Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Le Phare De Chassiron

Among the coolest sights on the Ile d'Oléron is le phare de Chassiron, the lighthouse at Chassiron. It's located at the northwestern tip of the island.

A few hotels/restaurants/souvenir shops line the road up to the lighthouse.

The lighthouse stands fifty meters tall (164 feet). It was built in 1836 and is by far the tallest thing around for miles. Or maybe I should say kilometers?

The lighthouse is painted in black and white bands.

Of course, it's a huge tourist destination and we were among the multitudes sucked in for a bit of fun. We had a terrific day weather wise, and since it was a weekday early in the season, there were fewer people than there might have been.

The light.

Ken and I clambered up the 224 steps to the top while our friend Cheryl took Callie on a walk along the waterfront. Afterward, we met up again and did a little souvenir shopping and stopped for a refreshing pineau des Charentes in a café before getting back in the car for the short trip back to the gîte.

A few of the 224 stairs on the way up.
I had to stop to take a photo, and catch my breath.

I've been to a few lighthouses over the years and this one is definitely up there among the best. It's a handsome building, the setting is perfect, and the views are great. And it's not too hard to walk up!

A view out one of the lighthouse windows.

We stopped on the way at a wine co-op near the middle of the island to buy a few bottles. The owner of our rental house is a vintner and he had given us a coupon for 5% off whatever we purchased there. We were happy campers!

A ladder leads up over the light to the roof.


  1. I'm taking the "happy campers" comment figuratively, not literally. In my vernacular, happy and campers are an oxymoron!

  2. I think that staying in a rental house without room service is as close to camping as you've gotten. And I know you were happy. I saw all those corks. ;)


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