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Fátima is a place of pilgrimage for many Catholics in commemoration of the apparition of the Virgin to three young shepherds (Francisco Marto, Jacinta Marto and Lucia Santos, later Sister Lucia of Fatima) in Cova da Iria. On the 13th of every month (and more so on 13 May and 13 October), thousands of people will make their way to Fátima.
There are buses to and from Lisbon every hour between approximately 7am-10pm from Lisbon's central bus station. As of November 2009, a round trip costs 18-19 Euros and takes 90 minutes one way. From Fatima bus station, it is a short walk (less than half mile) along the streets with shops and hostals to the Church.
Do not go to Fatima train station; it is still very far from Fatima itself and the connection is bad. The nearest train stations are Caxarias, Seiça and Fatima - 21+ km away.
It is a short walk (less than half mile) from Fatima's bus station to the church and the shrine.
The house where Francisco and Jacinta lived is also nearby.
Visit the Cova da Iria/Basilica (Sanctuary). For the Catholics visiting Fatima as a pilgrimage, there are several masses daily at the Basilica or at the Chapel of Apparitions.
The street between the bus station and the church are lined with shops that sell church-related items (rosaries, statues of Virgin Mary, etc). The Basilica itself has a shop as well. Some items of note are rosaries with little bit of earth of Fatima (2,00-3,50 euros). With several masses each day at the Basilica and at the Chapel, there shouldn't be a problem finding a priest to bless the rosaries after you purchase them.
Fatima is city of hotels and guesthouses, so it's not difficult to find a place to sleep. Budget accomodation with breakfast starts at € 30 for two beds room. If you want to book in advance via hotel booking web sites, the time for best prices is approximately one to two weeks before your stay.
Places to See
Leiria (castle), grutas/Porto de Moz, Batalha(Monestary), and Tomar (castle, convent).