Driving in Lourdes

Dec 31st, 2011, 07:36 AM
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Driving in Lourdes

Anyone have expereicne driving in Lourdes, or driving from Toulouse to Lourdes? Traffis? Road conditions? Where best to park....perhaps at hotel?


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otto2 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2011, 08:09 AM
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I have driven IN Lourdes several times. It can be, as you might imagine, VERY crowded depending on the time of day. Most recently we simply parked in one of the town's underground garages and walked the few blocks to the grotto.
Dukey1 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2011, 12:06 PM
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Use Google maps for directions and estimated times between Toulouse and Lourdes.
Michael is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2012, 11:20 PM
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Lourdes is tiny (pop 15,000) and gets more visitors than almost anywhere else in Europe (roughly about as many as Florence, and more than anywhere in France apart from Paris). The overwhelming majority of visitors arrive by public transport. The 20 miles or so of road up from the A84 is pretty basic but rarely congested. The town itself isn't terribly well geared to cars, but it's far, far car-friendlier than Europe's other heavily visited cities

Almost all Lourdes' many, many hotels are within walking distance of the grotto complex: though few have much parking they're easyish to drive to, at least with a decent SatNav, but driving in the town is slow and often very congested. There are a number of largeish car parks scattered around the town, and it's easiest to park as close to your hotel as you can. The town is geared to disability: if you're staying overnight and have mobility problems, start with the official website (http://www.lourdes-france.org)

If you're thinking of making a quick visit by car, there's street parking all round the grotto complex. It's usually busy, but it's like any other European town: cruise long enough, or arrive early enough, and you'll find a space free. Though there's only a few gates into the complex, nowhere on the surrounding road's more than a 15 min walk away.

If you want a quick taster of Lourdes, but don't hugely want to take part in pilgrimage events (for which an overnight stay is absolutely essential), a 3.5 hour detour off the A84 is sufficient to get to the town, find somewhere to park, spend an hour or two in the grotto complex and get back to the motorway.
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2012, 11:34 PM
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There is also a direct train from Toulouse to Lourdes, the journey taking 2 hours.
If you do drive, you might also want to visit the stunning Cirque de Gavarnie.

JeremyinFrance is offline  
Jan 21st, 2012, 02:32 AM
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It will take 2 hours to drive from central Toulouse to Lourdes along the motorway (the A 64, not the A 84. It's also European route E 80). Come off at junction 12. There is a new dual carriageway right to the edge of the city. I have never had any trouble getting parked on the street, but I've never been going to the grotto. It's not a huge town, so most distances are not a problem walking, BUT I guess it depends why you've gone. If mobility is an issue then I'm not so certain.
sheila is offline  
Jan 21st, 2012, 09:21 AM
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Hi J,

Thanks for the info on the Cirque.

I've added it to my visit.

ira is offline  
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