The lighthouse of
Cordouan, attracts our attention night and day from the coast of
Saint-Georges-de-Didonne to La Palmyre.
In the daytime, it is a slender silhouette which stands out on
the horizon and during misty weather, it is just a hazy shadow.
At night, it is of course the light and its unchanging rhythm,
three eclipses (2 and 1) every 12 seconds, that beams out at us.
However, do not be
satisfied with this long-distance view, the lighthouse is
approximately 7 km from the coast, please go and visit it. It
will be one of the most beautiful days and one of the most
beautiful memories of your stay on the Atlantic coast.
It is located at the
entrance of the Gironde (geographic co-ordinates 45°35 ', 2 N -
1°10 ' 4 W) and what is less known, is that it is located in the
department of the Gironde, being a part of the territory of the
municipality of Le Verdon-sur-Mer.
Some statistics :
Height 68 metres
Light range, approximately 40 km
Tower, cone-shaped with specially hewn stones
311 steps to reach the
Stone belt, circular bastion, 41 metres in diameter and 8,30
metres in height, which protects the building from the ocean
Stone jetty, 260 metres long to allow food and materials to be
brought to the lighthouse, approachable at low tide.
The lighthouse of
Cordouan was superbly restored some years ago and it is open to
visitors during the summer.
Organised boat trips from Royan and from the La Pointe de
Organised boat trips from Royan and from the La Pointe de Grave,
allow you to sail up to the lighthouse and there are also
excursions for visitors to land and visit the lighthouse. The crossing lasts
approximately half an hour, and when you land on the Island of
Cordouan you have to paddle barefoot for the last few metres.
Landing is possible only when the tide is low enough to reach
the sandbank that surrounds the rocky island on which the
lighthouse is built.
The visits are dependent on co-efficients and on schedules of
All this can seem a little complicated but these constraints
should not make you give up. A visit to Cordouan is a worthwhile
and unforgettable experience !
We recommend that you enquire about schedules with both
companies based in the harbour of Royan. During the peak season,
you can book your seat.
Phone . 05 46 05 30 93
Phone . 05 46 06 42 36
From the Pointe de Grave, Le
La Bohême II
Phone . 05 56 09 62 93 or 06 09 73 30 84
The trip lasts
approximately four hours, which leaves enough time to visit the
lighthouse and to enjoy the endlessly stretching sandbank, the
pervading peace and the incomparable light on the ocean.
Please, do not rush to the entrance of the lighthouse, instead,
make your own way along the sandbank, take advantage of the
pleasure of being in the sea and take time to look at the
reflection of the lighthouse from all angles in the puddles left
by the low tide.
Practical details, please, don't forget to take drinks and a
picnic because there's nothing available there to eat or drink.