We enjoyed our small-group trip to Fatima, Nazare and Obidos. The only thing that marred the experience for us, was due partly to a fault of our own. My family of four (including my husband, young daughter and mother), arrived late to the meeting point at Hard Rock Cafe.
Despite our every effort to arrive early (and we truly did our best), we arrived late due to some navigational issues. It was the helpful staff who contacted me through WhatsApp, as well as our tour guide who finagled a different location for us to meet, who helped us to still take part on this trip. Thankfully, the other guests were very understanding, and we were still able to make up the time we lost.
The aspect that marred the experience for us, is that the tour guide kept harping on our tardiness throughout the day, making snide jokes at each meeting point that we shouldn't be late, or that we owed it to the other guests that we were late. I understand a few digs in the beginning, but it began to wear on us that he kept making these jokes in the 9 hours we were together, each time the whole group separated to explore the different sights and reconvened (especially as we were not late to any of these). It got to the point where at the end of the day, on our return to Lisbon, he cracked another one of these jokes and a fellow guest told him that "the joke had gotten old".
Otherwise, the experience was really nice. It was especially important for my mother to visit Fatima, and she was able to spend a decent amount of time going into the various chapels on the site. Nazare was interesting to see, and while it was a rainy day, we were blessed to have a moment of calm and sunlight as we peered out into the ocean and cliffs. The highlight of the trip was Obidos, the walled city. We were able to climb on the wall and enter the heart of the city this way. It was a wonderful experience, and we also appreciated our first taste of ginjinha!
Our guide was very knowledgeable and had an impressive mastery of English, French and Spanish. We would have appreciated less ribbing on our tardiness as we were already distressed about our late arrival and didn't need the extra guilt.