Only approximately 50 Km away from the ocean and inserted in a protected area – the Natural Park of Serras de Aire and Candeeiros – Fatima is the starting point for discovering an amazing region. The privileged location along with excellent accessibility conditions, such as the countries’ main highway (A1) just next to the city centre, allow you to visit countless interesting touristic places, in a short time span.
From World Heritage monuments, beaches bathed in the hot sun with sand as far as the eye can see, to places where Nature invites you to relax, leisure spaces and sports activities where you can live unforgettable moments, in the region that surrounds Fatima, there is no lack of reasons to stay.
The artistic and cultural wealth of the city of Tomar, former headquarters of the Templar Order, gives numerous reasons for a mandatory visit. Organized in the shape of a cross, the oldest urban area has a convent at each end and at the centre, the Praça da República (Republic Square), where the statue of Dom Gualdim Pais is, Grand Master of the Order of the Temple, who initialized the construction of the Castle and the Convent of Christ. In the streets surrounding the Square, the traditional commerce invites you to taste the traditional delicacies and when you decide to relax for a little while you can do so, in the city’s ex-libris – the Mouchão Park.
You can visit Tomar at any time of the year, but if you want to experience one of the biggest traditional events of the country, don’t miss the Festa dos Tabuleiros (Tray Festivity), which happens every four years in July.
Behind the name of the city of Ourém is, according to a legend, a love story between a Moorish princess who in order to be reunited with her Christian beloved, changed her name from Fátima to Oureana and accepted to be baptized. The land of Abdegas were offered to her as a wedding present and were then known as “Oureana Land” – currently Ourém.
The romantic charge of this story may still be felt when you walk the narrow streets of the old Medieval Village, located on a hill and inscribed within a torn wall by two round arched doors, the door of Santarém, north, and the door of the Vila, south.
Beyond the Castle and the old town, the new part of the city, welcomes various spaces that are worth a visit, such as the Municipal Museum of Ourém – the Administrator’s House or the António Teixeira City Park, the perfect place to go hiking or have a family picnic.
Fatima is a must in Portugal, for Portuguese or foreigners, believers and non-believers. Because it is home to one of the main Marian Shrines – The Sanctuary of Fatima, the city attracts about 6 million visitors annually, which makes it one of the largest Catholic pilgrimage centres in the world.
In the municipality of Ourém, located in the centre of Portugal, Fatima is about an hour away from Lisbon and it is close to locations associated with the ocean and beach, such as Nazaré and to historical centres with important monuments such as Batalha and Óbidos or the cities of Tomar, Leiria and Alcobaça.
Fatima is a tourist and religious phenomenon that goes beyond tourist seasons, but it is between May and October that the city has the highest number of visitors. The main celebrations of the Apparitions of Fatima are on the 13th of May, with the impressive Candles Procession, at night, and on the 13th of October, with the traditional “Goodbye Procession” to Our Lady, at the Chapel of Apparitions.
A visit to Leiria has many sites that you can’t miss, one of them is, without a doubt, its towering Castle.
Bathed by Lis River, it’s a city full of life. You can wander through the streets of the historic centre, where the traditional commerce is good and recommended!
At Rodrigues Lobo Square, one of the most emblematic and popular squares, enjoy the cafes and restaurants. Take the opportunity to stroll along the river, to visit the Cultural Centre at the Sant’Ana Market or to relax in one of the city’s many gardens.
Between rivers, beaches, pine forest, lagoons, salt pans, religious and civil architecture, museums, hot springs, popular traditions or gastronomy, there are plenty of reasons to visit Leiria.
The village of Batalha grew up around the Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitória, whose construction started in 1386. D. João I, king of Portugal, promised Our Lady its construction if Portugal defeated Castile in the Battle of Aljubarrota, on August 14, 1385.
To complete the visit to the Monastery, the Centre of Interpretation of the battle of Aljubarrota, in the Military Field of São Jorge, with an innovative concept that combines entertainment and education, provides visitors with a great opportunity to understand what the Battle of Aljubarrota was and how it all happened.
On the other hand, a few meters from the Monastery, the Museum of the Municipality of Batalha, elected Best Portuguese Museum in 2012 by the Portuguese Museology Association, depicts the life of this territory, from its origins to the present.
Moreover, in the municipality of Batalha there are countless spaces in which Nature offers us stunning landscapes, where there are several hiking trails or ideal places to practice nature sports, such as climbing in the town of Reguengo do Fetal.
It is perhaps the most picturesque and romantic medieval village in Portugal. It was also its charm and appeal, that led King D. Dinis to offer this settlement to Queen Santa Isabel. Due to this Óbidos benefited of a special attention and care that turned the village into one of the best-preserved medieval villages in the country to date.
Within its walls, the cobbled streets and whitewashed houses carry us to an environment of peace and quiet.
Throughout the year, the castle that embraces the village has a series of events that justify any visit. However, Óbidos is a destination for all year-round.
Besides the delicious apple of Alcobaça, this city owes its fame to the Monastery or Royal Abbey of Santa Maria, founded by the Cistercian Order. Considered one of the most beautiful Monasteries in the world, it has been rebuilt several times in various styles, from the Gothic to the Manueline. To speak of this Monastery is also to speak of the greatest love story in the History of Portugal – the tragic passion of D. Pedro and D. Inês de Castro, immortalized in that place. The tombs of the two lovers were placed there, face to face, so that they will meet again on the Day of Resurrection.
On the other hand, influenced by the Monasteries and Convents of the Cistercian Order existing in the region, the traditional sweets make Alcobaça the capital of gluttony! The best-known sweet is Alfeizerão’s Pão de Ló, but the cornucópias, the abbess crowns or the little cheeses from heaven are other temptations you won’t be able to resist, further more if you do it during the International Exhibition of Conventual Sweets & Liqueurs that happens annually, in November inside the Monastery.
Famous by its gigantic waves, the tourist village of Nazaré offers an idyllic setting to enjoy unforgettable moments. Beautiful beaches, breath-taking viewpoints, monuments, cultural traditions, delicious gastronomy, based mainly on fresh sea products and, of course, the biggest waves ever surfed in the world, by Garrett McNamara in 2011 (23.77m) and by Rodrigo Koxa in 2018 (24.38m), are some of its strengths.
In this typical fishing village, be sure to take a stroll through the streets of Nazaré or in the pleasant seawall next to the beach, where you will, for sure, run into fishermen dressed in plaid shirts and black pants or their wives dressed with seven petticoats.
At the top of the village is the Sítio, place that you can access by taking the well-known elevator that performs a pleasant journey of about 110 meters. The Sítio is an elected place by pilgrims heading to the Shrine of Our Lady of Nazaré which can be found there. Its traditional characteristics, such as the white house or the huge cliffs over the sea, make this village a tourist destination sought by thousands of people.