- France, Atlantic Coast, La Rochelle, Rochefort, Royan, Island of Re, Island of Oleron, Charente, Estuary of Gironde - Tourism and Holiday Guide

The lighthouse of Cordouan


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Practical information

Site map - The Lighthouse of Cordouan, Estuary of Gironde, France French Atlantic Coast

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To see, north to south

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La Rochelle

Island of Ré

Island of Aix



Madame Island

Island of Oléron




La Tremblade


La Palmyre









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To know

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The Citadel of Brouage

The Citadel of Blaye

The lighthouses

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The marshes

The "Marais Poitevin"

The carrelets

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To taste






Sea food

"Terroir" products

The restaurants

Lighthouse of Cordouan

to discover

Visit to the
of Cordouan






The lighthouse of Cordouan

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 lantern

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 Grave
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 tides.
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.

The Siren
Boat trips
Phone . 05 46 05 30 93

Royan Croisières
Phone . 05 46 06 42 36

From the Pointe de Grave, Le Verdon-sur-Mer
La Bohême II
Richard Grass
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.

next page, visit to the lighthouse of Cordouan


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