Phare de Cordouan


08 February 2024  |  UNESCO

The Cordouan lighthouse

The Cordouan lighthouse has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2020.

This maritime treasure stands majestically at the mouth of the Gironde estuary. Like an emblematic guardian, the Cordouan lighthouse has watched over the waters of the Atlantic for centuries.

It was built in the 16th century. Its refinement, its incredible Renaissance aesthetic gives it the nickname "Versailles of the sea".

It stands 68 metres high, making it one of the tallest lighthouses in Europe. It is also the oldest active lighthouse in France.

Whether for maritime history enthusiasts, architecture enthusiasts or the simply curious, a visit to the Cordouan lighthouse promises an unforgettable experience in the heart of the sea.

Visit the lighthouse

You can take a shuttle from Royan or Verdon-sur-Mer.

The outing lasts around 4 hours, the visit to the lighthouse itself takes around 1 hour 30 minutes.

You also have the possibility of reaching the lighthouse with your own boat.

Opening period: April to October Price: €47 and €59 for a full price including cruise.

More information on their website:

Unesco World Heritage

Created in 1945 after the Second World War to avoid a new international conflict, it aims to establish peace in the world through education, science and culture.

Given the scale of the destruction caused by the two world wars, saving certain monuments around the world is becoming a priority. In 1972, the Member States of UNESCO adopted a Convention concerning the protection of world heritage. This is the birth of the notion of universal heritage, going beyond national borders and belonging to all. Heritage becomes a common heritage and this Convention brings together the international community to protect certain cultural and natural heritage assets of exceptional interest.

Cordouan is the only French lighthouse still inhabited: four keepers take turns, two by two, to ensure operation, maintenance, but also visits to the building, both a utilitarian work of art and a historical monument.

Its universal and unique value

The Cordouan lighthouse is an architectural masterpiece built in the open sea. It was designed both as a maritime signaling work and as a monument worthy of the ancient Wonders of the World. The lighthouse also testifies to the revival of coastal lighting. It responds both to the development of maritime trade and the desire to symbolically mark borders.

Phare de Cordouan


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Virginie Erre

After gaining a Masters Degree from the Panthéon Sorbonne, I worked as a real-estate agent for luxury properties and now am a manager with Pure France high quality holiday rentals. I am also a yoga instructor.

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