The seventeenth day of the Route begins in Seiça, at the Main Church ((Rua da Igreja) and ends in the Sanctuary of Fátima, at the Chapel of the Apparitions. It covers 23 km, which can be completed in around 6 hrs. It consists of a combination of footpaths, local and municipal roads and short stretches of main road. The landscape is highly varied. It passes through predominantly flat areas, but has some steep sections, with a maximum altitude of 350 m. Therefore, this final day is difficult, above all as it demands physical effort, and in addition careful attention when passing through densely populated urban areas (such as the city of Ourém and on reaching Cova da Iria at the outskirts of the Sanctuary) in order to ensure one’s personal safety.
This part of the Route makes its way through the Municipality of Ourém in Portugal’s Central Region and covers the mountainous, arid and beautiful terrain of the Aire Mountain Range. The climate and natural conditions are characteristic of a transitional zone between the Atlantic and Mediterranean environments. Limestone mountains and rocky slopes are the predominant features, amidst which you will see small valleys and caves. In many senses this is the landscape and habitat that the young shepherds of Fátima knew and lived in. The geological formations and fossils evoke the passing of millions of years, and in this region nature and life are indissociable. In addition to the overarching rural impression, there are urban centres that have developed in order to undertake administrative (Ourém) and religous (Fátima) roles.