Lourdes, situated at the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains and in southwestern France, is famous for its Sanctuaires Notre-Dame de Lourdes. Millions flood to Lourdes to visit the Grotto of the Apparitions annually.
At the grotto, pilgrims can drink or bathe in water flowing from a spring.
Getting to the Santuaires
Lourdes during offpeak season (Points to note if traveling to Lourdes in early Spring)
– 1 – Make sure you check out if there are any buses running from Gare de Lourdes (Lourdes train station) to the Sanctuaires. Sometimes, there are buses running outside the train station but none heading to the Sanctuaires;
– 2 – If none, either get someone to call for a taxi or walk all the way in. It takes approximately 20 – 30mins depending on the route taken;
– 3 – Check directly at the Sanctuary if there is any Candlelight Processions. The Lourdes website is not always accurate. Lourdes Candlelight Processions only start from 8th April to 30th October;
– 4 – Very few stores opened. Stores usually close around 17:00-18:00hrs. Not many restaurants/cafes opened; and
– 5 – Only transportation on-sight would be tour buses and very few taxis.
Way of the Cross
The Way of the Cross on the hillside weaves along a steep wooded area – 115 full-length figures represented in cast iron brightly painted in a gold-like finish in 15 stations along the 1,500 metres path. The route is steep and can be rough. Not recommended to those with difficulty in mobility.
A notable signage at the 1st station and the steps replica of the Scala Sancta of Rome.
Scala Sancta are a set of 28 white marble steps that are Roman Catholic relics, which Jesus Christ stepped on his way to trial during His Passion. The Scala Sancta may be ascended only on knees.
Grocery shopping: There are two comparatively large supermarkets within walking distance from the Sanctuary – Carrefour City and Monoprix.
- Carrefour City – at the intersection of Rue de la Grotte and Place du Marcadal. Opens Monday to Saturday from 07:00hrs to 22:00hrs and Sunday from 09:00hrs to 13:00hrs.
- MONOPRIX – along Place du Marcadal along the side of the road of Carrefour City. Monday to Saturday from 08:30hrs to 20:00hrs and Sunday from 08:30hrs to 12:45hrs.
- Les Halles – opposite the road from MONOPRIX. Opens Monday to Thursday from 06:00hrs to 13:30hrs, Friday from 06:00hrs to 13:30hrs and 16:00hrs to 19:00hrs and Saturday from 05:30hrs to 13:30hrs. Closes on Sunday.
Click on the icon to enter Full screen
First time shopping at Les Halles situated opposite the road from MONOPRIX. Opens Monday to Thursday from 06:00hrs to 13:30hrs, Friday from 06:00hrs to 13:30hrs and 16:00hrs to 19:00hrs and Saturday from 05:30hrs to 13:30hrs. Closes on Sunday.