Viewing entries tagged
Obidos

15 of the prettiest villages in Europe

Comment

15 of the prettiest villages in Europe

Almost everyone loves a pretty village, you know a place where the houses are impossibly perfect and time just seems to stand still. Well luckily Europe has plenty. From dreamy fishing villages to tiny fortifiedtowns, here are our favourite picturesque villages in Europe guaranteed to impress your travel snob friends…

Eze, France

Eze.jpg

The ancient village of Eze – with its fabulous views over St Jean-Cap Ferrat – is a more traditional alternative to the glitz and glamour of the Côte d’Azur’s resort towns. Perched on rock 1,400 feet above sea level, the focal point of the village is the ruins of a 12th-century castle. Wander through its labyrinthine streets and then stand back to admire the gorgeous view of the villas that lead down the hillside to the Mediterranean.

Pitigliano, Italy

Pitigliano.jpg

Surrounded by woodland and the fabled rolling hills of Tuscany is Pitigliano – an ancient small town built on sheer cliffs. Dating from as early as 1061, the town is filled with Etruscan tombs (which locals use to store wine) which are connected by a network of caves and tunnels. An extraordinary, steep fortress surrounds the commune which ensures its status as one of the most unusual and photogenic towns in the area.

Polperro, England

Polperro.jpg

The popular English holiday county of Cornwall is filled with chocolate box pretty villages, but perhaps the most beautiful is Polperro. With its narrow winding streets and cottages perched on steep slopes overlooking a tiny harbour it seems to be everyones idea of a picturesque Cornish fishing village.

Hallstatt, Austria

Hallstatt.jpg

Often considered to be one of the most beautiful places in Europe, Hallstatt is very picturesque. This is mostly due to its location on a narrow rocky west bank of the Hallstättersee with the sheer rising mountains behind it. Famous for its production of salt, this tiny village was once a settlement that dates back to prehistoric times.

Wengen, Switzerland

Wengen1.jpg

Wengen is an impossibly perfect example of an Alpine village where traditional timber chalets cling to the slopes of the Lauterbrunnen Valley. Yes, it does look something straight out of Heidi and although it’s a little touristy in the summer, in winter the high altitude attracts so many skiers its population increases almost ten-fold. Although Switzerland is famously expensive it doesn’t always have to be, especially if you look around for some late deals.

Obidos, Portugal

Óbidos.jpg

This is an ancient fortified town located in the Estremadura Province. In the 13th century, Portuguese Queen Isabel was so enamoured by the village of Obidos that her husband, King Denis I, gave it to her as a present. Today its perfectly preserved collection of medieval architecture ensures its status as a popular tourist destination.

Take a look at our properties nearby >>>

Deià, Mallorca

Deya-Majorca.jpg

Deia is a renowned picturesque village – located on the northern ridge of the island – which is known for its literary and musical residents. Positioned in a valley in the shadow of the Serra de Tramuntana mountains, its home to a cluster of stone built houses complete with terracotta roofs which seem to hug the dramatic mountain range.

Ravello, Italy

Ravello-640x480.jpg

The Amalfi coast’s most peaceful and charming resort is easily worth the stomach-churningly steep drive to get to. A favourite haunt of celebrities (Greta Garbo, Jacqueline Kennedy and Tennessee Williams all holidayed here) Ravello is known for its mostly traffic-free lanes, elegant gardens, picturesque squares and its famous vertigo-inducing glimpses of the Mediterranean miles below.

Pučišća, Croatia

Pučišća.jpg

Pučišća is a small and gorgeous harbour town located on the northern coast of the island of Brač. Sheltered by a protective cove and filled with attractive Mediterranean style white and terracotta houses, this kind of place is the reason why Croatia is such a popular travel destination.

Kazimierz Dolny, Poland

Kazimierz_rynek.jpg

This small historic town has a pre-war, precommunist charm which really draws the crowds. Besides the cobblestone streets, preserved Renaissance buildings and picturesque ruins of a medieval castle the town is also known for its superb panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Autoire, France

Autoire.jpg

Autoire – located in Lot, close to the border with the Dordogne department – has the honour of being titled as one of the ‘most beautiful villages of France‘. A place where little has changed in 800 years, it’s filled with a collection of attractive 16th and 17th century honey coloured houses, a pretty church and central fountain all set with a backdrop of the dramatic cliffs of the Causse.

Carlingford, Ireland

Carlingford.jpg

Just an hour’s drive from either Belfast or Dublin, Carlingford Heritage Village is famous for both its attractiveness and its surrounding landscapes. It enjoys a very beautiful location on the southern shore of Carlingford Lough and at the foot of Sliabh Foye surrounded by Irish myth and legend.

Mittenwald, Germany

Mittenwald.jpg

Mittenwald is where ‘Old Germany’ stills exists. Traditionally very Bavarian, its has gorgeously decorated houses, painted facades and ornately carved gables. The painted buildings are exceptionally pretty so take your time to stroll around while doing a spot of shopping at the same time.

Crupet, Belgium

Crupet.jpg

Crupet is a small pretty village set in a woody valley of Wallonia and surrounded by a large moat. Dating from the 13th century its famous for its beautiful castle and its grottoes. Although the medieval Crupet castle can’t be visited (it’s privately owned) it makes for an extremely photogenic backdrop.

Fjallbacka, Sweden

Fjallbacka.jpg

Fjallbacka is a dreamy fishing village which is also a gateway to Sweden’s most westerly islands, The Weather Islands. Soon you’ll also be hearing a lot more about this tiny village – the forthcoming feature film and TV series, The Fjällbacka Murders – are currently being filmed here.

