Visit the extraordinary Basilica of Saint Mary Magdalene at the top of the medieval hilltop town of Vézelay in Burgundy. Explore its sacred architecture of light, image and sound, and the beauty of its remarkable 900-year-old sculptures.
The crypt houses relics of Mary Magdalene, brought here over 1000 years ago from Provence.
Experience the basilica as a place of inner transformation, guiding you on your journey into the Divine Light.
Discover the hermitage founded by companions of St Francis of Assisi, and the starting point of one of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostella.
Clara Goodheart is an experienced tour guide and companion on the spiritual journey, who has known and loved Vézelay for over 20 years and has lived here since 2019. She is the English-speaking guide at the Basilica of St Mary Magdalene.
The guided tours and pilgrimage walks that Clara gives are for both small and larger groups. If you are visiting as a couple, a family group or with a few friends, or even as an individual, you can still book a tour! If you have visited the Basilica before, there is always more depth and richness to discover here, especially with a guide to accompany you. Clara gives tours for pilgrims, tourists, local people, those on retreat, and those who are just passing through.
Clara's Discovery Tours of Vézelay Basilica combine history, spirituality, art, architecture, sacred symbolism and pilgrimage. Or you can choose to have a customized tour which she will tailor to the interests of your group. Or you can choose a themed tour which explores one of the fascinating aspects of the Basilica in more depth.
Clara also offers tours of the town of Vézelay, the Franciscan Hermitage of La Cordelle, and the Fontaines Salées salt springs 5km from Vézelay near Saint-Père. She is available to accompany your group for a half day, full day or two days exploring Vézelay and the surrounding area.
Tours and walks are available from Monday to Saturday between 9am and 7pm, and on Sunday afternoons between 1.30pm and 5.30pm.
"Clara's passion came strongly through her words. Her happiness and joy in her explanations were unbelievable and so contagious. Her knowledge does not come only from reading, but it comes from within herself. I highly recommend anything that she offers!"
Vézelay is a sacred place of pilgrimage, of encounter and discovery, inviting us to journey into the central Mystery of life, to rediscover ourselves, to expand our inner horizons and to be renewed.
It is a place where heaven and earth meet, where the veil is thin and we can glimpse what lies beyond.
Vézelay is known as the "eternal hill", a gateway into the timeless Now, into a state of Presence and Completeness which brings all that we are into harmony and unity.
The town of Vézelay grew up around a monastery whose abbey church, dedicated to Mary Magdalene, is now called a basilica (a name given to a big, important church which is not the home of a bishop). The first church was built on this site by the monks in the 9th century. By the end of the 11th century Vézelay was famous throughout Europe as the place which held the relics of St Mary Magdalene and where miracles happened.
The Basilica is open every day of the year.