When to Go

To avoid the busloads of visitors who inundate major monuments and attractions during July and August, visit the popular ones such as Óbidos and Mafra in the early morning.Throughout Portugal, all state-run museums and monuments have free admission on the first Sunday of the month.

This also helps to beat the oppressive summer heat, particularly inland. The best time of year for touring is in early spring and from mid-September until late October. The climate during this period is pleasant, and attractions and restaurants aren't crowded. If throngs of people don't bother you, time your visit to Fátima to coincide with May 13, when between 500,000 and 1 million pilgrims overwhelm this otherwise sleepy country town. Less spectacular pilgrimages take place year-round.

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