NORTH OF LISBON
Óbidos, Nazaré, Batalha + Fátima; a day trip to visit other towns in Portugal.
The main purpose of this visit was to spend time in Fátima - an important Catholic pilgrimage site known for the apparitions of Our Blessed Lady to three children, Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco in 1917.
We were able to secure a day trip via a local tour company; we find that these are the best ways to travel around to different towns and cities and not worry about getting lost or driving yourself. Plus, there's always a tour guide on board, educating you on history and culture! This specific tour's main destination was Fátima, since we wanted to make a little pilgrimage in honour of Our Lady.
It was incredible to visit the other towns, even if it was just for a short while. You're able to immerse yourself in Portugal's heritage and learn about their customs and way of life.
First stop: Óbidos
A small town located on a hilltop that still has medieval structures, like its castle and the wall that encircles the town.
*pro tip: wear sturdy sneakers/walking shoes - the limestone streets are slippery, especially when wet!
Second stop: Nazaré
Known to be a picturesque seaside village and a very popular seaside resorts in the Silver Coast. Surfers from all over the world visit this town for their insanely massive waves; numerous surfing records have been set here!
*pro tip: order seafood at any restaurants because they are *chef kiss.
Third stop: Batalha
This was our shortest top, just to visit the monastery. All I remember from our tour guide was the town's name translates to "battle".
*pro tip: sorry, none of this town. we didn't get to explore much.
Final stop: Fátima
We were fortunate to also visit the homes of the 3 children whom Our Blessed Mother appeared to. We even "met" a "celebrity" there - a relative of Lucia's! We sent our well wishes her way, as she sat by her window at home and greeted passerby. It was quite astonishing to be in such close proximity to living relative of Lucia's!
The tour also made a 30 minute stop at the official shop of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima; here you can purchase religious articles and have them blessed when you attend mass at the shrine. The celebrant at mass gives a general blessing for all the articles parishioners have brought with them.
At the Sanctuary, there is the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima; where all 3 children are buried. Both Francisco and Jacinta were canonized in 2017. The tree adjacent to the Basilica that is well preserved and thriving, happens to be where Our Lady first appeared to the 3 children. It was a truly remarkable visit, knowing what had happened there over 100 years ago.
*pro tip: attend mass + go on a pilgrimage, even a mini one. you'll truly feel the presence of Our Lady here.
Back to Lisbon
When we arrived back in Lisbon, the night was still young! Our first stop was obviously finding somewhere to enjoy dinner. We walked all around the city until settling at Sol Dourado. Post-dinner, it was a hunt for anywhere that served pastéis and another long walk to burn off our calories before heading home for a well deserved slumber.