Touristic Guides World Heritage: Paths of the Faith
Begin your itinerary in the fishing town of Peniche, to visit the Church of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios, whose fame for working miracles attracts major pilgrimages. In the town of Atouguia da Baleia, that was offered by the first king of Portugal to the Crusaders who helped conquer Lisbon, discover the Church of São Leonardo – built in homage to one of the knights’ favourite Saints.
Continue to Óbidos, whose walls enclose narrow, mediaeval streets. Stroll between the white houses, visit the castle and enter the churches in order to discover the wonderful relics contained therein. You’re bound to want to stay in this beautiful town, so why not spend the night in the Pousada luxury inn or a manor house in order to round off the day in great style? On the second day, travel to Caldas da Rainha, where Queen D. Leonor commissioned the world’s first thermal hospital in the 15th century.
Continue to Nazaré and Sítio, perched on top of a high rocky outcrop, where you can see the hoofmark of the horse of D. Fuas Roupinho. According to legend, when the knight was hunting a deer, he was saved from a potentially fatal fall by invoking aid from Our Lady. Visit the Ermida da Memória and the 12th-century church, and then descend to the beach in one of Portugal’s oldest funiculars, offering a different perspective of this promontory jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean.
Continue to the Monastery of Alcobaça that D. Afonso Henriques promised to build if he succeeded in conquering Santarém. Built by the Order of Cistercians in 1178 this served as the spiritual centre of these lands consecrated to the Virgin Mary. Enter the church and sense the mystical atmosphere created via its scale and sober architecture. In the transept, admire the exquisite tombs of D. Pedro I and D. Inês, facing one another, as they await reunion on Judgement Day.
Then continue to Cós, that contains another Cistercian monastery, where the simple austere exterior hides a rich interior. In the environs, the Chapel of Senhora da Luz in Póvoa de Cós and the Chapel of Senhora das Areias in Aljubarrota pay tribute to the Virgin Mary’s intervention in the recovery of the lost keys. Continue to the Monastery of Batalha dedicated to Santa Maria, from whom D. João I requested assistance in order to defeat the Castilians in Aljubarrota. Marvel at the intricate stonework of this Gothic masterpiece that acquires sublime beauty in the late afternoon sunlight. On the third day travel to the sanctuary of Fátima - the Altar of the World. Sense the unique spiritual atmosphere in Cova da Iria that is visited by millions of pilgrims.
The huge site is located between the impressive Basilica of Nossa Senhora do Rosário and the Church of the Santíssima Trindade, but it is the “Little Chapel of Apparations” that attracts the majority of devout followers. Built in accordance with the instructions transmitted by the Virgin Mary, it is located next to the olive tree where the majority of apparitions took place. Visit the Houses of the three shepherd children in the small village of Aljustrel and discover other locations of the apparitions such as Loca do Cabeço or Valinhos.
Continue to Ourém. The city’s name is linked to the tragic romance of Fátima, a Moorish princess who through her love for a Christian knight converted to Christianity and changed her name to Oureana. Visit the castle, one of the most innovative works of fifteenth century military architecture, that today plays host to medieval banquets.
Make a reservation and complete your itinerary with a journey back in time, to dine in the company of knights and damsels!