FATIMA - GETTING AROUND
It is fairly easy to reach most of the pilgrimage destinations in Fatima and Aljustrel on foot. People in satisfactory physical shape and above should be able to access the key shrines, chapels and monuments with no trouble. For those who may require extra assistance, there are alternate modes of transportation which can take travelers directly to many landmarks so walking can be minimized. Private transport should be arranged to see the sights recommended further afield, such as Batalha, Leiria and Tomar.
Traveling by bus is a good way to get to some locations further away from Fatima, and it`s also a good way to arrive there. Rede Expressos (www.rede-expressos.pt, website in Portuguese and English) offers regular bus service each day from Lisbon (approximately €15 for the 90-minute trip) and Porto (€20, two hours) among other cities. Rodotejo (www.rodotejo.pt, website in Portuguese) serves the areas in and around Fatima. Three buses leave Fatima for Tomar each weekday (9 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.), and one on the weekends (8:30 a.m.). Two buses leave Fatima for Alcobaca each weekday (1:40 p.m. and 6:20 p.m.), and two buses leave Fatima for Batalha each weekday (same bus as Alcobaca). For more information, including bus fares, visit the Fatima bus station, located just across the street from the Sanctuary. Keep in mind that Fatima`s bus station will be labeled on some itineraries as `Fatima (Cova da Iria)`.
By the `Comboio de Fatima`
Rodoviario do Lis (www.rodoviariodolis.pt) offers an electric motor vehicle service called the `Comboio de Fatima` (The Fatima Train, www.comboiodefatima.pt, website in Portuguese and English), built to look like a steam train circa 1887. The Comboio`s main route takes an hour to complete and picks up at Fatima bus station, stopping at the north side of the Sanctuary (to the southwest when facing the main basilica, at Rua Joao Paulo II and Rua de Sao Jose); the south side of the Sanctuary (to the southeast when facing the main basilica, at Rua Conego Formigao and Rua de Santo Antonio); on the Via Sacra side of the Rotunda dos Pastorinhos (also called Rotunda Sul); at Aljustrel and Valinhos, where the three shepherds lived and saw the Angel of Portugal; and the parish church of Fatima, located on Estrada de Ourem. In addition, there is a shuttle that runs from Fatima bus station and takes visitors to the caves of Grutas da Moeda.
Timetables, as of December 2017, are as follows:
-Weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. every 30 minutes (May 1-October 31)
-Every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every 60 minutes (November 1-February 28)
-Weekends from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every 30 minutes (March, October 16-November 30)
-Weekends from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every 20 minutes (June 1-October 31)
-Special days from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. every 15 minutes (May 11-13, June 10, October 12-13)
Note that the last Comboio leaves one hour before the final time listed here. (For example, if the buses run until 6 p.m., the last one leaving Fatima bus station will depart at 5 p.m.) The shuttles to Grutas da Moeda leave at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. from Fatima bus station, arriving at the caves ten minutes later. Buses leave Grutas da Moeda for Fatima at noon and 4:30 p.m., arriving in Fatima ten minutes later. The Grutas da Moeda shuttle only runs on weekdays. Prices are under €15 for adults and €11 for children; these prices include one-day tickets on the Comboio, a shuttle run to and from Grutas da Moeda, and tickets to go inside the caves as well. You can buy your tickets on-board. For more information, call +351 249 534 322 (9:00-18:00) or e-mail email@example.com.
There are four taxi companies that serve Fatima and the surrounding area. Fares begin at €4 for the first 0.6 miles and increase by roughly €1.50 for each additional 0.6 miles. Fares at night (9 p.m. to 6 a.m.), on weekends and during holidays will rise 20% above the normal price. If calling ahead for a taxi, a booking fee of roughly €1 will be assessed, and a surcharge for each piece of luggage handled by the driver will cost about €2. If you are going well out of Fatima and Aljustrel, ask if you can compromise on a fare before leaving, as once you leave the area, the taxi meter is supposed to charge double.
Here are the telephone numbers and addresses for the four taxi companies in Fatima:
Taxis Fatima - Costa and Pereira
Rua Francisco Marto 59
+351 249 533 816
Taxis Central de Boleiros
Avenida de Dom Jose Alves Correia da Silva
+351 249 532 192
Taxi Goncalves and Gameiro
Rua Nova da Fazarga 53
+351 249 531 990
Rua da Barroqueira 6
+351 912 534 700
Here are rough estimates for taxi fares (during peak hours with no luggage, etc.):
-From hotels in Fatima City to the Sanctuary: €11-€13
-From anywhere in Fatima City to Aljustrel: €11-€13
-From Fatima City to Tomar: €28-€34
-From Fatima City to Alcobaca: €30-€37
-From Fatima City to Batalha Monastery: €21-€27
-From Fatima City to Leiria: €24-€30
-From Fatima City to the Dinosaur Footprint Park at Serra de Aire: €30-€38
-From Lisbon Portela Airport to Fatima City: €68-€88
Many pilgrims like to rent bicycles and traverse the countryside, seeing the sights at their own pace and enjoying the same natural beauty that entranced the shepherd children over 100 years ago. The bicycle rental shop in Fatima that comes most recommended is BikeAventur (www.bikeaventur.com, website in Portuguese). It is located at Avenida de Dom Jose Alves Correia da Silva 123, adjacent to the Fatima Wax Museum, and is open every day of the week from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Their website may not be accessible to English-speakers, but we have been assured that there are English-speaking staff. To e-mail your questions and concerns directly to them before your trip, you can do so by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A car is not recommended to see the sights in and around Fatima, but it is recommended to see sights further afield, such as Tomar, Leiria, Batalha, and Serra de Aire. You can reserve a car with your vacation package when booking with TripMasters. If you decide to do so, you will be picking up your car at Lisbon Portela Airport when you arrive and not in Fatima. Remember that if you desire a hotel that includes parking, be sure to specify such a need when booking with TripMasters.