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Stop At: Obidos Village, Obidos Portugal
Obidos is the finest example of a Portuguese walled town, and is one of the best tourist destinations of the Lisbon region.
Historically, Obidos was presented to the Queen of Portugal on her wedding day, a tradition that began with Queen Urraca in 1214 and continued until the 19th century. This royal patronage has left an enduring legacy of pride within the town, and today it is one of the most characterful towns of central Portugal.
For visitors, Obidos is a charming town to explore; there are narrow-cobbled streets, traditional painted houses, and an imposing medieval castle. Obidos may be just a small town, but there is no better example of a traditional Portuguese town than Obidos.
Duration: 2 hours
Stop At: Nazaret, Praca Manuel Arriaga 20, Nazare 2450-160 Portugal
Nazare is one of the finest beach resorts in Portugal, and is an outstanding destination for a holiday. The town is situated on a wide bay of golden sands and stands in the shadow of the towering Sítio headland. Historically, this headland provided shelter for the fishing fleet and the boats were moored high up on the sands, safe from the ferocity of the ocean.
Today, fishing has succumbed to tourism, but Nazaré is proud of its heritage, and the town has lost little of its character. Cobbled streets lead from the beachfront, fishermen’s houses have been converted into stylish hotels, and old women still wear traditional dress.
In the summer months, Nazare is a bustling and vibrant holiday destination, which attracts a diversity of nationalities and range of ages. The winter draws a wholly different type of tourist, daredevil surfers, who come to surf the colossal waves that break off the Praia do Norte beach.
For a holiday there is a lot to love about Nazaré: there is delicious sea food, beautiful scenery and a social holiday atmosphere. As a day trip, Nazaré is as equally appealing, combining historic monuments with a glorious beach.
Duration: 2 hours
Stop At: Batalha Monastery, Largo Infante Dom Henrique 2440, Batalha 2440-484 Portugal
Batalha is a peaceful little town, but it was the setting for Portugal’s most important battle, the Batalha de Aljubarrota (1385). This battle secured Portuguese independence from Castile, and to honour it, King João I constructed the Mosteiro da Batalha, which today is the finest monastery in Portugal.
This grand monastery represents the transition from Gothic to Manueline architectural styles, and, though never completed after 100 years of building works, it heavily influenced Portuguese architecture for future generations. Batalha may only be a small town, but the Mosteiro da Batalha should make it high on your list of places to visit while in Portugal.
Duration: 1 hour
Stop At: Basilica of the Holy Trinity, Av. de Dom Jose Alves Correia da Silva, Fatima 2496-908 Portugal
Fátima is a world famous pilgrimage town in the Estremadura region of Portugal, 128 km north of the Portuguese capital Lisbon.
Second, only to Lourdes as Europe's major pilgrimage centre, the small town of Fátima with around 8,000 inhabitants, welcomes millions of devotees a year who come to pray at the site of a miraculous apparition of the Virgin Mary here in 1917.
Three shepherd children had a vision of Mary, who supposedly reappeared on the 13th of each of six subsequent months calling for peace in the world.
On the day of the final apparition, a crowd of over 70,000 people had gathered and claimed to witness the Miracle of the Sun, when illnesses and disabilities were cured among the onlookers. One of the children Lucia is said to have received "Three Secrets" from the Virgin.
A vast white Basilica and esplanade were completed in 1953 as a shrine for the ever-growing numbers of pilgrims flocking to the town. The courtyard outside the basilica is double the size of the square in front of St. Peter's Church in Rome.
Duration: 2 hours