The Lure Of A Pilgrimage To Lourdes

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Other outdoor activities around Lourdes
Head to Lourdes’ very own lake, just three kilometres to the west of the city, for pedalo rides, walking, mountain biking, fishing and even a round of golf at the 18-hole Pyrenees Lourdes Golf Club located on Chemin du Lac.

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The Pyrenees have always attracted cyclists who often make the Hotel Gallia & Londres their base. Take a ride along the Tour de France roads, and in winter, enjoy the pistes at Hautacam, Val d’Aun and Cauterets ski resorts.

There’s also white water rafting, kayaking and caving at La Pradette, as well as paddle boarding and even hydro speeding on the many mountain rivers. Lourdes is an outdoor lover’s paradise.

The city also has its own swimming pool and many spas in which to unwind after a day’s exertions. Health and wellbeing is big business in the Pyrenees. Head to Argelès Gazost between Lourdes and Gavarnie for major thermal bath relaxation.

Getting around Lourdes
The nearest airport to Lourdes is Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées International Airport, located just 10 kilometres to the south of Lourdes and a 10-minute drive from the city centre. The A64 motorway gives you direct access to Lourdes – take exit 12 Tarbes-Ouest and follow the main RN21. Taxis are plentiful in the city if you’re not hiring your own vehicle. Drivers, please note that between July and October, retractable bollards are in place around the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, thereby creating a pedestrian zone each evening between 6 pm and 11 pm. Therefore, aim to arrive at your hotel before 18:00 if it’s within this zone.

If you’re getting around by car in Lourdes, as I did, then I highly recommend staying at the Grand Hotel Gallia & Londres – not just for its superb location and great amenities, but because it has a secure gated car park directly opposite the Sanctuary. Parking in the centre of Lourdes, especially during high season, can be stressful.

I chose to walk around all the sights at the Sanctuary and in Lourdes town. The Sanctuary has slopes and ramps, so if you have mobility issues then contact the Sanctuary directly since they can provide you with wheelchairs and even volunteers to push you around.

There is also an efficient bus service – take the seasonal S4 and S5 City bus lines that run between the Sanctuary, most major hotels and to the Pic de Jer funicular. If travelling off-peak, take the A1, A2 and A3 services. All bus stops are clearly marked and an effortless way to navigate Lourdes.

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Lourdes – Where and How?

Hotel Gallia & Londres is located at 26 Avenue Bernadette Soubirous, 65100 Lourdes, France. For more information, call +33 (0)5 62 94 35 44, e-mail [email protected] or visit en.hotelsvinuales.com.

Lourdes Tourist Office is situated at Place Peyramale 65100 Lourdes, France. For more information, call +33 (0)5 62 42 77 40 or visit en.lourdes-infotourisme.com.

Pilgrimage To Lourdes travel feature by Gina Baksa

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