Fatima, located 125 kilometers north of Lisbon, is the most visited tourist destination in Portugal. The homes of the shepherds who experienced the apparition in the early 20th century and the shrine standing in the village of Cova de Iria are visited by more than six million pilgrims every year. Below I outline how to get from Lisbon to Fatima.
How to get from Lisbon to Fatima by bus?
Travel time: 1.5 hours.
Price: 12.20 euros.
The bus is the only public means of transportation that will get you directly from Lisbon to the Basilica of Fatima. Buses to Fatima (actually the village of Cova de Iria where the shrine is located) leave from the Sete Rios (how to get from the airport to Sete Rios) and Oriente stations in Lisbon, and arrive at the terminal on José Alves Correia da Silva Avenue, located about 1.5 kilometers from the basilica, 3 kilometers from the houses of the shepherds in the village of Aljustrel and the church in Fatima itself. All three places can easily be reached on foot, by rickshaw, bus or simply by cab. Bus tickets cost 12.20 euros, and the travel time is about 1. 5 hours.
Travel from Lisbon is served by buses from Renex and Rede Expressos. You can purchase tickets from both carriers both online (about here) and at the bus station in Lisbon. If you decide to go to Fatima in high season (July-August), it is definitely a “safer” option to buy a ticket in advance. The schedule appears about 2 months before the date of travel. Sometimes the departure times on the Rede website do not display, usually just refresh the page or repeat the search. Below are examples of departure times. Connections marked diariamente are buses departing daily. Marked 2as, 3as… are trips from Monday to Friday.
How to get from Lisbon to Fatima by car?
Travel time: 1.5 hours.
Price: 8,15 euros (gates).
Due to the distribution of “places” – the basilica is in the village of Cova de Iria, the shepherds’ houses in Aljustrel, and in Fatima itself the church where the children were baptized – getting there by car is most convenient. The vast majority of parking lots in Fatima are free, in high season it is a good idea to park your car next to the shepherds’ houses in Aljustrel and go to the basilica on foot. All the sites are about 3 kilometers apart and the route is quite pleasant – you can also take photos of the traffic circle with the statues on the way from Lucia’s house to the shrine.
The cost of taking the highway from Lisbon to Fatima is 8.15 euros first class car (detailed information on prices and Via Verde here). The drive takes about an hour and a half by car.
How to get from Lisbon to Fatima by train?
Travel time: about 2 hours.
Cost of the trip: 14 – 20 euros.
I strongly advise against taking the train to Fatima – the train station “Fatima” is about twenty kilometers from the basilica, and between the station and the city buses run only a few times a day.
For this reason, the train is the least preferred way to get to Fatima – all due to the lack of railroad tracks leading directly to the apparition town. The fastest solution is to go from Lisbon to Caxarias in which we have to switch from train to bus. Trains leave a dozen times a day from Lisbon Oriente station, but the bus from Caxarias to Fatima runs only… 5 times and only on weekdays. You can check the train schedule from Lisbon to Caxarias at cp.pt, and a list of connections from Caxarias to Fatima can be found here.
The cost of a train ticket from Caxarias to Fatima is between 10 and 15 euros, and the cost of a ticket from Caxarias to Fatima is 3 euros.
Foto: Vitor Oliveira, Flickr