Meet Fátima (Portugal)
Fatima, is in this place where in 1917, Three Little Shepherds (Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco) saw the Virgin Mary.
You may not be Catholic or believe in such things, but the spiritual atmosphere of Fatima will impress you for sure.
Every day, many pilgrims arrive here on foot.
When they observe their beloved statue of Our Lady, many begin to scream with emotion and begin to entrust their concerns to her.
Currently, the place of pilgrimage is one of the most important in Europe.
Visit the Sanctuary
The immense square is inspiring and is a must for all Portuguese Catholics to visit Fatima at least once in their lives.
There are 2 basilicas and the square is framed by a modern crucifix.
You can visit the village at any time of the year, however, the most important meetings happen from May to October. 13 May is the most important day of pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady.
In the summer months (May to September), on every night of the 12th and 13th of each month, there is a large procession of torches along the grounds.
Visit the Chapel of apparitions
The chapel of apparitions is the heart of the sanctuary.
It is the first place of worship and was built as a pledge that the little shepherds gave to the Virgin Mary.
The old chapel has now been replaced by a modern building where you can sit and pray, reflect…
This is where you can see the most emblematic statue of Our Lady of Fatima.
D that the statue is in the exact place that it appeared for the first time.
Some of them circumvent the “Chapel of Apparitions”, the spiritual center of Fatima, on their knees.
It impresses the enormous amount of people in this place during the week and the efusive emotions of the pilgrims.
House of Francisco and Jacinta
When visiting Fatima, you should definitely visit the village of Aljustrel, where the 3 little shepherds lived.
You can reach the village with a short walk of 20 to 30 minutes. The trail of Fátima to Aljustrel is called “Via Sacra” and is well signaled.
There is also a tourist train linking both places.
It is also impressive to see the historic and very humble houses of Francisco and Jacinta Marta.
In fact, they are preserved in the original state.
It has nothing to do with Portugal as we know it today.
Many Portuguese visitors also see the village as a reminder of the country’s long trajectory, from one of Europe’s poorest countries to one of the world’s most coveted travel destinations.
The house is incredibly small and it’s hard to imagine that Francisco and Jacinta shared it with their parents and three brothers.
Both children died in 1919 and 1920 during a flu epidemic.
Even if you are not religious, visiting the houses of the pastoral children will teach a lot about the Portuguese lifestyle at the time.
As you are already in Aljustrel, you can also get to Lucia’s house.
Lucia de Jesus dos Santos died in 2005 as a nun when she was 97 years old. Eight people lived in the Little House.
All the furniture and material are original and it is a great way to learn about the history and Portuguese lifestyle at the beginning of the last century.
Enjoy Portuguese food
There are not many good food options in Fatima and most of them are absurdly expensive.
As the soups belong to all traditional Portuguese meals, they are perfect for those looking for a light lunch.
How to get to Fatima
You can see most things in Fatima in 2-3h.
Be careful also with the bus connections: If your next destination is Santrém or Tomar, there are only a few bus connections to get there.
Bus connections to Lisbon are great.
From Coimbra, you have a bus every hour.