period, and walking along, or atop them, is one of the best ways to see the city and its beautiful, lush surrounds. Óbidos also has a 3km long aqueduct, built in the 16th Century, which is worth a stroll along. If you're looking for it, it's just to the south of the main gate: Porta da Vila.
As with many old towns, some of Óbidos's most beautiful architecture was built to worship God. The Igreja de Santa Maria was converted from a Mosque, which was built on the foundations of a Visigoth temple, so this spot has been a significant sight since ancient times.
Several restorations later and it's now an elegant Renaissance style building, famed for its hand painted tiles, art, and for hosting the 1444 marriage of a then ten year old Alfonso V. The Igreja de Santa Maria is home to several artworks by Josefa de Óbidos, whose work is also celebrated in the Museu Municipal.
An historic townhouse undergone chic renovation by the ramparts of medieval Obidos. Colourful rooms with private balconies, lovely restaurant and courtyard, and access to the Lagoon nearby. Lovely for a family holiday and local exploring.