Although many of them have become useless today thanks to modern technology, we can still see how they illuminate the coasts with their beauty.
If you are passionate about them, these are the 25 most beautiful lighthouses in the world.
The most impressive lighthouses in the world
Before we start with the ranking of lighthouses we would like to point out that the name ‘lighthouse’ can come from several theories:
– From the Greek word φαρος meaning ‘light‘ or ‘brightness’.
– From the spread of the name because of the island of “Pharos” in Alexandria, where the most representative lighthouse of all times was erected.
– Or from the Hellenic word “Pharah“, the Egyptian name for the sun.
Indeed, lighthouses are monuments to our long-standing relationship with the oceans. This technology is still in use and new lighthouses are being built with modern towers, functional and unattractive compared to the structures built in past centuries.
Now, I won’t waste any more of your time and here is a compilation of the most beautiful lighthouses in the world:
1. HERCULES LIGHTHOUSE
I start with a lighthouse“made in spain” located in La Coruña. It has the privilege of being the only Roman lighthouse and the oldest working lighthouse in the world, being built in the 1st century.
There are several legends related to its construction. One of them tells that Hercules arrived by boat to the coasts that currently surround the Tower, and that it was precisely there where he buried the head of the giant Geryon, after defeating him in combat. This legend represents the continuity of the Roman legacy of Hercules over the Tartessian-Phoenician legacy of Geryon.
2.- KULLENS LIGHTHOUSE
One of Scandinavia’s most iconic and powerful landmarks. It is located on the southwest coast of Sweden, in the province of Scania.
3.- AKRANES LIGHTHOUSE
This old lighthouse stands in Iceland’s volcanic landscape near Akranes, the country’s ninth most populous town. It must be said that almost all of Iceland’s inhabitants live on the coast, because of the lava desert and glaciated mountainous terrain inland.
4.- WIND POINT LIGHTHOUSE
Luminous in the harbour of Racine, Wisconsin, this lighthouse is home to a conference centre, meeting room, and part-time police department.
5- UMPQUA RIVERLIGHTHOUSE
This lighthouse is located on the Oregon coast and has the classic red with white light distribution. Now run by Douglas County instead of the Coast National Guard, it is still in use as a private navigational aid.
6.- POINT LIGHTHOUSE
Located in Peggy Inlet, this is one of Nova Scotia’s most popular tourist attractions and one of the most recognisable lighthouses in the world. There are currently decisions being made about the protection of the lighthouse under the Lighthouse Heritage Protection Act.
7.- SCHIERMONNIKOOG LIGHTHOUSE
This lighthouse, built 150 years ago, is located on an island in the north of Holland, which is home to a small village and a national park. More than 300,000 tourists visit this lighthouse every year.
The tall stone lighthouse at Kovalam has a lantern and a gallery at the top overlooking the ocean and the tourist beach.
9.- ARISAIG LIGHTHOUSE
This lighthouse is a replica of the original Arisaig, which burned down in the early 1930s. It is located in Antigonish County, Nova Scotia.
10.- POINTE A LA RENOMMEELIGHTHOUSE
After the lighthouse was decommissioned, it was dismantled and installed in the Old Port of Quebec City for 20 years until it was decided that it would be better placed in its original location.
11.- WHITBY HARBOURLIGHTHOUSE
This structure sits firmly on a pier northeast of Toronto and shines its light across Lake Ontario.
12.- CAPE HATTERAS LIGHTHOUSE
The history of the lighthouse begins in 1789, when Cape Hatteras, USA was found to be a suitable site for a signal tower; construction, entrusted to Henry Dearbon, was completed in 1803. The tower was 27 metres high, the lantern approximately 3 metres, and was lit by 18 whale-oil-fed lamps: a light too weak to be seen at a distance to give safety to ships, so in 1815 an Argand lamp system patented by Winslow Lewis was installed, but this upgrade too was deemed insufficient, although it was not until 1852 that funds were allocated for a radical improvement. It is now one of the best known lighthouses in the United States, and at 60 metres is the tallest brick-built lighthouse in the country.
13.- SPLIT ROCK LIGHTHOUSE
This lighthouse was built in Minnesota in 1910 after a series of shipwrecks near Lake Superior. It was decommissioned in the 1960s and now serves as a historic site.
14.- POINT BETSIE LIGHTHOUSE
Overlooking Lake Michigan, this is one of the most photographed lighthouses in the U.S. There is a volunteer group that raises money, cleans the site, and hires professionals to restore the buildings.
15.- CAPE BYRON LIGHTHOUSE
Australia’s easternmost lighthouse supported by the Cape Byron Reserve Trust which acquired and has maintained the buildings since 1998. The facility is being used as a base for whale watching.
Built in 1900, it is one of the oldest examples of steel construction when it comes to lighthouses. It is still active on the north bank of the river Elbe in Wittenbergen, northern Germany.
17.- LORAIN LIGHTHOUSE
The Port of Lorain Foundation owns and operates this viewpoint on Lake Erie on the Texas coast.
18.- CAPE FLORIDA LIGHTHOUSE
This lighthouse on Key Biscayne, was established in 1825 for the purpose of guiding ships off the Florida reef.
19.- CAPE SANTA MARÍA LIGHTHOUSE
In Uruguay, this lighthouse was built in 1881 to reduce the large number of shipwrecks in the area. There are 150 steps to the top, and the building is open to tourists.
20.- PIGEON POINT LIGHTHOUSE
Located near San Francisco Bay, but the lighthouse was closed to tourists in 2001 as it was in disrepair.
21.- FPORTLAND HEAD LIGHTHOUSE
The original lighthouse was built in 1790 and is owned and operated by the town in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and is a tourist attraction with a museum, gift shop, and acres of parks and trails surrounding it.
22.- WALTON HARBOUR LIGHTHOUSE
This Nova Scotia lighthouse was decommissioned in 1986 and is now used as an interpretive centre.
23.- HOLLAND HARBOUR LIGHTHOUSE
The first lighthouse at this location in Ottawa County was a small, square wooden structure built in 1872. The current building, known as“Big Red“, was built in 1907, and citizens had to file a petition in order to rescue it from demolition in the 1970s. It is now being preserved and restored by the Holland Commission.
24.- PORTHCAWL POINT LIGHTHOUSE
This was the last coal and petrol lighthouse in the UK. It was built in 1860 and is still in use as an aid to navigation on the south coast of Wales.
25.- JEDDAH LIGHTHOUSE
Finally, I bring you the largest lighthouse ever built. It was built in 1990 at the end of the pier in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It is 133 metres high, flashes three white flashes every 20 seconds and reaches almost 50 km. It is made of concrete and steel in a cylindrical shape and carries a spherical building.