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Explore Fatima With logo

Significant Religious Pilgrimage Site, the Point of Spiritual Devotion and Cultural Value.

Fatima

Fatima is one of the largest pilgrimage centers in the world, home to the famous Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima

The Portuguese city of Fatima is associated with a miracle for many believers. Fatima pilgrimage started in 1917 when 3 kids said that they witnessed the Virgin Mary. Every year on the 13th, from May till October, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims come here to celebrate the anniversary of the unforgettable apparitions of the Virgin Mary, begging for her intercession for all of humanity. This event is the greatest revelation since her ascension to Heaven. The Catholic Church recognized the Fatima apparitions as the most important message of the Mother of God to the modern world, and a true miracle. The construction of the Basilica, the main pilgrimage point, started at the beginning of the last century. Here are the relics of all three kids who saw the Virgin Mary: Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco.

Fatima sanctuary visit is undoubtedly interesting not only for hundreds of believers but also for non-religious people. This is a large building with a huge square where believers gather at certain times which architectural value can't be denied. This sanctuary is a construction formed by the Chapel of the Apparitions in the place where the Virgin Mary appeared to the shepherds. At key points of the phenomena throughout the city can be found the statues, proving it.

Basilica is carried out in neo-Baroque style. Its construction on the spot where the small shepherds saw the Virgin Mary began several decades after the apparitions when the place became a spot of worship and pilgrimage. It has a central tower, topped with a bronze crown, and a famous sequence of colonnades beautifully decorated with ceramic panels depicting the Stations of the Cross. The Chapel of the Apparitions was at first a small building, but today it is a small modern chapel with an image of the Virgin Mary on the site of the tree in which she appeared.

The Basilica of the Holy Trinity is considered one of the largest in the world in terms of total internal area, more than 10 thousand square meters. The construction began in 2004, and the opening took place 90 years after the significant event. It has 5 chapels, about 50 confessionals, and a cafe where believers can relax. The interior space is decorated with a mosaic of hand-made tiles, depicting Heavenly Jerusalem. In addition, quotes from the Bible in 23 languages are painted on the walls. The building is low so that it would not block the view of the Basilica of Fatima. There are 13 doors to get inside the Church of the Holy Trinity, according to the number of those present at the Last Supper.

As for other attractions, the ethnographic house-museum of Aljustrel definitely deserves attention. It is located in a small village, on the very outskirts of the city of Fatima, but it's still an important object for Fatima religious tourism. Here were born the children who met the Virgin Mary for the first time in 1917. The museum is a small house with various exhibits related to the “Miracle of Fatima”, as well as other artifacts of those times. On the walls, you can see many paintings depicting the life of the village before and after the appearance of the Virgin Mary.

Those tourists who are not too religious will enjoy the wax museum. The museum has two parts, thematically divided for visitors. The first one presents scenes of the appearance of the Virgin Mary to children, as for the other, it would be interesting for all categories of visitors, as it shows famous personalities of the city. Among them are Pope John Paul II, Bishop Seraphim, Father Paulo Molinari, and Father Louis Condor. A visit to this museum is a great opportunity not only to appreciate the skill and talent of the artists whose creations are presented at the exhibit but also to learn the history of the city. Here the visitors have an opportunity to witness the most significant historical events related to religious themes.

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All About Fatima

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When to Visit

A visit to Fatima for most people is a religious event. Most of the pilgrims come here from May to October, which is associated not only with the weather but also with several religious events on the 13th of every month.

One of the most important moments in the celebrations is the Candlelight Procession, which takes place on May 12th. Thousands of believers with lit candles fill the area of the Sanctuary of Fatima, bringing an atmosphere of hope and harmony to this place. The farewell procession the next day, May 13th, makes an equally strong impression.

Like almost the entire territory of Portugal, the climate in Fatima is Mediterranean. In summer it is hot and without precipitation, in winter it is not very cold, but rainy, and high humidity prevails. The average annual temperature is 21 degrees. There are 257 dry days a year.

The maximum average air temperature in summer is 30 degrees. The minimum average temperature in winter is 13°C during the day and 6°C at night.

