Cordouan lighthouse

Images en cours de chargement
Cordouan lighthouse|Photo Estuaire de la GirondeCordouan lighthouse|Photo Estuaire de la GirondeThe staircase that leads to the Lantern|Photo Estuaire de la GirondeThe Tower of the lighthouse of Cordouan|Photo Jean-Jacques BoujotArrival at the lighthouse|Photo CRTA - C BouteDetail of the lenticular system of the lighthouse|Photo Thibault Grouas

Cordouan lighthouse

Cordouan Lighthouse is the last lighthouse in sea open to the public. The rise of 68 metres high tower account 301 markets. It is located seven kilometres in the sea on the plateau of Cordouan, at the mouth of the Gironde estuary. It is the tenth lighthouse the highest in the world and the third in France, after the Île Vierge lighthouse and the Phare de Gatteville.

Built from 1584 to 1611, it is the oldest lighthouse of France still in activity. Sometimes called the "Versailles of the sea" or 'lighthouse of the Kings', it appears on the tentative list of Unesco heritage.

Description of the facilities

Cordouan Lighthouse Tower has six floors:

  • On the ground floor, a monumental portal gives access to the vestibule whose soil is composed of slabs of stone of Barsac, from which a 301-step staircase to access the top of the lighthouse.
  • On the first floor is the said apartment «apartment of the King», although no King has ever come to stay there. It was built in 1664 by Colbert, Minister of Louis XIV. It is a vaulted room equipped with a real fireplace, paved with marble.
  • On the second floor, the Chapel is the most majestic part of the lighthouse. It is surmounted by a pierced vault of eight bays richly decorated and paved with marble.
  • The third floor opens onto a large light room, known as the room of the Girondins, also paved marble. It is the first from level of the elevation of the flagship work of Joseph Teulère, from which one can observe the complex architecture of the tower and the wide staircase that leads to the Lantern.
  • The fourth and fifth floors are used as bearings. Between the fifth and the sixth floor is the room of quarter, covered with an oak parquet.
  • The sixth is the Lantern. Before electrification, in 1948, it was there fuels through a pulley by approximately a meter in diameter holes drilled in the center of each floor of the lighthouse.

To get to the lighthouse

Several boat companies have received an approval that allows them to make the transport and ticketing. Departures from each side of the estuary are organized almost daily from the ports of Royan, Meschers-sur-Gironde or the Verdon-sur-mer. The journey takes approximately 45 minutes and hours change daily to the rhythm of the tides.

To reserve tickets or for more information regarding dates and times visit contact boat companies have received approval or the Office of tourism of Le Verdon-sur-Mer to + 33 (0) 5 56 09 61 78.

Landing conditions vary depending on the weather, wind, tides coefficients. The boat makes its possible to disembark passengers at the most near the lighthouse, but in the majority of cases, a part of the journey is to carry out walk (15-20 minute walk). Visitors are led to walk in water (mid-thigh) and sometimes on slippery rocks. It is imperative to be outfitted with shoes and suitable clothing.

The routes passing through this place

Useful information :

Address :
Cordouan lighthouse,33123  Le Verdon-sur-Mer
Tel :
+ 33 (0) 5 56 09 61 78

Prices :
Adult: €8 children: €2.50

Opening hours :
April to Halloween

Guided tour.

Where to stay:

All accommodation