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Another worthy out-of-town excursion, to a remarkable structure with remarkable views.

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Cordouan Lighthouse

France's oldest lighthouse.

Out near Le Verdon-sur-Mer, on the coast at the mouth of the River Gironde estuary, another worthwhile day trip 98 kilometres (60 miles) from Bordeaux is to the Cordouan Lighthouse, France's oldest. Completed in 1611, it was declared a historic monument in 1862, and over the centuries fires gave way to lamps and finally in 1948 to electric light. To visit the lighthouse, which is on an islet 7 kilometres (4 miles) offshore, visitors can board the Vedette La Bohème water taxi. If you make the 311-step climb to the top, you'll be rewarded with some remarkable coastal and river views indeed.

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