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Fatima Tour: The Spellbinding Power of History and Faith

It all started with three shepherd children and “a lady brighter than the sun.” The phenomenon of Fatima, now visited by millions of pilgrims and travelers every year , became a part of Portugal’s heritage when young Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta encountered the Blessed Virgin Mary in a shocking flash of light, standing in an oak tree. The year was 1917 and World War I was raging, yet a message of peace from the past came through loud and clear to the little peasant children of Fatima, ages 10 and younger, tending their flocks in a pasture.

Central Portugal now comes alive from May through October every year, particularly on the 13th day of each month, commemorating six months of visitations and a divine apparition seen by 70,000 people more than 100 years ago. Regardless of religious belief or time of year, the power of faith has a spellbinding effect on those who choose a Fatima tour.

fatima tour portugal

The candlelight procession is always special in Fatima

What to Expect on a Fatima Tour

Some come on foot, others by van, scooter, cycle or limousine for the 80-mile journey from Lisbon. The most devout even shuffle on their knees across the esplanade of the sacred complex visited by Popes and adored by history buffs across the globe.

Depending on available time and whether you add side journeys to places such as the monastery at Batalha or the charming fisherman’s village of Nazare, your Fatima tour is easily accomplished in half- or full-day trips from Lisbon.

Things to See When Visiting Fatima

To really connect with the significance of Fatima, you’ll need to spend some time in the esplanade. This huge assembly area harbors the fabled oak tree where Mary, Mother of Christ, first appeared to the shepherd children in what is now one of the most famous “Marian apparitions” in the Catholic Church, covering all the classic messages of war, peace, suffering, and conversion. You can light a candle at the accompanying Chapel of Apparitions and obtain some holy water from the fountain.

fatima tours esplanade

Other important structures to see on a Fatima tour include the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, a limestone Neoclassical masterpiece piercing the sky at 213 feet. Highlights include its 15 altars, stained glass windows and mosaics, and tombs of the children who witnessed the original miracles. As foretold by the visiting Virgin Mary, young Francisco and Jacinto perished at ages 11 and 10, respectively, as victims of the raging influenza epidemic in Portugal. Lucia lived in a convent in Coimbra until she died at the age of 97.

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Our Lady of the Rosary Basilica in Fatima

The modern and circular Church of the Holy Trinity reflects a multinational worldview, with a Slovenian mosaic mural, Irish altarpiece, and German iron crucifix, as well as remarkably accurate statues of Pope John Paul II and Pope Paul VI, both of whom visited Fatima.

Wax museums in the complex bring the people and stories of Fatima alive with life-size wax figurines telling the tales of Christ and at least 28 scenes reliving the miracle of Fatima. The Sacred Art and Ethnology Museum is a crucial part of a Fatima tour, as it displays rare religious art and artifacts from far-flung corners of the world.

fatima tours modern church

The modern and comfortable holy trinity church in Fatima

Follow the Light

Saint or sinner, believer or skeptic, there’s no defining criteria for those with an irresistible yearning to visit Fatima. Whether it’s history, faith or fate pulling you to the mystique of this sacred Portuguese destination, there’s little doubt that a Fatima tour will impact your life in a personal way. If you feel drawn to the “lady brighter than the sun” – then by all ways, follow the light.

If You are interested in visiting Fatima with an experienced trusted guide please contact us for available dates and best price.

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Day trips from Lisbon to Sintra, Cascais, Fatima and more.