‘Caminhos de Fátima’ will have routes from Tomar, Beira Interior and Alto Alentejo

Caminhos de Fátima - Carmelite Route: Stones are already piling up at some of the milestones along the way, signalling the passage of walkers ©mediotejo.net
Caminhos de Fátima - Carmelite Route: Stones are already piling up at some of the milestones along the way, signalling the passage of walkers ©mediotejo.net

The Médio Tejo Intermunicipal Community (CIMT) is developing the Médio Tejo Fatima Paths project. According to information provided by the CIM Médio Tejo to mediotejo.net, these routes are intended to trace safe routes to the Sanctuary of Fátima from Beira Interior, Alto Alentejo and Tomar. The project aims to boost tourism products of a spiritual nature throughout the region.

Following on from the many Caminhos de Fátima (Ways of Fatima), a brand of the National Culture Centre (CNC), the CIM has also launched a project to mark out safer pilgrimage/spiritual walking routes through the Médio Tejo. It is currently “operationalising” the project, which includes several phases: carrying out a cartographic and digital survey of the routes, identifying points of tourist, religious and support interest for walkers, presenting the signage project to be carried out in the territory and drawing up communication content.

“The various works have been taking place on the ground, in conjunction with the municipalities, and the project is expected to be completed in August 2021,” the CIMT told mediotejo.net. Only at a later stage will the CIMT try to obtain new sources of funding to complete the project on the ground, namely by putting up signs on these three new links to Fátima, namely from Tomar and from Beira Interior and Alto Alentejo (locations not yet specified).

“With this project, the Médio Tejo CIM aims to create safe and pleasant conditions for pilgrims and hikers travelling to the Sanctuary of Fátima, avoiding roads with heavy traffic,” says the same information.

“These are itineraries that cover varied territories, with great religious interest due to the presence of the Marian heritage, also demarcated by points of cultural and landscape interest and which are articulated with other national and international itineraries,” explains the CIMT.

“With this project, the aim is to reinforce the efforts of the various entities to elevate the ‘paths’ to a tourist-cultural product of excellence, articulated and well signposted, in order to improve the experience of the thousands of pilgrims and visitors who pass through the region every year,” he continues.

The Médio Tejo Paths of Fatima is a project that brings together the 13 municipalities of Médio Tejo, Turismo do Centro and the National Centre for Culture, which coordinates this entire network at national level. “The aim is to provide those who travel it with a real ‘spirituality’, in connection with nature and religious and cultural experiences,” it says.

In this context, the CIMT recalls that it has also marked out the Way of St James in its territory, covering the municipalities of Vila Nova da Barquinha, Tomar and Ferreira do Zêzere. The Caminhos de Fátima are thus intended to complement existing spiritual routes.

The project is supported by the European Union under the Centre 2020 Operational Programme and is part of the Integrated Tourism Products of the Médio Tejo Intermunicipal Base – Religious Tourism Axis: Fátima | Tomar.

“The work that has been carried out in this axis is centred on boosting visitation to the whole territory through the integrated promotion of the Fátima and Tomar attractions; helping to mitigate the effects of seasonality and increase the average stay in the region and, finally, fostering greater coordination between the region’s entities and agents operating in the tourism sector,” concludes the information provided by the CIMT.

mediotejo.net | 13 Jun 2021