Why holidays to Lourdes, France?
A hundred and fifty years ago Lourdes was just a pretty, if impoverished, little town in Southwest France. All that changed when in 1858 a local teenager, Bernadette Soubirous, reported seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary in a grotto on the outskirts of the town. Since that day, pilgrims and non-believers alike have been taking holidays to Lourdes and the surrounding area. The region is well served with airports, bringing not only pilgrims but winter sports enthusiasts and walkers to the beautiful foothills of the Pyrenees.
What to see in Lourdes
The town of Lourdes welcomes some five million pilgrims annually, so it is no wonder that the town is second only to Paris when it comes to the number of hotels available.
For ordinary tourists planning holidays in Lourdes, it is best to avoid the big Catholic festivals, such as the Feast of the Assumption in August, when the town is packed to capacity. The spring, early summer and the autumn are the best times to stay and explore this authentically Pyrenean town, with its medieval fortress (now the Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions of the Pyrenees) and its quaint narrow streets.
An excellent way to see the town is to take the 45 minute tourist train trip which enables visitors to see the upper town and its historical buildings.
The street leading up to the grotto, on the banks of the river, resembles a Eastern souk, being lined with dozens of little shops and kiosks selling religious artefacts, and the great basilica itself, although of little historical importance, is still quite breathtaking in it splendour.
Above the town is the Pic du Jer, which has a large cross right on the summit at an altitude of 1,000 metres. A 100 year old chair lift ascends through pine trees, and there is a magnificent view over the town and the Pyrenees from the top.
Holidays in Lourdes are the ideal way to explore the magnificent countryside of the Pyrenean Mountains. The town is on the edge of the Pyrenees National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty for walkers, anglers, and ornithologists.
Holidays in Lourdes with easyJet Holidays
With easyJet Holidays looking after flights and accommodation, cheap holidays to Lourdes are the perfect answer for church groups wanting to visit this famously spiritual place, or friends wanting to explore the beautiful mountains and all they have to offer. By booking flights and hotels together even more savings can be made, and by travelling with a trusted name in the industry all the hassle is taken out of the arrangements.