The finest lighthouses to see and visit

Although lighthouses are not operated in the ways of our forefathers, they nevertheless still have the capacity to make us dream and to open up new horizons. Normandy has some very fine specimens and we invite you – where possible – to spiral your way up inside and take in some fantastic views.

Extra info

Entrance fees are usually modest so bring along some small change.
If it blows a gale or a storm rages, you may find them closed.

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1.

The Gatteville Lighthouse

This lighthouse is perched ashore just over a mile from the enchanting harbour of Barfleur, one of “the Most Beautiful Villages of France”. At over 75 metres the Gatteville lighthouse is the second tallest lighthouse in Europe. It has a step for each day of the year – 365 – and a window for each week of the year – 52. This great “candlestick in stone” required 11,000 blocks of granite to erect it. There is a stunning 360° view over the Val de Saire, the name given to the hedgerow country or bocage of the Nord-Cotentin, and to the east you take in the Calvados coastline in the distance.

The Gatteville Lighthouse
The Gatteville lighthouse © S. Fautré - CDT50

Useful information

Admittance is charged.
Open February to mid-November

2.

The Ouistreham Lighthouse

A tad more modest with its 171 steps, the Ouistreham lighthouse is also a fine example of maritime architecture, with its brash white and red colours. It has a splendid view over Ouistreham Riva-Bella and the coast on either side. Camille exclaimed “you get this just amazing view over the Côte de Nacre and la Pointe du Siège”. You can visit with or without a commentary, as you wish.

The Ouistreham Lighthouse
The Ouistreham lighthouse © Thierry Houyel

Useful information

Admittance fee.
Open in July and August only.

3.

The Fatouville Grestain Lighthouse

The Fatouville lighthouse offers a stunning view over the Marais Vernier, the Seine estuary and the Normandy Bridge spanning it. Anne and Jean-François Durand, the happy owners of this unique property, will never tire telling you about this magical spot which has remained in the hands of the same family over generations. If you fall in love with the place, and climbing the 192 steps to the top doesn’t wear you out, you can always spend the night there!

The Fatouville Grestain Lighthouse
The Fatouville-Grestain lighthouse © Patrick Forget

Useful information

Admittance free.
Open from April to October, please book in advance.

4.

The Barfleur Lighthouse

The Barfleur Lighthouse
The Barfleur lighthouse © Olivier Magherini - Fotolia.com

Useful information

Look on, dear visitor, but you may not visit it.  

5.

The Tréport Lighthouse

The Tréport Lighthouse
The Tréport lighthouse © Pierre Jeanson

Useful information

Look on, dear visitor, but you may not visit it either.

6.

The Trouville-sur-Mer Lighthouse

The Trouville-sur-Mer Lighthouse
© Hassan Bensliman - Fotolia.com

Useful information

Look on once again, dear visitor, and despair, for you may not visit this one either!

7.

The Goury Lighthouse

Should you find yourself right on the other side of the Cotentin, on the Cap de la Hague, you really should not miss the tiny harbour of Goury and its lighthouse. The pointe de la Hague has running along under it the Raz Blanchard one of the strongest tidal currents you could encounter anywhere in the world. It gives rise to some very choppy seas during winter storms. A short distance away you can go out to the Nez de Jobourg, the second most visited site in the Manche after the Mont-Saint-Michel.

Inland from Goury you’ll find a wonderful little restaurant called “la Malle aux Epices”: you can trust anything on the menu to be excellent!

 

Useful information

Look on, but you may not visit it either.

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