With regard to acts of faith or personal fulfilment, in Portugal, many Ways lead towards Fátima.
The Fátima Ways date back to the apparitions of Fátima (1917) and are routes which, in Portugal, are travelled on foot or by bicycle, by pilgrims heading to the Shrine of Fátima, located in Cova da Iria, in Fátima, Centro de Portugal.
These routes were mapped and developed by the National Cultural Centre, a cultural association whose main objectives are the promotion, preservation and dissemination of Portugal's cultural heritage.
Fátima, the site of the apparitions of Our Lady to the three little shepherds, is today one of the most important places of Catholic worship in the world, attracting millions of pilgrims annually. The largest celebrations take place on May 13th (Procession of the Candles, on the 12th at night) and on October 13th.
Several Ways can be followed: the Tagus Way, which starts in the capital, Lisbon; the Northern Way, starting in Valença, in the north of Portugal; the Nazaré Way, starting in the village of Nazaré in the centre of the country, or the Carmelite Route, starting in the city of Coimbra, also in the centre of Portugal. These are routes that intertwine with other national and international Ways, such as the Ways of St. James and the Marian Routes. It is not surprising, therefore, that on some stages of the Fátima Ways travellers might meet pilgrims from the Ways of St. James, because the two are the same.
All of the Fátima Ways contribute towards true spirituality; connecting with nature and local religious and cultural experiences.
Along the way, visit churches and sanctuaries that are true museums of art, and admire the gilded, carved altars, tiling and sacred art that are true symbols of a people's culture.
Also along the way you will also come across other forms of worship, celebrated in festivals and processions. Join in these festivities and take part in this spiritual journey of peace and finding yourself.