Phare de Cordouan Patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO

The Cordouan Lighthouse

Also known as the Versailles of the Seas, Cordouan's lighthouse built in 1611, has just been inscribed on the prestigious Unesco list.

Cordouan lighthouse staircase

Have you ever heard of the Cordouan Lighthouse? Seen a documentary on this architectural feat? For the past 400 years the Cordouan Lighthouse has stood proudly at the entrance to the Gironde Estuary, off the Verdon headland and the town of Royan. It is now on the Unesco World Heritage List.

Set off on an adventure through history! Let yourself be carried away by the amazing experience of a maritime gem, which has been classified as an Historic Monument for the past 150 years!

Before we go any further, here are the keys to help you plan your visit and get to the heart of the most incredible secrets.

When can we visit the Cordouan Lighthouse?

Cordouan Lighthouse

You can visit the Cordouan Lighthouse from April to Halloween guided by the keeper of this extraordinary building.

How can we visit the Cordouan Lighthouse?

Entrance to Cordouan lighthouse

Before you leave, remember to book your crossing with one of the cruise boat companies (ticket from €43/adult). Allow half a day, either morning or afternoon, to visit “The Versailles of the Seas”. Once you land, all you need to do is purchase an entrance ticket from the lighthouse keeper, (entrance ticket for the visit €7 to €15). Then you're all set for an unforgettable experience!

How can we get to the Cordouan Lighthouse?

Foot of Cordouan lighthouse

To get to the Cordouan Lighthouse, you need simply to board a cruise boat for a 40-minute crossing. The boat will drop you off as close to the lighthouse as possible, then you'll have a 10-minute walk to actually reach the building itself.

Be careful! Search for information about access to the site. This changes depending on the tides. Departure times for all the cruises are regularly updated. We also recommend you wear appropriate clothing for the outing because sometimes the water can rise to mid-thigh level during the last 10-minutes’ walking.

What will we find at the Cordouan Lighthouse?

From the top of Cordouan lighthouse

The visit to the Cordouan Lighthouse takes you through various different levels: the Girondins hall; the royal chapel and its fabulous stained-glass windows; the royal apartment... not to mention the breathtaking view once you get to the top of the 301 steps.

At the top of the Cordouan Lighthouse, you'll be able to enjoy an impressive view over land and sea - one of the most spectacular in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region.

Every moment of the day gives you a different vision of the Cordouan Lighthouse and enhances it, thanks to the changing colours of the sky which mingle with the sea, from sunrise to sunset. Please enjoy this video of an evening musical set at the Cordouan Lighthouse, and we hope to see you there soon!

Phare de Cordouan 

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