all the gift shops in fatima, unfortunately, take away from the beautiful religious experience of fatima. the shops sell tons of cheezy stuff, most i am sure made in china. some even sold soccer jerseys.
Unique Suggestions: pick out a souvenier made in europe at least!
Fun Alternatives: just don't spend too much time there, so it doesn't bring you down.
Don't get me wrong I am a Catholic and firmly believe in my faith but all the shops and stalls in Fatima were full of tacky goods. Plastic cheap looking rosary beads and cheap plastic crucifixes. How low can this place get? I can give thanks to God without needing to buy any of this!
under this portico right before entering the sanctuary of fatima, but also all over town, you'll find hundreds of shops selling very tacky plastic souvenirs - which i would bet are made in some Asian countries, maybe also by children. My suggestion is not to buy them (when you see them, you'll know why!)
Unique Suggestions: Well, if you need to make an ex-voto, then just buy a simple (overpriced) candle. It's your faith that counts
I realise that religion is a very sensitive issue so hope that I won't be causing any offence to anyone with this review.
But, although I am not yet well travelled, I have never seen anything so touristy in my life as the surrounds of Fatima. Stall upon stall of rosaries, glow-in-the-dark statues and medallions as far as the eye can see.
Unique Suggestions: Don't go near the town around the shrine and cathedral of Fatima. Fatima itself can be very moving, but I really found the commercialism in the surrounding town off-putting.
If you want to buy candles to light at the shrine, there is a spot just near the shrine which has candles for sale on an honesty basis. The cheapest ones are 20 centimes, and you just pop your money in the box.
If you really do need a glow-in-the-dark, LED-haloed Mary clock in your life, there is a discount religious warehouse just near the central roundabout. A small glass bottle of water from the fountain at Fatima will cost about 1.25 euro. Look for wooden rosaries as an aesthetically pleasing and still inexpensive gift for family.
Be aware that the big discount shop doesn't sell wax limbs. (yes some of the other stalls do: Apparently you buy whichever appropriate body part is causing you trouble and lay it on the altar as a specific prayer)
Fun Alternatives: Enjoy the peace of the actual shrine. Go to the nearby town of Batalha and enjoy the glorious cathedral and cloisters there.
I have been to a lot of touristy places. But never have I seen this many tourists in one place. They literally come by busloads. But don't let that keep you from having a good time.