Lourdes is a medium-sized town in south-western France, lying close to the Pyrenees and the border with Spain. Among other things, Lourdes is known for its spiritual connections, being famous for the Marian Apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes. Millions of people come to the town’s sanctuary every year on a pilgrimage, often in search of a miracle.
The town is also home to many other religious sites where people looking to worship can get their spiritual fix whenever they feel the need to. Meanwhile, being so close to the Pyrenees, visitors can go for a walk up the mountains and, if they wish, take a cross-border trip to Spain for an hour or two if in need of a change of scenery.
To navigate some of the narrow one-way roads leading to all the main points of interest, a small car is the best possible vehicle you could have for the job.
The first point of call for anyone should be the Lourdes Sanctuary. Here, you can bathe in the famous Lourdes Water, get a few things off your chest in confession or perhaps just take a walk around the ground to see what makes it tick.
One of the most striking landmarks in Lourdes is the Rosary Basilica. Built in the late 19th century, it was consecrated in 1901 and attracts worshippers the world over. Mass is often conducted in several different languages including English and Spanish.
Another major spiritual landmark in Lourdes is the St Mary’s Ukrainian Church. With its five domes, it soars above all the other buildings in the town, while its interior has to be seen to be believed. The church is easily accessible from the train station.
Taking a detour, you could always visit the town’s famous Wax Museum. Here, you will find immaculate waxworks of both Jesus Christ and St Bernadette, whose life story is retold using various other waxworks.
The one-way system around Lourdes is complicated in places. Be sure you’re going in the right direction by looking at the road before driving.
Many of the roads in the centre of town are pedestrian only. Make sure that you can tell them apart from car-friendly roads.
Some of the best places to park in Lourdes are on the Rue de Pau, which is on the outskirts of the centre of town.
Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyr√©n√©es Airport is a regional airport seven miles north of Lourdes. It serves mainly destinations in other parts of France, with Paris being the most popular destination. Flights to other major European cities are available seasonally. It has one terminal for passengers.
The airport is located just to the west of the N21 road. Northwards, it goes to Tarbes and in the other direction, will take you to the northern reaches of Lourdes.