Continuing with my previous post about Cognac (Part 1)…
The weekend was so filled with many beautiful things that I decided to split it into two. So, after a delicious meal at La Ribaudière and a good night sleep I woke up early to visit the monumental Cordouan Lighthouse.
I was definitely not ready for what I was about to see, the most beautiful lighthouse in the middle of the ocean!! They call it the “Versailles of the Seas” and they have a reason for it; it is the oldest French lighthouse in use, its architecture is unique and close to perfection, and the dimensions colors and scenery surrounding it makes it an unique monument. There are 3 official floors, the first one is a reception area, the second one is a chapel of Our Lady of Corduan (which is majestic),and on the third floor you have a stairwell that takes you to the very top to admire the 360° view.
You can take the boat to visit the island from two different cities, Verdun or Royan, I took it from Royan (Adults 45€, Kids 35€). If you wish to do this visit you have to take into consideration five important things:
- Reserve your exursion- It is 100% recommended to book your boat in advance (webpage) there are not many boats that do the trip everyday, and it is a very demanded attraction so it is better to make sure you have a place in that boat!
- It can be physical- the boat drops you far away from the lighthouse and you have to finish by foot, at least 20min of walking between water and sand is required. (It was my favorite part because of the light and shadows that the water created when we were walking)
- Sweater and/or raincoat– Do not forget you are in the middle of the ocean! The weather can change within minutes and you will be happy to be fully covered. (Experience speaking)
- Wear shorts!- Very important to have shorts, the water can get quite high and you will be please to be dry during your visit to the lighthouse.
- Adapted shoes- I did the visit with flip-flops (not very recommended) , but because I was not sure of what we where going to do exactly. I would highly recommend those water shoes that are very light and dry fast, there is a part where you pass many rocks with shells incrusted and if you do not have the right shoes you might get hurt (ouch!).
Enjoy some of my pictures!
Important facts about the light house:
- 67m high
- 311 steps to get to the top!
- 1360- A first tower was build
- 1611- They finally finished the Lighthouse, considered as the 8th wonder of the world (total of 37m)
- 1786- They decided to build it 20m higher, at this point it is left as we know it now.
- Official Coudouan Lighthouse webpage
Visit of Talmon-sur-Gironde
Even though I felt like I have seen most of it, my day was not over! After the lighthouse I visited the beautiful village of Talmon-sur-Gironde. It is a typical village of the region, many small boutiques, art galleries, a beautiful Roman Church, and coffees and terraces here and there. With this nice scenery I finished my dream weekend to come back to Geneva. I was happy with all the memories I created during these 2 days , I leave you with my last pictures of the weekend, all useful info about the weekend is at the end, enjoy!
How to get to Cognac from Geneva?
- Fastest & Easiest- By plane. Take a flight to Bordeaux (1hr 20min) and then rent a car to Cognac (approx 1hr from the airport). Easyjet flights Geneva-Bordeaux every weekend in good schedules.
- Cheapest- By Car. Not recommended for the weekend, however if you wish to do a long weekend or week vacation it is perfect. 7hrs and 643km. 244€ back and forth approx
Where to sleep?
- Check hotels in Cognac and surroundings, I would recommend to sleep in a Chambre d’Hote to experience the life in the region a little better.
- I found this place charming for my next weekend in the region Chateau de Brillac
- Strolling trough Talmon-sur-Gironde I noticed a charming guest house! La Talamo
I hope you liked my post! If you wish to know more details do not hesitate to ask me about it. Share if you care 🙂