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93km (58 miles) N of Lisbon; 7km (4 1/2 miles) S of Caldas da Rainha

The poet king Dinis and his saintly wife, Isabella of Aragón, once passed by the walls of this medieval village and noted its beauty. The queen likened the village to a jewel-studded crown. Eager to please, Dinis made her a present of the village. He established a tradition: Instead of precious stones, Portuguese royal bridegrooms presented Óbidos to their spouses.

Entered through a tile-coated gatehouse, the town is definitely a trip back in time. The medieval city rises on a sugar-loaf hill above a valley of vineyards. Its golden towers, crenellated battlements, and ramparts (which afford views of Estremadura) contrast with gleaming white houses and the rolling countryside, where windmills clack in the breeze.