© Famille Grotte Modeledepage
Visiting and planning your pilgrimage

Visiting and planning your pilgrimage

Every year, Lourdes welcomes millions of pilgrims and visitors from all over the world, following in Bernadette Soubirous’ footsteps on their pilgrimage. Going on a pilgrimage to Lourdes is an eminently personal process. It reflects a desire to take a break from everyday life and refocus on what really matters.

Coming to the Grotto

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes was built gradually over time and now covers 50 hectares. The Grotto of Apparitions is the heart of the sanctuary. This is where the Virgin Mary first appeared to the young Bernadette, on 11 February 1858. Pilgrims queue there in single file to touch the rock lightly with their fingertips, see the water from the spring and pray.

Lourdes

A unique experience

Light a church candle, carry a candle in the procession, make the water gesture or drink the water at the fountains: everyone can perform these meaningful gestures.
Alone or with friends and family, pilgrims come here to rest and recuperate, be comforted and regain courage. The sick come to bathe in the baths, pray for recovery or just feel supported in their ordeal.
Coming to Lourdes is also a response to an altruistic, human motivation. This motivation is particularly strong among the “hospitaliers“, volunteers who assist the sick during their pilgrimage.

When to make a pilgrimage to Lourdes

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is open all year and various celebrations are held in several languages.
The pilgrimage season covers the period from Easter to the end of October. During this period, there are several special events including:

  • The International Military Pilgrimage in May
  • The Pilgrimage of the Order of Malta in May
  • The Motorcyclists’ Pilgrimage in June
  • The Assumptionists’ Pilgrimage in August
  • The Italian National Pilgrimage in September
  • The Rosary and Gardians’ Pilgrimages in October

There are also other important dates in Lourdes, like the anniversary of the first apparition on 11 February.

More information on pilgrimages coming soon

Did you know ?

Out of thousands of cases reported to the Medical Bureau of the Sanctuary, 70 healings have been recognised as miraculous. These healings have been recognised following procedures that include multiple tests and take several years.
The most recent recognised healing was in 2018.

Sanctuary Information Centre

Inside the Sanctuary, the information centre will help you organise your time in Lourdes.
If you’re looking for celebration times or other information, feel free to contact them to make the most of your pilgrimage or visit.

Centre Info du Sanctuaire de Lourdes

1 avenue Monseigneur Théas, 65108 Lourdes
+33 (0)5 62 42 20 08
Send an email
Website of the Sanctuary of OL of Lourdes

Stopping over

Places to stay in Lourdes

As a tremendously important spiritual centre, Lourdes is the chosen starting point for many pilgrims. Its accessibility by train, plane or bus and its numerous accommodation facilities make it an essential stopover where you can plan and begin your journey. Lourdes has various types of accommodation: from small hotels to bed and breakfasts through residences with kitchenettes where you can cook your own meals, find the best option for your stay.