Óbidos's Fun Festivals
Festival de Chocolate. Like a real-life Willy Wonka chocolate factory but even bigger, the outdoor feast that is the annual Festival de Chocolate attracts more than 200,000 people to Óbidos in March and April. There are tons of things to do and see, like an annual chocolate sculpture contest done by locally renowned chefs. Along with the many stands selling all kinds of delicious chocolate goodies, many local restaurants offer chocolate-theme menus. Óbidos, Leiria. www.festivalchocolate.cm-obidos.pt. €5.
Festival Internacional Literário de Óbidos. Also known as "Fólio," the International Literature Festival was launched as part of a broader initiative to establish Óbidos as a vila literária (literary town). The focus was at first on Portuguese-language writers, but organizers have branched out with guests such as Salman Rushdie and Donald Ray Pollock. This annual event is scheduled for late September or October. Óbidos, Leiria. 262 955 500; www.foliofestival.com. Free.
Mercado Medieval. Every July and August, the Mercado Medieval enlivens the town over two long weekends. There's a parade of people in medieval costumes each day around the city walls. To buy some of the typical products of the region—ceramics, cheeses, hams, and flowers—exchange your euros for replica torreões (the first coins struck in Portugal). Battles and court scenes are dramatized daily, and music animates the market until midnight. As for a meal, consider a hunk of the wild boar roasted on a spit. Óbidos, Leiria. www.mercadomedievalobidos.pt. €7.
Óbidos Vila Natal. All through December, the Óbidos Christmas Village is the perfect miniature winter wonderland for children. There's usually ice-skating, an ice slide, a carousel, puppet shows, and, of course, Santa Claus. There are also several organized games for all ages as well as a market selling traditional sweets and other artisanal crafts. The Bar de Gelo (ice bar) is a popular chill-out spot for adults. Óbidos, Leiria. www.obidosvilanatal.pt. €7.
Semana Internacional de Piano de Óbidos. This long-running festival offers two weeks in late July to mid-August of top-quality piano music. Most concerts are staged in the compact Casa da Música near the main gate, and given the town's small size you may well end up rubbing shoulders with a star performer during your stay. Óbidos, Leiria. 914 400 702; www.pianobidos.org. €18.