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Best lighthouses

that will brighten your travels in europe

Discover the most beautiful lighthouses in Europe. For hundreds of years they have protected sailors and illuminated the night. These unique buildings are ingenious monuments that face the wind and the sea to protect us. Discover a selection of the not to be missed lighthouses in Europe.

Maiden Tower Istanbul - Best lighthouses in Europe
©Mehmet Cetin

The Maiden's Tower

Istanbul - Turkey

The Maiden's Tower (Turkish: Kız Kulesi), also known as Leander's Tower (Tower of Leandros) since the medieval Byzantine period, is a tower lying on a small islet located at the southern entrance of the Bosphorus strait 200 m (220 yd) from the coast of Üsküdar in Istanbul, Turkey.


There are many legends about the construction of the tower and its location. According to the most popular Turkish legend, an emperor had a much beloved daughter and one day, an oracle prophesied that she would be killed by a venomous snake on her 18th birthday. The emperor, in an effort to thwart his daughter's early demise by placing her away from land so as to keep her away from any snakes, had the tower built in the middle of the Bosphorus to protect his daughter until her 18th birthday. The princess was placed in the tower, where she was frequently visited only by her father.


On the 18th birthday of the princess, the emperor brought her a basket of exotic sumptuous fruits as a birthday gift, delighted that he was able to prevent the prophecy. Upon reaching into the basket, however, an asp that had been hiding among the fruit bit the young princess and she died in her father's arms, just as the oracle had predicted. Hence the name Maiden's Tower. (©CC)


Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse - Best lighthouses in Europe
©Elisabeth Coelfen

Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse

Hjorring - Denmark

Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse is located on the coast of the North Sea in Rubjerg, in the Jutland municipality of Hjørring in northern Denmark. It was first lit on December 27, 1900.


Both shifting sands and coastal erosion are a serious problem in the area. The coast is eroded on average 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) a year, which can be seen most clearly at the nearby Mårup Church.


The lighthouse ceased operating on August 1, 1968. For a number of years, the buildings were used as a museum and coffee shop, but continually shifting sands caused them to be abandoned in 2002. By 2009, the small buildings were severely damaged by the pressure of the sand and were later removed. It is expected that the tower will fall into the sea by 2023. (©CC)


Torre de Hercules A Coruna - Best Lighthouse in Europe
© Migel

The Tower of Hercules

A Coruña - Spain

The Tower of Hercules is the only Roman lighthouse still functioning today that continues to exhibit the same functions as when it was founded, on the one hand as maritime sign and on the other hand assisting navigation for the ships that were and are crossing the Atlantic corridor.


In all likelihood it was constructed in the second half of the 1st century or the beginning of the 2nd century A.D. by the Roman Empire, in the finis terrae of the, until then, known world, to accompany the ships that were bordering at the end of the Empire furthest to the West.


It is located in the NW of the Iberian Peninsula, in the region of Galicia, in the province of A Coruña and in the city of A Coruña.


Santa Marta Lighthouse Cascais Portugal
© Bruno Ismael Silva Alves

The Santa Marta Lighthouse

Cascais - Portugal

The LighthouseSanta Marta Museum that presents a general panoramic about the lighthouses and the life of a lighthouse keeper, a Casa de Santa Maria, that stands out by the variety and richness of the collection of tiles and finally, the Sea Museum, that has important assets and it is the greatest example of the connection between Cascais and the Sea, are among this tour as well.

Fastnet Rock Ireland - Best lighthouses in Europe
© matthi

Fastnet Rock


Fastnet Rock is a small clay-slate islet with quartz veins. It rises to about 30 metres (98 ft) above low water mark and is separated from the much smaller southern Little Fastnet by a 10 metres (33 ft) wide channel.


Fastnet Rock is used as the midpoint of one of the world's classic offshore yachting races, the Fastnet Race, a 1,126 kilometres (700 mi) round trip from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, round the rock and back to Plymouth. It is also sometimes used as a mark for yacht races from local sailing centres such as Schull and Baltimore. (©cc)


Phare Saint-Mathieu Lighthouse Bretagne France - Best Lighthouses in Europe
© thieury

Phare Saint-Mathieu

Plougonvelin - France

The Saint-Mathieu lighthouse is a lighthouse located on Pointe Saint-Mathieu in Plougonvelin, around Brest in Finistère. The lighthouse is open to the public.


The promontory of Saint-Mathieu hosts the ruins of an abbey, a sémpahore, and a lighthouse. This bizarre juxtaposition (some suggestions were made to restore the abbey, while deconstructing the lighthouse and rebuilding it elsewhere) is explained by the connections these structures shared throughout Saint-Mathieu’s history.


The low Lighthouse Burnham on sea - Best lighthouses in Europe
© ian woolcock

The Low Lighthouse

Burnham on sea - England

The Low lighthouse is one of three lighthouses in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, England and the only one which is still active. It is a Grade II listed building.


It stands on nine wooden piers, some with plate metal reinforcement. The structure is whitewashed with a vertical red stripe on the sea side.


Phare de l'ile vierge lighthouse Plouguerneau - Best Lighthouses in Europe -
© Sergey Dzyuba

Virgin Island lighthouse

Plouguerneau - France

Ile Vierge (Breton language: Enez-Werc'h) is an 6-hectare (15-acre) islet lying 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) off the north-west coast of Brittany, opposite the village of Lilia. It is in the commune of Plouguerneau, in the département of Finistère. It is the location of the tallest stone lighthouse in Europe,and the tallest "traditional lighthouse" in the world. The International Hydrographic Organization specifies Île Vierge as marking the south-western limit of the English Channel. (©CC).


Farol da Ponta do Arnel Azores - Best Lighthouse in Europe
© lsantilli

Farol da Ponta do Arnel

Sao Miguel - Azores

This was first lighthouse built in the Azores; it is the traditional landfall light for ships arriving from mainland Portugal. The keeper's complex was greatly expanded in 1929.


Located at the eastern tip of the Ilha de São Miguel; accessible by a paved but challenging road.

(©www.unc.edu )


Genoa Lighthouse - Best Lighthouse in Europe
© Gianni Caito

The Genoa Lighthouse

Genoa - Italy

The Lighthouse of Genoa, is the main lighthouse for the city's port. Besides being an important aid to night navigation in the vicinity, the tower serves as a symbol for the City of Genoa, and is one of the oldest standing structures of its kind in the world. It is built on the hill of San Benigno at some little distance from the Sampierdarena neighborhood. At 249 feet (76 m) it is the world's second tallest "traditional lighthouse" built of masonry. It is constructed in two square portions, each one capped by a terrace; the whole structure is crowned by a lantern from which the light is shone.


Gorliz lighthouse - Best Lighthouses in Europe
© luisrsphoto

The Gorliz Lighthouse

Bilbao - Spain

The Gorliz Lighthouse is located in Cape Billano, facing the island. It was built in 1990 on the cliffs offering an excellent view of the coast. Over there we can see the remains of a cannon that was served to defend the bay.


Phare du Petit Minou Brest - Best Lighthouse in Europe
© Lukas Uher

Phare du Petit Minou

Brest - France

The Phare du Petit Minou is a lighthouse in the roadstead of Brest, standing in front of the Fort du Petit Minou, in the commune of Plouzané. By aligning it with the phare du Portzic, it shows the safe route to follow for ships to enter the roadstead. It also has a red signal that indicates a dangerous sector around the plateau of les Fillettes (literally the girls), one of the submerged rocks in the goulet of Brest — sailors remember this by using the mnemonic "the Minou blushes when he covers les Fillettes".


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