Fátima and Beyond: A 2-day Itinerary of Fátima and Nearby Treasures

Portugal, a captivating gem in southwestern Europe, beckons travelers with its rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty. At its heart lies Lisbon, the vibrant capital, where cobbled streets wind through historic neighborhoods like Alfama and Bairro Alto, leading to majestic landmarks such as São Jorge Castle and Belém Tower.

While Portugal's larger cities (like Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Sintra, Braga) often steal the spotlight, its smaller towns hold hidden treasures waiting to be discovered by intrepid travelers. These quaint and charming settlements offer a glimpse into Portugal's rich history, culture, and natural beauty. And one such town is Fátima.


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Located in central Portugal, about one and a half hours north of Lisbon, Fátima is renowned worldwide as one of the most significant Catholic pilgrimage sites. You may have heard of the place before if you’re religious or had a religious upbringing. Fátima is a popular pilgrimage town, and millions of visitors come each year. It’s a popular day trip from Lisbon, but it’s also a lovely place to stay a bit longer. Let’s have a look at what you can expect.

Things to do in Fátima

In 1917, three shepherd children witnessed a miracle. They claimed to see a woman who gave them prophecies. The cousins saw her the first time on May 13th, but then again the month after, and the month after, until it was October. People believed that the Lady of Fátima was the Virgin Mary, and word spread fast. In October, 70.000 people witnessed the apparition, which became the Miracle of Fátima.

In the following years, a religious complex arose in the area where the children saw the apparitions. Nowadays, you can visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima, which includes multiple religious sights. You can join a mass, light a candle, or even visit the children's tombs, which are located in the old Basilica.

Fatima in Portugal

On the completely opposite site, you can see the new church. This building was needed to host many visitors for mass. The architecture is incredible, and there are underground prayer rooms. Fátima is a great place to visit even when you're not religious.

Things to do nearby when visiting Fátima

Most visitors visit Fátima in 2 or 3 hours. There are some excellent restaurants near the religious complex, but also many hotels. If you plan on visiting more places nearby, Fátima is a great place to book a hotel.


The city is very close to Tomar, for example. Tomar is known for the Knights Templar, and the city has an enormous history! You’ll easily spend a whole day here discovering the Convent of Christ, the Castle and the old town. The convent and castle are located on a hill, and you have a stunning view over Tomar from the top. You can also walk to the Seven Hills National Forest from the castle, which is free to visit. This city park is pretty huge and great for a hike in nature! The town has stunning houses, museums, and churches to visit.

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If you like to visit a monastery, the Batalha Monastery is excellent, and it’s only 30 minutes away by car. Inside the Monastery, you can dive into Portugal's history and visit the tomb of King João I. Batalha means battle, and just 3 kilometres away from the city centre, you can visit a museum about the historical battle that took place here.

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Another well-known city in this area is Óbidos. This quaint village was once a gift to the queen, and the medieval village is one not to miss when visiting Portugal. You can walk around the town by following the castle walls for incredible views. The village itself is a small maze of colourful houses, souvenir shops, churches and bookshops (there are 14!). 


A visit to Óbidos takes around 3 to 4 hours, but there are many festivals throughout the year you can visit. In March, it’s time for the chocolate festival. It’s the perfect place to try the cherry liquor Ginjinha de Óbidos from a small chocolate cup! Other highlights are the medieval festival in June and the Christmas village in December.

Caldas da Rainha and Alcobaça

You can make a fun day trip from Fátima combining Óbidos, Caldas da Rainha and Alcobaça. In Alcobaça, you will discover another monastery (one where eternal love is celebrated) that will leave an impression! And remember to enjoy a sweet treat at Pastelaria Alcôa!

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Caldas da Rainha is known for its ceramics, and you can join a fun ceramic workshop in the city. The name Caldas da Rainha translates to the Queen's Baths, and you can visit a very historical thermal spa in town!


If you want to see the Atlantic Ocean during your trip, even that is possible from Fátima. A popular town to visit is Nazaré, known for the talent waves in the world! In the winter season, between October and March, you can expect waves up to nearly 30 meters! In summer, it’s a lovely fishing village where you can visit the beach. If you like seafood, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from!


