Bacalhôa Buddha Eden

Top choice in Estremadura & Ribatejo

Bombarral, Municipality of Obidos, Portugal

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What have the Taliban got to do with a rural winery 12km south of Óbidos? Well, when they blew up the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan in 2001, the millionaire art collector José Berardo was so incensed at the wanton destruction of culture that he decided to do something to balance it out and created a large sculpture park on the grounds of his winery. The result, Bacalhôa Buddha Eden, is an astonishing sight.

The wildly out of place, thoroughly fascinating park features monumental Buddhist statues standing proudly above the cork trees, a phalanx of electric blue terracotta warriors looking down on a duck-filled lake, modern contemporary sculpture among the vines, and a little tourist train (adult/child €4/free) doing the rounds for the sore-of-foot. It's a great place to relax, and there's a cafe here, as well as a wine shop. To make a day of it, there's an appealing restaurant in the nearby village – Mãe d'Água does confident modern Portuguese fare in a contemporary setting within a noble old building.

To get here, take the A8 motorway south from Óbidos and exit at junction 12, then follow signs for Carvalhal.