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Getting Around

Fatima is rather small, and both pilgrims and average tourists come around it on foot. If you arrive in Santuário de Fátima not as a believer, but as a tourist, then up to 2 hours will be enough to explore the place and take a short photo report. 

To walk around and see all the most significant places of Fatime it's highly recommended to prepare the most comfortable shoes for long walks.

The transportation options are limited, but still available. There is taxi service for longer distances or in case you want to visit the surrounding sightseeings. For most non-religious visitors who come here for a few days it can be an exciting adventure to explore the town and its outskirts on bike. Buses from the local bus station offer routes to nearby towns, making them a convenient option for backpackers.

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Travel Information

You can get an unforgettable experience while traveling in Fatima if you consider a few simple Fatima travel tips:

1. How to make the first trip to Fatima unforgettable?

Fatima, the Portuguese city of wonders, is one of the three most important sites for Catholics in Europe, just behind the Vatican and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France.

Visits to Fatima can be arranged as an organized day trip from Porto or Lisbon

It is part of Portugal's deep culture and the knowledge that the country itself would not be complete without a visit to its holiest site.

It is worth noting that even if your visit to Fatima falls in the late evening, it is a great idea as you can see Fatima Lisbon attractions in an unusual way. At night the illumination is lit and the temples look no less beautiful. From October to April, after 20:00, a spectacular candlelight procession takes place on the square every day. There is an information stand where you can find out the schedule for the day near the chapel.

2. What is a list of Fatima hidden gems?

Fatima is not only a religious spot. Two kilometers from it are the famous underground caves, which are part of the surrounding limestone massif. They were discovered in 1971 by two hunters chasing a fox. This place can't be called the most interesting in the world, but the experience of visiting some natural wonders will be valuable. It will be possible to descend to a depth of 45 m and walk along an underground path 350 meters long, looking at the beautifully illuminated halls, waterfalls, and reservoirs.

If you are in Fatima in the summer, the caves will be like an oasis in the heat as it is always 18°C there, and there is a decent cafe where you can have a snack. In the store you can buy liquor or wine, and, of course, souvenirs.

3. What dishes are the must-try in Fatima?

The national cuisine of this part of the country is well-known throughout Europe. First of all, these are cod dishes, which in Portugal are called bacalhau. It is prepared in a variety of ways with legumes and sausages, added as a filling to pies, and you can even find pasties with cod.

If you want to try a delicious sandwich in Portugal, try Bifanas! This sandwich is filled with juicy marinated pork, usually served on a fresh, crispy white baguette. The marinade recipe changes constantly, but common spices include white wine, pepper, and garlic, keeping the pork moist and flavorful. Many restaurants will offer a sandwich with fried potatoes. You can add different toppings to the sandwich, such as egg, lettuce, or tomato, but if you like the authentic taste, just go for pork.

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Nazare

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Tomar

The Templar city, founded in the 12th century by the Master of the Knights Templar, safely keeps its historical and architectural treasures. Tomar is a perfect spot to experience the medieval atmosphere, perfectly complementing a holiday in Portugal.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Get clear and useful insider tips for the most common queries about Fatima

What are the available activities for non-religious visitors in Fatima?

Fatima is one of the top religious destinations in the World, but there are also numerous opportunities for leisure, such as hiking, and cycling in the scenic countryside. The visitors can discover local culture by visiting cultural events, and museums, or trying traditional Portuguese cuisine at local restaurants.

What is the best time of the year for Fatima spiritual journey?

The best time to visit Fatima is a question of personal choice. May and October are the most popular due to religious celebrations. But those who want to see the city without crowds should come here in the spring and fall seasons as this time it's warm here.

Are there options for comfortable accommodation and dining in Fatima?

Yes, while planning the Fatima pilgrimage itinerary for a few days, the tourists may choose one of the numerous types of accommodations, such as hotels, guesthouses, and pilgrim hostels for any budget. There are also numerous restaurants and cafes which serve traditional Portuguese cuisine as well as international dishes.