Enjoy nature

If you prefer a more natural setting, the lagoon at Óbidos is fantastic. There are many birds to discover, and there are some beautiful beaches like Praia de Rei Cortiço and Praia da Foz do Arelho.

Fátima is also close to Parque Natural das Serras de Aire e Candeeiros, where incredible hiking trails and caves can be found. The Mira de Aire Cave is a great one to visit! And close to the village of Barreirinhas, you can even find dinosaur footprints! A fun spot to visit with children!

2-day itinerary for Fátima

Over the course of two enriching days, you can immerse yourself in the sacred atmosphere of Fátima's renowned sanctuary, where the apparitions of the Virgin Mary continue to inspire millions. But your adventure doesn't end there – you can venture beyond the shrine to discover the quaint charm and hidden treasures of nearby villages steeped in history and tradition.

Day one in Fátima

On day one, explore the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima and all its buildings. You can start at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima to see the church and visit the tombs of the shepherd children. From there, you can explore the area around the Chapel of the Apparitions. This is the exact area where the apparitions happened, and there are regular services at the chapel. Before finding the building, you can light a candle.

Candles in a basilica

If you would like to know more about the history of the complex and the apparitions, you can head over to the Museum of the Sanctuary of Fatima next. You can finish your visit by entering the new Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity Church. After exploring the sanctuary for a few hours, you can find a nearby restaurant for lunch.

After lunch, you can head to Alcobaça to visit the Monastery. This journey takes around 45 minutes by car. You’ll visit many rooms in the Monastery itself as well as the beautiful church. Afterwards, take a look at the Garden of Love Jardim do Amor and enjoy a coffee with pastel de nata at Pastelaria Alcôa.

After Alcobaça, it’s time to explore Óbidos, the medieval walled city. This journey only takes half an hour, and you’ll see Óbidos Castle already appearing from the A8! Explore the many shops around Rua Direita and start discovering the many side streets with colourful homes. You’ll reach the castle wall, which you can climb for a walk around the city and incredible views. Óbidos has terrific restaurants, so grab a bite before returning to Fátima.

Day two in Fátima

After breakfast, start your day by driving to Almourol Castle. This incredible castle is located in the middle of the Tagus River, and it is one of the most beautiful castles in the country! You can reach the castle after a short boat ride, and the views are stunning!

After Almourol Castle, it’s time to visit Tomar. Start in the city centre and enjoy a walk along the Nabão River. There is a great park, and you can visit the electricity museum. There are many restaurants in Tomar, where you can get a nice lunch. After lunch, it’s time to go uphill.

Head over to the Convent of Christ and learn about the history of the rich Knights Templar. After the convent, you explore the castle grounds before embarking on a great hike around the Seven Hills National Forest. You can stay for dinner or enjoy dinner in Fátima.

Don't forget to pick up some traditional Portuguese souvenirs while exploring the town.

Portuguese Pottery

How to get to Fátima?

Fátima is located between Porto and Lisbon in the central-western part of Portugal. The district Santarém is easily reachable from both cities.

Fátima is easiest to reach by car or bus. You can rent a car in Lisbon or Porto and drive via the A1 to Fátima. It takes about an hour and a half from Lisbon and less than two hours from Porto. Flixbus also has a bus service between Fátima and significant cities like Lisbon, Coimbra and Porto.

You can reach Fátima from Sete Rios in Lisbon or from Campanha in Porto.

Lastly, if you visit both Porto and Lisbon, you can make a stopover in Fátima on the way. You could stay a few days in Lisbon, followed by a two or three-day itinerary in Fátima to explore Central Portugal before heading to Porto.

The religious city of Fátima is visited by millions of people each year. Most people come for a few hours, but staying longer in this area is worth staying longer! From Fátima, you can make the most incredible day trips by bus or car! Venture out to the Knights Templar city of Tomar, discover the fishing towns along the Atlantic Ocean or visit monasteries in Batalha or Alcobaça. For a medieval vibe, the village of Óbidos is fantastic. Or enjoy the Portuguese landscape and go hiking in the nearby mountains.

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