Visiting the Sanctuary of Lourdes from the Aran Valley


One of the most interesting excursions from the Valle de Aran is to visit the Sanctuary of Lourdes. It is closer than it seems, just an hour and a half in the high french pyrenees, and it is a highly recommended visit just to see everything that changed this place following the 18 appearances of the nineteenth century, between 1844 and 1879.

Sanctuary of Lourdes

Visit the Sanctuary of Lourdes

An unexpected excursion

After spending five days in the Aran Valley in winter, hiking trails and enjoying the snow of Baqueira We decided to walk French and do an excursion to our neighboring country. We were not sure where to go and less to see, but with a map in front we realized that the Sanctuary of Lourdes was much closer than we imagined. Therefore, the next morning we headed north towards one of the most important religious monuments in the world.

Garos, in the Aran Valley

Heading to the Sanctuary of Lourdes

It is very difficult not to say impossible to see advertising of Lourdes in the Aran Valley. Being in another region, in another country, it is as if it did not even exist. At Aran Valley only the valley is promoted, so an excursion outside it implies to look for life.

From the Aran Valley there is no direct means of transport to the Sanctuary of Lourdes, so the only possibility is to go by rental car or own transport.

From Vielha to Lourdes

We depart from the apartments of La Vall Blanca, in Vielha, heading north on theN-230 in the direction Bossot, to pass this town and reach the border with France. On the French side you can find some other retention, but everything happens when you reach the highway A64, which already leaves you quickly at the gates of the Sanctuary of Lourdes.

Sanctuary of Lourdes

Visiting the Sanctuary of Lourdes

Although we had a cold and rainy day in Lourdes, the weather did not prevent us from visiting it quietly. The first thing we did was approach the information Center to give us a map of the place and thus know the most important points. Total, except for what we had seen in the occasional documentary film We didn't have much more information. Luckily, our visit allowed us to know this place much better.

To access the complex there are two entrances. That of San Miguel wave of The meadow. It is easy to get lost if one does not carry GPS, since Lourdes is a town surrounded by hills and a meandering river called Pau, one of the largest in France.

Map of the Sanctuary of Lourdes

We accessed by La Pradera entrance, not for being the least visited, but because we got lost. Accessing through this door cross a green meadow through the back of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and the Altar of the Prairie. It was a bit shocking to cross the Pau River to see stalls souvenirs, some other scenario, all perfectly placed, as if from a theme park It will be treated. It is not surprising that it is a place of pilgrimage, everything is ready for it. As an anecdote there is an app to make donations and see the latest news.

Sanctuary of Lourdes. Prairie Entrance
Sanctuary of Lourdes

From the Sanctuary of Lourdes we can highlight theBasilica of the Immaculate Conception of the nineteenth century, at the top, the Basilica Our Lady of the Rosary, at the bottom, and the grotto, the place where the apparitions occurred.

In the basilica there are fragments of the body of Saint Bernardita, but the body of the saint is exposed in the chapel of the convent of the Sisters of Nevers.

Sanctuary of Lourdes
Sanctuary of Lourdes

The visit to the chapels, the basilicas and the grotto can be done in the middle of the morning, so a good option is to visit the Sanctuary of Lourdes in the morning, eat in Lourdes and return quietly in the afternoon to the Aran Valley.

If you are only going to do tourism only, make sure you do not go on a day when there is a religious event, traffic jams can be monumental

Sanctuary of Lourdes. The grotto

Other excursions in the area

Then we leave other excursions that you can do in the area.

Sanctuary of Lourdes

Practical data

How to get to Lourdes?

From the Aran Valley you have to take the roadN-230 in the direction Bossot, then cross the border with France until you reach the A64 motorway. It's toll, but it's worth it, since it's fast and leaves you next to Lourdes. Calculate one between an hour and a half and two hours to get to Lourdes.

Click here to see the route in Google Maps.

Shcedules and prices

The information center Opens every day from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

You can see the updated schedules on their official website.

Where to sleep in the Aran Valley?

The Aran Valley is very diverse in qualities and prices, so we are going to propose the following selection:

Low / medium price

  • The Vall Blanca. Apartment complex in Vielha Ideal for a ski trip.
  • Verneda campsite. Wooden houses ideal for a family trip.
  • Banhs de Tredós, on the road from Salardú to the National Park. It is one of the most spas / hotel isolated Pyrenees
  • Portola pension. Situated in Arties.
  • Montardo Guesthouse. Situated in Arties.
  • Edelweiss A classic of Arties.

High price

  • Val de Neu Hotel. With an indoor pool and with a few implementable facilities
  • Rafael Hotels by La Pleta. Open only in high season it is one of the most spectacular and also the most recent.
  • AC Baqueira Ski. Sublime rooms next to the ski resort. One of the best in the area

From the Basilica

Rent a car to tour the Pyrenees

Looking to find a car rental agency we leave you a discount code valid for several agencies. You just have to click on the following image, find the car and see how it compares prices with a lot of agencies.