What are the Fátima Walking Routes
Network of religious and cultural itineraries that depart from different locations and end at the Sanctuary of Fátima, Developed by Centro Nacional de Cultura, in partnership with multiple institutions and in connection with the Sanctuary of Fátima, they create safe and pleasant conditions for pilgrims and hikers on their way to the Sanctuary of Fátima, avoiding hight traffic roads in favor of dirt tracks and quiet rural roads. They provide a true spirituality, in communion with nature and religious and cultural experiences.
There are printed guides (small books) edited in several languages (Portuguese, English, Spanish).
New Routes are in preparation:
- The Sea Route (between Cascais/Estoril and Fátima);
- The Beira Route (in the heart of Portugal, Beira interior area);
- The South Route (in Alentejo).
Planning and Orientation
To walk through the Fatima Walking Routes with the itineraries we suggest you must prepare, taking into account the general conditions of each of the Paths throughout the course and the specific conditions of each journey or step (one day walk). You can also adjust the recommended time for each Path and extend it according to your conditions, availability and interests.
The existing signage in the territory where the Routes are designed includes the symbols of the mark translated in the respective image with graphic representation and color. However, until the completion of the extensive signaling process of all the Fátima Walking Routes in Portuguese territory, you can find simpler signs, including blue arrows. It is essential to use the cartography on the Route you want to do. It is an essential tool along the way.
The best weather conditions are during spring, summer, and autumn. In summer, you can expect a few hot days, but you can also adjust your schedule to enjoy walking early in the morning. The journeys we propose are adequate. But you can set up longer or shorter journeys, according to your interests and availabilities.
Along these routes, especially in villages and cities, pilgrims and hikers find places for water and food. There are hostels and other accommodation. But we recommend that you get information in advance.
These pilgrimage itineraries are identified by the Fátima Walking Routes brand, which incorporates symbolic elements: a holm oak, a place of appearance of the virgin to the little shepherds, a characteristic tree of Fatima landscape and a botanical species protected in Portugal (quercus ilex); blue color, symbol of the blue sky and the atmospheric ambience that is experienced directly in the Sanctuary and the surrounding space. The trademark is owned by the Centro Nacional de Cultura and its use requires authorization.
For centuries, those who embarked on a pilgrimage to a holy place had a safe-conduct to help them overcome the hardships of their travels. Nowadays, those who walk these routes can get a Pilgrim’s Pass, which helps to identify them as pilgrims, as well as acting as proof of completion of this spiritual and personal journey.
What is the Pass for?
The pass is essentially a pilgrim’s passport, confirming passage through the various stages of the chosen Fátima Walking Route. It should be stamped at each stop made along the way, at one of the many host facilities, each of which will use its own stamp (parish church, hotel, hostel, restaurant or similar). It can therefore be used as a certificate of completion of the Fátima Walking Route.
Only passes issued by the Centro Nacional de Cultura are deemed to be official and valid.
Where can I get a Pass?
The pass can be collected from the headquarters of the Centro Nacional de Cultura, in Lisbon. It can also be ordered from the CNC (firstname.lastname@example.org or +351 21 346 67 22). It will be sent through the post, and any postage fees are the responsibility of the person requesting the pass.
It is also available at some of the key places relating to the Fátima Walking Routes that are officially recognised by the Centro Nacional de Cultura:
- The Camino de Santiago hostels network, in collaboration with the Via Lusitana Association
- Lisbon Cathedral
- Oporto Cathedral
- Museu de Cerâmica of Sacavém
- Tourist Information Centre of Praça do Comércio, Lisbon
- Tourist Information Center of Vila Franca de Xira
- Tourist Information Centers of Oporto
- Tourist Information Center of Viana do Castelo
- Tourist Information Centres on the Central Portugal Regional Tourism Network
- Tourist Information Centres on the Alentejo Regional Tourism Network
In order to ensure the continued production of Pilgrim’s Passes for the Fátima Walking Routes, the Centro Nacional de Cultura would greatly appreciate a voluntary donation of €2 per pass, which can be paid directly to the following NIB/IBAN: PT 50 0033 0000 4523 7586 5850 5.