Top attractions in Lourdes
Lourdes is the second most popular tourist city in France. Nestled by the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains, this city is the most visited pilgrimage shrine in the Christian world. Pilgrims visiting Lourdes for its healing qualities bathe in pools of water from Bernadette's spring. Everything you will want to feast your eyes upon is in walking distance, and of course there's the castle where you can get a panoramic view of all the beautiful sacred buildings and countryside.
St. Bernadette's visions of the Virgin Mary are said to have occurred here, as she was told about a spring in the grotto to drink from, and now her story leads many Pilgrims to this sacred place to take the water and pray for miracles.
This immense building can't be missed, situated on top of the rock above the Grotto of Massabielle and behind the Basilica of the Rosary.
When she appeared at Lourdes, the Virgin Mary seemingly held a rosary in her hand. Its three arches depict the joyful, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries Catholics meditate on.
This was the house of Bernadette’s parents after the visions and you can see items which belonged to the Soubirous family. The house is still run by Bernadette’s descendents.
Pilgrims go up these stairs on their knees, which are a copy of the holy stairs that led up to the praetorium of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem.
Capture superb views of the city and the Pyrenees as you climb this impenetrable fortress. There's also a botanical garden and the Pyrenean Museum.
Everyday in the summer you can come here and experience quality gastronomic offerings, including alpine cheese, hams, jams, and other local delicacies.
Lourdes might resonate more with you if you're religious, but it's still a lovely place to go just to see the beautiful buildings, the castle, the Pyrenees, and the general quaintness of the City of Miracles.
Indeed there are! Lourdes has nine tennis courts, which are open all year round and there's a golf course on the south side of Loudes Lake. Plus there's plenty of options for indulging in white water sports, plus hikes and walks around the wonderful Pyrenees.
Although this isn't a big city, sadly there can still be pickpockets around since there's crowds of tourists in condensed places. Be wary and keep your belongings close to you and in front of you when possible.
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- Best time to visit
- April through October are the peak months to visit and enjoy beautiful mild weather. Before going, check in with hotels, as during off season some hotels and sites are closed.
Things to Do in Lourdes
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What people are saying about Lourdes
My daughter (22) and I completely enjoyed Roberto Casali and his extensive tour of Lourdes. I had heard about Lourdes my whole life, but Roberto made the story come alive by showing us where Bernadette lived and interesting stories of the family not in all the books. He took us all around the town and also around the beautiful churches and to the grotto. He made it a comfortable and homey experience. I highly recommend this tour. Susan Rohrer, Maryland, USA
Our sacred-Lourdes tour was wonderful. A balance of spiritual overview in so many components in regards to this sanctuary; with relevant historical, artistic and local information presented in a thoughtful, sensitive, and timely manner. Cathy has a unique sensitivity that makes her very special. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have met her and to have her personalized and very kind assistance.
I've had guides before that really just want to get you in and out. Because I was on my own we enjoyed each others company and spoke of many things. While we talked he was able to tailor the experience just for me. I would highly recommend this to anyone experiencing a new city. Toulouse is one of my favorite cities but it was great to have been exposed to more of the region.
Lisa was exceptional. She was reverent, inspirational and engaging. She shared knowledge and history about the places we visited, told interesting stories that we would not have known, and showed us pictures and quotes on her iPad to give additional background information. Thank you Lisa, for making our trip even more special.
Guide did a good job asking what we were wanting most to learn and hope to get from tour, then help to point out those areas of interest. Good coverage of much of Lourdes, while pointing out times and areas of activity that we could later do. Knowledgeable, caring attitude, very pleasant.