Chocolate Festival in Óbidos

This year's Óbidos International Chocolate Festival runs until the 17th of March with the theme, 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory'.
In line with this concept, the festival incorporates an area where chocolates are produced in front of the visiting public, along with sculptures of six characters and locations from the popular children's book and film.
The festival is one of the country's most popular annual events and one that attracts thousands of people, not just from Portugal but other parts of the world.
Other new attractions this year include the 'My Chocolate Box' competition in which the most creative boxes are awarded prizes. There's also an area dedicated to chocolate-themed cookery books.
For the first time the festival has included a 'research lab' where visitors can try chocolate cocktails. Another popular section is show-cooking area where chocolate is used even in meat and fish recipes.
Óbidos is a major attraction in itself. Once the wedding present of a queen, the preserved medieval town is without doubt one of Portugal's most classic walled settlements.
Walking the ramparts, visitors can enjoy views of windmills, vineyards and surrounding farmlands. In the residential area below, narrow cobblestone streets are lined with whitewashed houses sporting terracotta roofs.
The shops are piled high with local handicrafts, while in spring (the time of the festival) the town is ablaze with geraniums, morning glories and bougainvillea.

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