Source: www.globalgrasshopper.com

Comment

Óbidos, a short visit with a return ticket

Comment

Óbidos, a short visit with a return ticket

Óbidos in a flash can even recall the ominous word 'death', but actually means "walled city", and the general joy the Portuguese city lives up to its meaning. This fortress offers history, culture, beauty and peace and a good portion of tranquility for anyone planning to spend a different day away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

AA-2.JPG

Founded by the Romans, the village of Óbidos gives its first impression in a long, narrow street called  Straight Street .

The street is lined with shops of  handicrafts, where you can also taste the  cherry brandy, a wild fruit  that gives the flavor to the city's famous liqueur.

Right at the end of the street sits the Castelo de Óbidos, were mounted inside spaces that give us an idea of how daily life was the village and within the walls of the castle.

AAA-1.JPG

The visitor is surprised to encounter a hostel set up inside the castle. To spend the night you need to spend 250 euros and if you want VIP treatment can opt for one quarter of kings and queens, where charges to the tune of 350 euros. Too bad I have no picture of this room to heal our curiosity. It will be so pompous and is meant to be? I heard that the kings bed is huge!

Well, back to the historical facts of Óbidos ... Walking through town is well understood because it is an asset, just crossing Porta da Vila all decorated in traditional blue and white tiles.

AAAA-1.JPG

Following the historic tour, the heart of Óbidos is the square of Santa Maria, a symbol of urban restructuring has gone through the city in the sixteenth century by King Catherine of Austria, wife of John III. The  Church of Santa Maria , built in 1148 during the reign of Afonso Henriques in order of S. Teotonio was also restructured in sixteenth and worth a visit!

Take a few minutes of the Solar Aboins, which for centuries was the staging point of the royal entourage at the Shed of the village built in the medieval period and the symbol of municipal powers - Pelourinho, built in 1513. If you have plenty of time to spend in the Museum Abilio de Matos and Silva (Old Town Hall Council), built during the reign of King Manuel in the sixteenth century, then visit the Manor of St. Mary's Square (the former residence of the painter Eduardo Malta in the twentieth century) and save breath for one more stop: how about tossing a coin and make a request in the beautiful Fountain of the village? It is not any one fountain was built in 1535 at the behest of Queen Catarina.

CCC-1.JPG

The most important of all, go with your eyes open and look beyond the tourism atraction. Take for example the tenderness of flowery balconies, the houses painted white and blue, and the whim of manicured gardens in private homes. Forgive me if I appear in almost all the photos below, the local architecture is so inspiring that had took from my personal folder just to share with you.

DDD-1.JPG

This is an invitation to visit the Obidos town.

Article by Priscilla Rios Wheel Razuk on July 18, 2011, source Myguide.pt

Comment

Silver Coast, a different kind of place . . .

Comment

Silver Coast, a different kind of place . . .

Summer is a great time to relax, to be with family and friends, travel around the world discovering fantastic places, different cultures and celebrating life. I’ve been in Bilbao and Pamplona in the summer and took part of Sanfirmin bull-running which is quite an experience and also in Amsterdam and London which are two beautiful cities. I’m passionate about Cultures and Architecture and the way both mark each country and its people.

DSC_0335-1.JPG

This summer is being busy as ever and I have decided to stay at home and enjoy some quality time with my family whenever the job allows. For my surprise I’m doing what I usually recommend my clients, which is enjoying the beach and this fantastic weather, visiting places and delighting myself with the local gastronomy - sea food is highly recommended.

I discovered numerous events taking place in Óbidos and other parts of the Silver Coast and they are just making this summer such a special one. I start with Golf in the morning and a light breakfast around 10AM. Beach follows and I tend to vary between Praia D’El Rey beach, Foz and São Martinho. Occasionally I pick up the jeep and discover new and isolated places, which are so perfect without a single foot print. At night Óbidos and Foz have been my favourites. Foz has a fantastic night life, the bars are crowded and Greenhill night club, who has been open to public for more than 25 years, has many surprises Óbidos is always a fun place to visit and this summer is repeating the success of previous years.

DSC_7503-1.JPG

The medieval market has invaded the village and even confined to the castle walls, in the narrow streets is common to come across with knights fitting for land or a peace of meat.

This event is undoubtedly one of the most popular organized in Obidos. Flowing vibrant banners and heraldic flags, wizards, jugglers, court jesters, wandering minstrels, musicians, mimes and thespians provide the vivacious merriment. Craft demonstrators and some 150 food, beverage and merchandise vendors recreate the customs and spirit of medieval Europe. The afternoon concludes with four jousting knights on horseback.

For half a dozen "torreoes", the fair's official coin, visitors can buy a little bit of everything from medieval clothing to shoes, jewellery, or even experience a "medieval" meal

Mill.jpg

The Opera Festival is held every year and in its five years of existence has drawn a large audience to the many operas that have been staged. It is a unique project that mergers the cultural heritage to the promotion and valorisation of Óbidos. This summer festival is unique in the country and presents some of the most popular operas of all time, always with an exceptional backdrop of Óbidos.

The operas concerts are "9th Symphony"  - Beethoven; The Barber of Seville" - Rossini; "La Bohème" - Puccini; and Opera Gala with Elisabete Matos (for more details go to obidos.pt)

Comment

LinkPedia Web Directory