Lourdes, a source of inspiration
It all began in 1858 when a young girl named Bernadette announced that she had met the Virgin Mary several times in a cave near the river. Since then, millions of visitors and pilgrims flock from all over the world to this small city that has become so famous. Today, Lourdes, is revealed to whoever knows how to meet her, a believer or not. Lourdes is also an attractive destination thanks to its proximity to many Pyrenean celebrities: the Pic du Midi de Bigorre, the Pyrenees National Park, the Gavarnie Cirque... But it is more the emblematic sites of the city that contribute to its growing fame: the Sanctuary, the castle-fort, the Pic du Jer funicular and the lake reveal the spiritual, historical, panoramic and bucolic aspects of the city... They are an invitation to discovery new things and an incentive to get away from it all.
The Sanctuary and the torchlight procession
Open all year, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes welcomes millions of pilgrims and visitors from all over the world Every evening at 21.00 from April to the end of October, pilgrims and visitors gather in a joint procession, torch in hand, at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes ... The crowd is united, the atmosphere is joyful, the energy intense.
The castle-fort and its Pyrenees Museum
Built on a rocky peak, classified as an historic monument, the castle-fort dominates the Marian city. With its medieval past marked by the legendary foot prints of Charlemagne, it houses at its centre the Pyrenean Museum of Arts and local Traditions and a botanical garden.
The Pic du Jer (peak)
At centre stage with the nearby mountains behind it, Lourdes is dominated by the Pic du Jer. Its funicular takes tourists up to enjoy a panoramic view of Lourdes and the Pyrenean peaks. In Lourdes, mountain bikers are not forgotten. Home to international mountain bike competitions, the Pic du Jer offers three runs of varying levels.
The lake and its activities
Just a few minutes from the town centre, the Lourdes lake stretches over 50 hectares in the heart of a preserved nature, a source of peace and tranquillity but also of outdoor activities, such as walking, mountain biking, fishing or paddle-boarding. The lake of Lourdes is also a beach open in July-August. Swimming, with free access, is secured and a first aid post watches over summer swimmers. On the southern slope of the lake of Lourdes, golfers can enjoy a magnificent setting, in the middle of a softwood forest to hit the ball.