Portugal’s religious centre is worthy of a visit for its grand hilltop basilicas, vertiginous mountain scenery and soul-soothing selection of places to stay.
Once a simple farming village on the slopes of the Serra de Aire mountains in Portugal, the inland town of Fátima became one of the most important pilgrimage spots of Christendom back in 1917, when the apparition of the Virgin Mary apparently appeared to three shepherd children. Whether or not you believe the yarn, Fátima is worthy of a visit today, not least for the two grand basilicas now built where the vision took place. Planning on spending the night? We’ve picked some of the best places to stay – now bookable with Culture Trip.
There’s something undeniably enchanting about Luz Charming Houses – a collection of reimagined rustic abodes set in the sylvan surrounds of Fátima. Stylish rooms mix up shabby chic with rustic touches, and suites spoil further still with concrete-carved soaking tubs or decadent rolltop baths. In the pretty garland-lit garden, you’ll find a magnesium-infused pool, plus a stage, where dance performances, concerts, meditation and yoga classes take place. Spa treatments using fresh herbs and native flora are also available in the hotel’s onsite natural cave. Plus, it’s all just a 5-minute drive from the sights in Fátima – if you manage to drag yourself away, that is.
Meaning the “Heart of Fátima”, this boutique hotel certainly puts you in the very centre of things, with the strikingly modern, low-lying Basílica da Santíssima Trindade (Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity) just a minute away on foot. Updated, architect-led interiors at the hotel are an elegant combination of plush fabrics and patterned detailing, dialled down for a calming effect in the guest rooms. Some of which open onto balconies within eyeshot of the basilica.
With its liberal use of shimmering gold against black and white, the upscale Aurea Fátima Hotel aims to dazzle. The refined sparkle extends to the guest rooms, too, which include snuggly robes and head-pleasing pillow menus. Take some time out at the spa, with its sauna, turkish bath and Jacuzzi, before heading to the restaurant for sampling traditional Portuguese flavours with a twist. Set on the main tree-lined avenue in town, the hotel is also just a 5-minute walk from the centre and can organise horse riding trips out in the Serras de Aire mountains, too.
Built in the fifties as a seminary, this grand building is now dedicated to the more earthly business of being a hotel. Rooms are smart and serene, with all the modern amenities for a comfortable stay. Master suites add the indulgence of deep soaking tubs and fluffy robes. Great for families, there’s a free kids’ club and outdoor playground, and there are tranquil leafy gardens that make the perfect place for quiet contemplation.
If you’re planning a longer stay in Fátima, or just like a bit more room, the Lux Fátima Park is all spacious suites and apartments. Polished wooden floors and plush fabrics give the rooms a smart yet home-style feel, with living and dining areas, too. Apartments also add kitchenettes, and some open onto furnished balconies. There’s a pool terrace with a bar to kick back in the sunshine, or, if you prefer indoor soaking, the spa offers just that.
Swish contemporary interiors combine with modern facilities and pleasant gardens at this town-centre hotel. Stylishly understated rooms are finished in calming tones, and most have views over the leafy grounds. You can dine on traditional Portuguese fare at the hotel’s restaurant or order breakfast and dinner to your room. The main basilica plaza in Fátima is just a short walk away.
Occupying an intriguing piece of modern architecture, the Santa Maria is a hotel that combines smart design with playful elements. Light, modern and unfussy rooms provide a peaceful place to sleep, while a meditation room offers space for quiet reflection. A breakfast buffet is served at the restaurant, which has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a garden. If you head up to the fourth floor, you’ll find a terrace with views overlooking the basilica, which is just a short stroll away.
This modern purpose-built hotel is located practically a stone’s throw from Fátima’s centre. Bedrooms are finished in polished pine and with designer lighting, and some open to their own balcony with views over the town. Upgrade to a suite, and you’ll get a kitchenette, too. The hotel offers a breakfast service plus other refreshments on tap throughout the day at its lobby bar.
These recommendations were updated on May 5, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.