The world-famous place of pilgrimage Lourdes is located in southern France in the Midi Pyrenees region, not far from the border with Spain. Pilgrimage groups and participants in study trips visit the small town to visit the sacred sights and places of pilgrimage.
Away from the pilgrimage site, Lourdes is a lively place with around 15,000 inhabitants, who live mainly from pilgrimage tourism under the protection of the medieval castle. In Lourdes, however, travelers will also find several interesting museums – including the Pyrenees Museum and the mini-town of Lourdes – and the nearby mountains invite you to various activities.
Place of pilgrimage Lourdes: The “Holy District” as the center
Since the first “apparition” in 1858, Lourdes has become one of the world’s most famous pilgrimage sites. Thousands of mostly Catholic pilgrims visit the holy places every year.
The extensive “Holy District” is one of the absolute attractions of the region. Within this area there is the apparition grotto “Massiabelle”, a spring with holy water and so-called health baths. The three basilicas are particularly remarkable and architecturally impressive. Only separated by a very beautiful park and the Rosary Square, the Rosary Basilica and the Maria Conception Basilica are close together.
Most visitors come to visit the Basilica of Pius X, which was consecrated in 1958. The huge modern concrete building offers space for 25,000 believers. The basilica is one of the largest churches in the world. Visitors can only guess at the dimensions, as the church was built underground. A large green area has been created over the building, which is next to the other basilicas.
Ile de Re
The Ile de Re is located on the west coast of France in the North Atlantic. The island is connected to the mainland at La Rochelle by a large, curved bridge. Ile de Re has an area of 85 km² and a total length of 30 km. The landscapes of the elongated island are impressive and attract not only nature-loving travelers but also day visitors from La Rochelle. Many vacationers from Paris or Bordeaux relax every summer from the hustle and bustle of the big cities on the Ile de Re. The influx of tourists has increased significantly in recent years.
Ile der Re as a paradise for bathers and cyclists
The Ile de Re bears the nickname “white island” with pride and rightly. The fine, light sandy beaches, large dunes, salt basins, houses painted white and beautiful white oleanders are typical of this quiet island. If you are traveling and come to this place, you will quickly slow down, because the most popular means of transport is the bicycle. The cycle path network is around 100 km long and includes practically every corner of the island.
The meeting point for sailors, celebrities and luxury guests is the small, elegant main town of St. Martin, which impresses with many gourmet restaurants, fine boutiques and a glamorous marina not far from an old citadel. The small fishing villages with the typical houses and traditional wine-growing places in the center of the island, on the other hand, are quieter and still very down-to-earth.
Places of interest include the oyster beds in front of the La Passe isthmus as well as in the north and the large salt basins in the west of the island, where the famous Fleur de Sel is harvested. On the tour through the pine forests and the bird sanctuary or along the golden beaches, there are many beautiful views of the mainland and the Atlantic. The Phale des Baleines lighthouse is located on the north cape of the Ile de Re. The light there in the evening is particularly impressive and attracts painters, photographers and romantics.