From the start of the trip (and that starts before we leave the UK) the emphasis is very much on ensuring that all the children have a wonderful fun-filled week. Each child travels and stays with a family group. The groups will be visiting a number of Lourdes attractions, including the Grotto, the house where Saint Bernadette grew up, the “Cachot” where she and her family were living at the time of the Apparitions, and some of the many museums in the town.

Each group designs its own programme of events and activities, but there are a few things that most groups do:

  • Easter Sunday Mass: the week in Lourdes kicks off on Easter Sunday for many with a Mass and lots of singing.
  • Tuesday evening Torchlight Procession: this is a wonderfully visual and emotional event. All the pilgrims in Lourdes are invited to come together for a torchlight procession, singing along, and on Tuesday night HCPT leads the procession. There is a great sing-along at the end.
  • Thursday Trust Mass: over 5,000+ members of HCPT, the Irish Pilgrimage Trust, and other international groups come together in the Underground Basilica. For many this is the highlight of the week.
  • Most groups have a day out, travelling by coach. A traditional and still popular destination is Gavarnie, high up in the Pyrenees. This is a spectacular venue where some days groups make snowmen and other days it’s shorts and t-shirt weather! Other popular excursions include a day out at the beach (with St Jean de Luz and Biarritz being popular destinations), or going to a local zoo or other tourist attractions.

Meals are at the group’s hotel (or picnics on longer excursions) and there are plenty of stops at cafes for drinks, ice-creams, rest and laughter. Evenings feature a varied mix of fun, games, singing and parties.

Stay in touch with your loved ones in Lourdes!

During the Easter pilgrimage you can easily stay in touch with your loved ones enjoying their pilgrimage holiday. You can see, and read about, what’s going on by:

  • Viewing the Lourdes webcams, where you’ll often see HCPT pilgrims moving past in their distinctively coloured tops
  • Take part in our FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages, updated every few hours during the pilgrimage