The Spiritual Heart of Portugal: Fátima and Its Must-See Stops
Top Banner Background

Portugal Travel Blog

The Spiritual Heart of Portugal: Fátima and Its Must-See Stops

The Spiritual Heart of Portugal: Fátima and Its Must-See Stops

November 05, 2018

Fátima is a world-famous pilgrimage town in the Estremadura region of Portugal. For Catholic pilgrims, it has a magnetic appeal like a few places on Earth. For skeptical visitors, it has such charisma and authenticity that always surprises. Discover more!

Fátima is the place where spirituality, faith and hope come together. We shall call it magical as well. Throughout the years, Fátima has received pilgrims who try to find peace, answers, and those who simply admire the beauty of the great Sanctuary.

Celebrations in October

October is a very important time for the Portuguese because we celebrate two distinct happenings: October 5 and 13.

Rich in history, culture and dedication, on October 5th we celebrate the Proclamation of the Portuguese Republic. In 1910 King Manuel II was deposed from his role as King of Portugal and the Portuguese Republic was then proclaimed.

Curiously, also the monarchists celebrate this day as bank holiday but for a different reason. On this exact date in 1143 and with the treaty of Zamora, Portugal was recognised as an independent country.

On May 13th 1917, and according to the legend, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared in Fátima, at Cova da Iria, to three shepherd cousins. These three little shepherds were Lúcia dos Santos, Francisco and Jacinta Marto. Some newspapers later reported that the Virgin had promised another miracle on October 13th. Exactly on that day, photographers and reporters, and an immense crowd gathered at Cova da Iria. At this same place, some people claimed seeing radiant colours and others seeing the Virgin Mary. This date was then named as the ‘Miracle of the Sun’.

Later, in 1930, Lúcia published her memoirs from this apparition, revealing two of the three secrets claimed from the Virgin Mary. According to some Catholic interpretations, the first two secrets, only revealed in 1941, are a vision of Hell and the end of the First World War. The third secret, revealed in 2000, would suggest a prosecution of Christians in the 20th century.

Faith and Pilgrimage

In 1930, the Vatican Church identified this apparition as valuable.

After all these happenings in Fátima as you can imagine this holy place has become a point of interest for tourists from all over the world. Sceptical or not, it is a fact that the Sanctuary of Fátima impresses all those who go there.

This friendly and welcoming place has got all previously thought for those who desire to pass by. Different kinds of accommodation, great restaurants and nice people will make your stay very memorable.

Where to Go

Your travel to Fátima will become even more interesting if you note down all these wonderful places you can also visit:

Grutas da Moeda: hunters who were chasing a fox and surprisingly found this place found these caves in 1971.

The House of Jacinta and Francisco Marto: people make this trip on purpose to witness the house where two of the little shepherds lived and died.

The House of Lúcia: the home of the most iconic little shepherd, Lúcia dos Santos. Besides, as you may witness, this house represents a typical rural house.

Ourém: a different tack and only 10 km away, Ourém is a wonderful place awaiting your adventurous self. Use comfortable shoes and clothes to explore the alleys and corners.

Coimbra: have the chance to visit the former medieval capital of Portugal. Noble monasteries and astonishing churches are of great valuable here in Coimbra. Try a Tour through Fátima e Coimbra and surprise yourself!  

Batalha: a village not far from Fátima with one of the most impressive Monasteries in Portugal – the Batalha Monastery.

Since this is an important place to visit, our tours to Fátima are well planned in order to fulfil your needs.

But try our Religion and Traditions Tour that will take you to this spiritual place on the third day, where you will be able to witness the wonderful Shrine.

It all starts in Lisbon and then it takes you to a fantastic travel through the North and then to the South again. With this Tour you will admire the Basilica of Our Lady of Fátima, the Chapel of Apparitions, a beautiful open-air chapel in Fátima; but also other religious destinations such as Santiago de Compostela, Braga, Guimarães, Viana do Castelo, and the lovely village of Óbidos.

So if your next plan is to visit Fátima you should consider all these aspects mentioned above. It is guaranteed that Fátima will surprise you quite immediately!