Fátima: between deep faith and knick-knack

Fatima, Portugal, Travel, Tourism, viajar. turismo, comer, beber, eat, pray, lisbon, lisboa

Being one of the 3 Portugal characterising F's (Fado, Football & Fatima), Fatima is a must for culturally aware travellers. 

I guess Fatima is a bit off the beaten track. But in case you are really interested in Portuguese culture, you'll include Fatima in your travel itinerary. By the way, did you know about these 30 Interesting Facts about Portugal?

 

It's in this place where in 1912, three little shepherds (Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco) saw the virgin Mary. You may not be a Catholic or believe in such things, but the spiritual atmosphere of Fatima will impress you for sure. Every day many pilgrims arrive here by foot. When they see their beloved statue of Our Lady, many start to cry out of emotion and start entrusting their concerns to her.

 

Some circumvent the "Chapel of Apparitions", the spiritual center of Fatima, on their knees. I was impressed by the huge amount of people at this site on a weekday and the effusive emotions of the pilgrims.

 

Eating out: There are not many good food options in Fatima and most of them are foolishly expensive. For lunch, I opted for a home-made soup with delicious Portuguese bread for 1,50€. Since soups belong to every traditional Portuguese meal, they are perfect if you are looking for a light lunch. Therefore dinner can be more copious! ;)

 

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 Coimbrayou have one bus every hour. I don't recommend to take the train since Fatima train station is a 20 minutes' bus ride away.  

Fatima, Portugal, Travel, Tourism, viajar. turismo, comer, beber, eat, pray, lisbon, lisboa
High Cross by Robert Schad - Cruz Alta por Robert Schad

Siendo uno de los 3 F´s que caracterizan a Portugal (Fado, Fútbol y Fátima), Fátima es un destino muy interesante para los viajeros interesados en la cultura de Portugal.

 

 Es aquí donde en 1912, tres pequeños pastores (Lucía, Jacinta y Francisco) vieron a la virgen. Aunque si no sóis católicos o si no creéis en este tipo de cosas, el ambiente espiritual que hay en Fátima os va a dejar impresionados. Cada día muchísimos peregrinos llegan a pie. Cuando ven a la venerada estátua de Nuestra Señora de Fátima, muchos empiezan a llorar de emoción encomiéndose a ella. Rodean la capilla de las apariciones de rodillas. Estaba impresionada al ver la cantidad de gente en un día laboral y tanta fe y emoción exuberante de los peregrinos.

 

Comer fuera: En Fátima no hay muchas opciones para comer bien o a precios económicos. Muchos de los peregrinos traen sus bocatas y almorzan en los cespedes. Para almorzar me decidí por una sopa casera con delicioso pan portugués por 1,50€. Como la sopa forma parte del menú diario en Portugal, para mí siempre es una buena opción para un almuerzo ligero. Por eso la cena puede resultar más copiosa! ;)

 

Fátima se puede ver en 2-3 horas. ¡Ojo con las conexiones de autobús! Si queréis seguir viajando a Santarém o Tomar, solo hay pocas conexiones al día. Para LisboaCoímbra sale cada hora un bus. No recomiendo coger el tren a Fátima, ya que la estación de tren se encuentra a 20 minutos en bus del santuario.

Fatima, Portugal, Travel, Tourism, viajar. turismo, comer, beber, eat, pray, lisbon, lisboa
Fatima recint with basilica and chapel of apparitions (left) - Recinto de Fátima con el santuario y la capilla de las apariciones
Fatima, Portugal, Travel, Tourism, viajar. turismo, comer, beber, eat, pray, lisbon, lisboa
Statue in honour of Pope John Paul II - Estátua en honor a Juan Pablo II

Must do: After a 20 minutes' walk, you'll reach the houses of the 3 little shepherds.

If you're interested in history and Portuguese rural life: they are made for you! If you are spiritual, take the necessary time and calmness to feel this very special atmosphere. 

 

In the summer months (May-September) on every evening of the 12th and 13th of each month, there's a large torch-light procession along the recint.

Fatima, Portugal, Travel, Tourism, viajar. turismo, comer, beber, eat, pray, lisbon, lisboa
In Fatima every hour starts a mass... too much for me! - Cada hora empieza una misa nueva... demasiado para mí!

Must do: Tras un paseo de 20 minutos, llegáis a las casas de los tres pequeños pastores. Son interesantes para ver la vida rural en Portugal hace 100 años. Si sois creyentes, tomad el tiempo y la tranquilidad necesario para sentir el ambiente especial que reina aquí.

 

Durante los meses de verano (mayo-septiembre), hay una larga procesión de velas en los dias 12 y 13 de cada mes.

Fatima, Portugal, Travel, Tourism, viajar. turismo, comer, beber, eat, pray, lisbon, lisboa
Home of Lucia - Casa de Lucía
Fatima, Portugal, Travel, Tourism, viajar. turismo, comer, beber, eat, pray, lisbon, lisboa
Bed of one of the shepherd children - Cama de un niño pastor

Paulina's perspective: Next to the religious devotion, I had the the feeling that I was assisting a fair: people making barbecue in the surrounding parks, music and lots of touristy shops trying to sell you a statue of Our Lady. I never saw so much Catholic merchandise in my life! If you need a pink T-shirt with the Pope on it, you'll get it in Fatima! And you'll be spoilt for choice!

 

La perpectiva de Paulina: Junto a la devoción religiosa, tenía la impresión de asistir a una feria: la gente haciendo barbacoa en los parques, música y muchas tiendas vendiendo estátuas de la virgen en mil tamaños diferentes. Nunca he visto tanta mercancía religiosa en mi vida! Si necesitáis una camisa rosa con el papa, la encontráis en Fátima!

Fatima, Portugal, Travel, Tourism, viajar. turismo, comer, beber, eat, pray, lisbon, lisboa
Hotel Aleluia: Hallelujah!
Fatima, Portugal, Travel, Tourism, viajar. turismo, comer, beber, eat, pray, lisbon, lisboa
You have the choice! - A vosotros de elegir!
Fatima, Portugal, Travel, Tourism, viajar. turismo, comer, beber, eat, pray, lisbon, lisboa
Fatima, Portugal, Travel, Tourism, viajar. turismo, comer, beber, eat, pray, lisbon, lisboa
Must have from Fatima - Lo imprescindible de Fátima
Fatima, Portugal, Travel, Tourism, viajar. turismo, comer, beber, eat, pray, lisbon, lisboa
New season item - Camisa de la nueva temporada
Fatima, Portugal, Travel, Tourism, viajar. turismo, comer, beber, eat, pray, lisbon, lisboa
You have the choice ...again! - A vosotros de elegir ... otra vez!

Excursions from Fatima - Excursiones desde Fátima:

 

Coimbra

Lisboa

Tomar

Santarém

Nazaré

 

***

For more information on tourism in Fatima, feel free to visit the following link: Tourism in Fatima (English)

 

Para más información sobre turismo en Fátima, os recomiendo la siguiente página: Turismo en Fátima (español)

 ***

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