Cheap Flights to Lourdes

Lourdes overview

Most travellers seeking cheap flights to Lourdes are on pilgrimage - some praying for miracles, some cures and some just to soak up the atmosphere of this very special town in southwestern France.

Lourdes' origins date from 1858 with Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old peasant girl. That year, she experienced apparitions of a white-robed lady in a small grotto called Massabiele by the banks of the Gave de Pau. The lady told Bernadette to tell the village priest to build a chapel on the spot. Later, she revealed herself to be Mary. On the day of the 16th apparition, Bernadette, in a trance, dug in the ground until she discovered a small spring. Over the next few days this spring became a pool and is now known as the Baths of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, where pilgrims seek spiritual refreshment.

Up to six million pilgrims and tourists make their way to this little town in the foothills of the Pyrenees each season (March-September). After Paris, Lourdes has the most hotels in France. No po-faced town, there is plenty of nightlife. Nighttime too is when thousands process with flickering candles. The sight is beautiful, stirring and spiritual.

Lourdes insider information

  • 2008 is the 150th jubilee of the apparitions. To date, the Catholic Church has recognised 67 miracle healings.
  • "In the Footsteps of Bernadette" is a tour offered to pilgrims, taking in the places associated with her. These include her birthplace, the village of Bartres and the path from Bartres to Lourdes.
  • The riverside sanctuary flanks the grotto and is the site of the churches, the bathhouse, and the taps for filling up those Virgin-shaped plastic bottles purchased in the town.
  • St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Church is a five-domed affair. Designed by Myroslav Nimciv, its interior decorations are by Jerzy Nowosielski, the famous artist. The church is a ten-minute walk from the basilica and the grotto.
  • Lourdes is at the foot of the Pyrenees. The Pic du Midi is south of Lourdes. The cable car departs every 15 minutes and the visit takes two hours. The Cirque de Gavarnie in the nearby Pyrenees National Park is a fabled beauty spot.

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