Excursion – Lourdes

Extend your visit to Biarritz with a day-trip, one, two, or more day pilgrimage to Lourdes.

– Description | Hotel | Tour-guides | Transport | Costs –

• Lourdes is a global centre of Marian pilgrimage,
• Lourdes receives millions of visitors/pilgrims each year.
• Many Catholics believe the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, appeared 18 times at            the  Grotto to a young girl, Saint Bernadette Soubirous.
•  Lourdes has grown into the largest Marian pilgrimage centre in the world.
•  Due to the small area of the town, most destinations can be reached on foot
•  The Lourdes Sanctuary Complex is open from 5AM to midnight daily.
•  Many of the activities in the city are only available from April to October
•  Don’t miss the nightly candlelight procession

Extend your visit: – Day-Trip, Two, or more days to Lourdes
Excursion Date: Monday 12 October 2020

Lourdes Registration
Please click here to register (register link repeated far below)

Lourdes located only 90 kilometers east of Biarritz, has been a pilgrimage site since 1858, the year of the first apparition in a cave – the Grotte de Massabielle – when the Virgin Mary appeared several times to local girl, Bernadette Soubirous.

From this beginning a substantial pilgrimage destination has arisen, a substantial industry has flourished based on these pilgrims, Lourdes is one of France’s leading tourist resorts, with over 220 hotels it boasts the largest number of hotels of any town in France outside of Paris, occupied by 6 million visitors each year.

The sanctuary and Grotte area of Lourdes is a calm, restful environment where the faithful gather, while the town outside the sanctuary is crowded with gift shops and restaurants. If you can enjoy one and ignore the other a visit can be very pleasant!

The Sanctuary impresses one and all with the dimensions of the esplanade of the Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire Basilica which can accommodate nearly 40,000 faithful. Watching over the sacred place on each side of the esplanade, are the statues of Therese of the Child Jesus and Bernadette.

At the heart of the site is the famous Grotte (cave) of Massabielle, as well as the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Discover the Cave of Apparitions and the miraculous water source discovered by Bernadette, the Sainte-Bernadette church, and the impressive basilica Saint-Pie X, built underground, which encourages reflection and spreads a sense of serenity.

Enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of Lourdes, Tarbes, Pau, the Argelès Gazost valley and the Pyrenean summits, by taking the century-old funicular that brings you to the summit of the Pic du Jer in a few minutes, where you can enjoy a 360 ° panoramic view.

Lourdes Registratation
Please click here to register (register link repeated far below)

HOTEL
3 Star B&B, Half-board, or full-board: from €31.00/night/person, (2019 prices)

Hotel Astoria Vatican

The Astoria-Vatican is centrally and located only 300 meters from the Sanctuary of Lourdes. Recently renovated, the hotel offers a warm welcome with a team of friendly and professional staff. Available to Biarritz convention delegates is a Meeting Room equipped with tables and chairs.

Facilities: 141 rooms are served by three separate elevators. All rooms are air-conditioned, equipped with flat-screen television, hair-dryer, direct telephone line, and free WIFI. Certain rooms are adapted for handicapped persons.

Contact the hotel direct to reserve
Reservation options are available starting Monday following Biarritz conventions.
Book online early to avoid disappointment. Bookings are subject to availability . Booking may be made online  here

The hotel restaurant has two separate fully air-conditioned dining rooms.
AA Meeting Room available equipped with tables and chairs on ground floor, on demand
Contact: Web: http://www.astoria.fr | Email:hotel@astoria.fr | Tel:+33 (0)563 940 021

Lourdes Registratation
Please click here to register (register link repeated far below)

TOUR-GUIDES

Pyrenean Cultural Guides have been exploring and explaining the history of the region’s emblematic monuments and secret places for over 30 years. They also enjoy informing you about lesser-known but equally fascinating tales and legends.

Visit the main landmark of Lourdes and the goal of thousands of travellers, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes. It was built on the very spot where the Virgin Mary first appeared to St. Bernadette. The so-called “Domain” includes two basilicas. The Rosary Basilica (Basilique Rosaire) is built in neo-Byzantine style, and the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Basilique Supérieure) is a true Neo-Gothic monument.

In the immediate vicinity is the Massabielle Grotto (Grotte Miraculeuse) where more than one and a half centuries ago the first healing source was discovered. At present, separate baptismal fonts for men and women are organized here. Bathing remains one of the kindest and most symbolic traditions for travellers.

At the heart of the site is the famous cave of Massabielle, a place full of stories, as well as the basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Discover the Cave of Apparitions and the miraculous water source discovered by Bernadette, the Sainte-Bernadette church, or the impressive basilica Saint-Pie X, built underground, which encourages reflection and spreads a sense of serenity.

Pyrenean Cultural Guides can help create a dream tour. Pyrenean culture is flowing through their veins. They guide you around towns such as: Tarbes, Lourdes, Bagnères, Cauterets, Argelès, or Arreau.

They also offer the keys to many of the tiny villages lost deep in Pyrenean valleys such as the valleys of Gaves and Adour, or further afield to Aure and Louron.

