Breathtakingly beautiful Lourdes, France
Groups of tourists and polyglot locals, a sprinkling of priests and nuns and the site where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared 18 times: Lourdes is surprising because of its many faces – the devout, the medieval, the mountains, even the modern. It’s breathtakingly beautiful yet run-down in parts. Snow-covered peaks in the distance, the fast-flowing Gave de Pau and ragged rock peeking out from under the houses. A destination for pilgrims and the gateway to the spectacle, nature and outdoor activities of the Pyrenees national park.