(website photo:


Construction of the Cap Ferret lighthouse began in 1835, and was completed 5 years later in 1840. It was commissioned in 1855. It was one of 43 first-rate lighthouses on the French coast at the time, with a range of 18 to 27 nautical miles.



(Photo from “”)


The lighthouse was built to mark the passes and the entrance to the Bay of Arcachon. It was placed 2.5km from the extreme tip to prevent the risk of erosion. It had a single white light and ran on petroleum vapour.

In 1904, its colour changed from white to red. The lighthouse was electrified in 1929 with the arrival of a generator and a new Fresnel lens.


(photo from the website)


In 1943, a blockhouse was built by the Todt Organisation just beside the Cap Ferret lighthouse. This barracks building was designed to house 19 men and equipment. The blockhouse had a trompe l’oeil paint job and was camouflaged. It was vacated by the Germans on 20 August 1944, when they destroyed the lighthouse.



(Photo du Sudouest)


And when they left the town, they took its original optical system with them. It was rebuilt and reactivated a few years later in 1949. Its optical system was found after the war by French railwaymen. It was therefore reinstalled on the current lighthouse.


The last lighthouse keepers left in 1995, when the lighthouse was automated.


Today, the Cap-Ferret lighthouse has become an architectural monument, attracting more than 110,000 visitors every year for its panorama of land and water over 57 metres above sea level.


It was listed as a historic monument in 2009.


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Its imposing architecture makes it a true emblem of the Bay of Arcachon’s maritime identity. ⛵


At the time, the Cap Ferret lighthouse was much sought-after. It was the second most important monument in the Bay of Arcachon, after the Dune du Pyla. This is why it is regularly maintained. 🌿

(Photo from the “” website)




Description and equipment :


Height: 52 m


Focal height: 53 m or 46 m


Elevation: 62 m


Steps: 258


Lantern : 1,000 W halogen lamp


Optics: 4 ¼-panel rotating lens / 70 cm focal length


Range: 22.5 miles (41.7 km)


Lights: Red flashing light, 5 s


The Lighthouse can currently be visited all year round, as can the Blockhouse. We recommend that you summon up the courage to climb 258 steps, before taking in the magnificent panoramic view of the Bay of Arcachon and Dune du Pyla. 🔭



(Photo from the “” website)



On the ground floor of the lighthouse, you’ll find the Horizon Voyageur exhibition with 6 interactive rooms showing the evolution of the lighthouse and everything that surrounds it.



(Photo from the website :Gironde tourisme)


Finally, you’ll be able to take some souvenirs home with you, as you’re bound to pass by the Lighthouse shop.


(Photo credit: Gironde tourisme)




Practical information: (


Opening times


Visits end 30 minutes before the site closes, so don’t forget!

The opening times shown are subject to change according to weather conditions. Please contact us if you have any doubts!

High season: July – August: Every day from 10am to 7.30pm

Mid-Season: April – May – June – September: Daily from 10am to 12.30pm and from 2pm to 6.30pm

Low Season: October to March, Wednesday to Sunday, 2pm to 5pm


Annual closure from 06 November 2023 to 20 December 2023 inclusive


The Lighthouse is closed on 25 December and 1 January.




The summit is only accessible by a 258-step staircase. It is limited to 19 people (building evacuation standard).

 Adults: €7 (*Age 13 and over)

Children: €4 (*From 4 to 12 years old inclusive)

Groups on request


Holiday vouchers are not accepted – Pets are not allowed – Conditions for groups of 20 people or more