Fatima, located 200 kilometers south of Porto, is one of the most visited places in Portugal. More than 6 million pilgrims flock to the town of St. Mary’s apparitions each year. And how to get to Fatima from Porto? Below I analyze each means of transportation – car, bus and train.
How to get from Porto to Fatima by bus?
Travel time: 2 hours.
Price: 17.10 euros.
The bus is the most common public means of transportation to Fatima. The ride from Porto to Cova da Iria takes about two hours and the ticket costs €17.10. The bus departs from Porto’s bus station (the Renex station is at Campo 24 de Agosto 125) and arrives at the Fatima bus terminal, which is about 1.5 kilometers from the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, 3 kilometers from the shepherds’ houses in the village of Aljustrel and the Fatima church where their parents are buried. Each of these places can be easily reached on foot, by taking a cab or a train that runs regularly between the basilica, Aljustrel, and the cemetery.
Bus services between Porto and Fatima are operated by Renex and Rede Expressos. We can purchase tickets online and at ticket offices at the Porto train station. If we intend to go to Fatima in high season (July-August) or on the day of the apparitions, it is best to buy tickets in advance online, if not – they can usually be purchased at ticket offices without any problem. The schedule on the Rede website appears about 2 months before the date of travel.
How to get from Porto to Fatima by car?
Travel time: 2 hours.
Price: 14.05 euros (gates on A1).
If your goal is to see not only Fatima, but also Lisbon or the beautiful cities on the way to Fatima (Coimbra and Aveiro) then taking the route by car is the best option. The drive from Porto to Fatima takes about two hours, and the cost of the highway is 14.05 euros (gates). If our goal is only to visit Fatima then, unlike the route from Lisbon to the Algarve, it’s best to take the highway – taking the A1 expressway extends the trip by an hour and a half, further exposing us to traffic jams in Leiria or Coimbra. Most parking in Fatima is free, and getting from Cova da Iria (the basilica) to Aljustrel (the shepherds’ houses) is convenient. If you come to Fatima in the summer it makes quite sense to leave the parking in the city and walk to Aljustrel – on the way you can stop at the traffic circle and take pictures of the shepherds’ figures. Sometimes the parking lots near the house of Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta are very crowded.
How to get from Porto to Fatima by train?
Travel time: about 4 hours.
Price: from 20 to 30 euros.
Train travel from Porto to Fatima is the least preferred means of transportation by tourists. All because of the lack of train tracks in the city of apparitions – the station “Fatima” itself is about 15 km from the basilica, and buses between the station in Fatima and Cova da Iria run only 3 times a day. A much better choice, therefore, is to travel to the slightly larger Caxarias and change to a bus that runs 5 times a day… and only on weekdays.
Trains to Caxarias depart from Porto Campanha Station, the train schedule can be checked at cp.pt, and a list of connections between Caxarias and Fatima can be found here. The cost of a ticket from Porto to Caxarias is between €13 and €20, and a ride from Caxarias to Fatima costs €3.
Foto: Vitor Oliveira, Flickr