Lourdes Registratation
Please click here to register (register link repeated far below)

Discover the most breath-taking landscapes in the region with the impressive Cirque of Gavarnie, the Peak of Midi or Gaube Lake! Tours are offered in other areas all over the South-West of France. They offer many ideas for potential excursions so don’t think twice discover the hidden mysteries of the Pyrenees!

As one guide put it; after trekking in the Alps and Himalayas, I finally found my base camp in the Pyrenees, in the land of 2000 lakes. I continue to explore these wonderful mountains as a qualified guide. I was very interested in the rich Pyrenean heritage, as I opened the doors of many churches, and was stunned when I found golden baroque altarpieces and many other fascinating artifacts.

It was then that I decided to share my passion for the stories and the history of this land to visitors. After you have experienced the magnificent Pyrenees, you will understand why I never want to change my job!

Your guides can host groups of up to 50 persons per guide, though 30 or less is the preferred group size. The ideal tour is a 2 ½ hours walking tour of Lourdes, the sanctuary, and Basilicas. A second day’s tour may include visiting the 1000 year-old Le Chateau fort de Lourdes, Bernadette’s home, other pilgrim attractions and a ride up the funicular railway to the Pic De Jer

Le Pic du Jer has a large cross and can be accessed by the 100 year-old funicular railway reaching the summit in minutes. The ascent is stunning, taking you through the pine trees and offering magnificent views over Lourdes, Pau, and Tarbes and of course… the Pyrenees. It’s well worth a trip.

Lourdes Registratation
Please click here to register (register link repeated far below)

TRANSPORT

• Travel by road from Biarritz to Lourdes takes approximately 1hr40mins.
• Travel may be by charter coach, or rental car. Public bus takes considerably longer.
• Train service from nearby Bayonne directly to Lourdes’ central train station takes less than 2  hours. Nine journeys are scheduled daily.
• Airports serving Lourdes are, Biarritz (90 mins), Pau (55 mins), Tarbes (25 mins) and Toulouse (90 mins). Onward/return travel is possible from any of these easily accessed airports.
SUGGESTION: The most efficient is to take the train from Bayonne to Lourdes, a journey of under two hours. The guide will meet you at the train station or hotel by arrangement
• The train fare can range between €12.00 & €35.00 each way (2019)                                       • For more information contact babanglophonegroup@gmail.com
• Chartered coach service available for one-day return journey Biarritz-Lourdes-Biarritz is as follows (2019 prices):

Coach-bus – 59 persons from €13.22 per person
Coach-bus – 39 persons from €18.46 per person
Coach-bus – 31 persons from €22.26 per person
Coach-bus – 19 persons from €33.16 per person
Mini-bus – 8 persons from €60.00 per person

• For more information contact babanglophonegroup@gmail.com

The Sanctuary

Lourdes Registratation
Please click here to register (register link repeated far below)

COSTS FOR TRIP TO LOURDES
• Services are at additional cost to the convention Registration fee & accommodation.
• Lourdes trip is organized for members’  at specially negotiated discount prices.
• In the event of cancellations, Tour-Guides and Transport deposits are non-refundable

• A €50.00 ‘Lourdes Registration Fee’ (administration) is charged for making each and every trip arrangement. Registration fees contribute towards convention expenses
• Excursion registration fees are non-refundable but can be transferred to an other up to 30 days in advance of the Monday 12 October 2020 excursion

• Hotel and guide services are not available to those not having paid the ‘Lourdes Registration Fee’. Non-registered excursionists need to make their own arrangements.
• Combined discount price/s and Registration fee work out less than published pricing.
• Tour-Guide service tariffs are based on group size (approx. 5.00/person for a group of 32) and  therefore cost to individuals is unknown in advance of bookings and determination of group-size. Gratuity donations are at pilgrim’s discretion.

Registration for Excursion  
To register for this excursion please click here (scroll down for PayPal payment button)

The chateau of Lourdes and the Pyrenean museum
This great structure doesn’t go unnoticed: discover this historical monument that traces more than 1000 years of history, with preserved defensive architecture. And to finish the visit, there is nothing better than a walk in the botanical garden!

General information
For visitors looking for a spiritual experience masses are offered in over 22 languages, at all times of the day and night: the tourist office in Lourdes will give you all the information you need. For the curious or those seeking a cure it is a good idea to get the program of masses. With countless churches burning over 750 tonnes of candles each year, nine museums and far too many souvenir shops, Lourdes tries to combine an important historical value with a great deal of plastic tat.

A handy way to get around Lourdes is by using the tourist train. This covers 7.5 kilometers and the trip lasts about 45 minutes: it offers you the chance to see the Cité Mariale, the old quarters, the upper town and its historic buildings. You can hop on and off the train at various intervals throughout the journey, but if driving through by car, beware, the driver gets irate if you get in his way.

A visit to Le Petit Lourdes provides a journey to Lourdes of the past. Le Petit Lourdes, with its houses and rivers, is a quaint setting with the flowers and trees surrounding the old part of Lourdes.

For those not already per-registered to the convention, please note excursion capacity is limited to registered convention attendees (excursion registration fee €50.00 excludes charter coach but earns a €15.00 credit in the event of a coach charter)

Registration for Excursion  
To register for this excursion please click here (scroll down for PayPal payment button)