Located in the middle of the sea at the Gironde estuary off the coast of Royan and Cape Grave, the famous Cordouan lighthouse is the oldest working lighthouse in France.
Located on the Gironde estuary, the Cordouan lighthouse is the only lighthouse still standing on the French coast. Cordouan Lighthouse is still operational and is the oldest single lighthouse open to visitors. The imposing Cordouan lighthouse was built between 1584 and 1611 and was declared a historic monument in 1862. In 2021 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Known as the Versailles of the sea, this imposing white stone guardian of Saintonge, listed Historical Monument, is 67 years old.5 meters high. Inspired by Renaissance architecture, the Cordouan Lighthouse has six floors and 301 steps. At the foot of the 310 steps is a lighthouse balcony from which visitors can enjoy exceptional views of the sea and coastline.
Appointments for visits to the Cordouan lighthouse
The Cordouan lighthouse can be visited from April to November. An appointment is required to visit the lighthouse. Visiting days and times vary depending on tide and weather conditions.
lighthouse can be reached by boats departing from Royan or Le Verdon-sur-Mer. The drive to the lighthouse takes between 45 and 50 minutes. On the first floor of the Cordouan lighthouse is the Royal Suite decorated with plaster, on the second floor the magnificent chapel with stained glass windows and on the third floor the Girondins room, decorated with gray and black marble.