The Sister Towns: Óbidos, Nazaré, Alcobaça and Batalha

Mosteiro da Batalha

I was coming back from Leiria on a late night bus, when I spotted this bright building on the corner of my window. I was half asleep, so it took me a while to realize this imposing structure was actually the Batalha Monastery.

That was the first time I saw it in person, and all I could do to capture that moment was simply look at it. It was dark and the bus went by too fast to snap a proper picture, so I let my eyes relish that instant. I promised I would come back to see it closer one day.

On the 8th of December, almost eight months afterwards, my dad invited me to visit Óbidos with him. Having been there before, I made a deal to visit all the Sister Towns. A common route, not too far from Lisbon that includes Óbidos, Nazaré, Alcobaça, Batalha and sometimes Fátima. The name “Sister Towns” doesn’t actually exist, I just thought it was an easier way to refer to this grand tour.

Óbidos

Óbidos was the first stop of our trip. Since I had been there with Nick, I already knew my way around it (not that it is a big town anyway).

I wanted my dad to try the “Toupeiro”, but the place only opened at night so we settled for the official Óbidos drink – the ginjinha.

We climb the stairs to the wall, took a picture and left before lunch time.

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Nazaré

Nazaré has become the “it” town for surfers, ever since Garrett McNamara surfed one of the largest waves in the world – 23.8 meters to be exact.

The land of fish was also featured in several old Portuguese films like “Olhos da Alma” and “Maria do Mar”. This last one I can clearly remember seeing on one of my classes in Uni, maybe because of this.

The beaches here are unlike any other –  old ladies selling dried fish replace the sunbathing crew – at least until the heat strikes!

Get the blue funicular up the hill and you will get to the Suberco Viewpoint, where you have the best view of Nazaré.

Of course we couldn’t leave town without trying some fish, so we headed to the famous Rosa dos Ventos to get our fill – boy was it worth the wait! With our stomachs full, we hop in the car again and drove until Alcobaça, a quick stop before the grand moment.

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Alcobaça

I didn’t get to see much in Alcobaça, but the monastery was absolutely amazing! There’s something magical about lonely buildings on a town square. I will have to come back and explore some more.

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Batalha

Finally we reached our destination. I feel like I’ve said enough about this place though. To be honest I was speechless when I got there.

I was the only one that went inside and visited the extra room, I figured I should see as much as I could since I wasn’t sure when I would go back again. I wish I had taken more photos of the interior with my camera, who knew someone would steal my phone’s memory card a few days later…

I definitely recommend this one-day trip! If you have a car, there’s nothing stopping you from taking some time off and visit all of these beautiful places 🙂

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