Towards the glow of the lighthouse
Ten Iberia destinations where you can discover the stories behind these majestic towers.
“The lighthouse is just what it seems to be. Either you carry it inside of you, or you don’t” - Miguel García Cernuda. Miguel is 63 years old, and has spent half of his life living in a lighthouse, at Punto Candelaria, in A Coruña. His is one of the ‘Lighthouses at the End of the World’, to paraphrase Jules Verne’s famous novel, and one of 187 lighthouses in Spain, a quarter of which are inhabited. Miguel, a lighthouse keeper, or technician – a title he prefers – lives in one and it’s a truly unique place. He describes it as more utopia than realism. For us, lighthouses have become the perfect destination for any trip through the peninsula. We’ve chosen ten for you to visit. Iberia flies to all of these destinations from 4,500 Avios each way.
1 Punta Candieira (A Coruña)
The architecture of the lighthouse in Punta Candelaria in A Coruña is not particularly spectacular, but its landscape is. To reach this 9m tower that opened in 1954, soars 90m high and is located on a cliff carved out of waves, you have to follow a winding, curved road that cuts through lush Galicia.
2 Cabo de Gata lighthouse (Almería)
Not only is Cabo de Gata lighthouse the symbol of Cabo de Gata Natural Park, but it’s also been a point of reference ever since Phoenician and Greek merchants began to sail to the Peninsula. Built in 1863 over the remains of a former naval defence castle, the light of its 18m tower can be seen 50m away.
3 Castillo de Santa Ana lighthouse in Castro-Urdiales (Cantabria)
Few lighthouses have such an unusual location as this one, which is built on the tower of the former medieval Castillo de Santa Ana and is located on a small peninsula next to the old town of Castro Urdiales. Although the castle – one of the best preserved in Spain – was built and renovated over more than four centuries (from the 12th to the 16th centuries), the lighthouse was not installed until the 19th century.
4 Isla Pancha lighthouse in Ribadeo (Lugo)
In 1857, a lighthouse was built 2km from the town of Ribadeo on what is known as Isla Pancha. It lit up the area until 1983, when a new lighthouse was built. Today, tourists have the opportunity to stay in this stunning spot on the Ribadeo estuary.
5 Chipiona lighthouse (Cádiz)
The Chipiona lighthouse is undoubtedly one of the most ostentatious in Spain. It’s not just its appearance, either: so majestic, so evocative of past times (it was finished in 1867), but, because it’s Spain’s tallest – at 69m – lighthouse. It’s also one of the few land-and-sea lighthouses in the country (it guides both ships and airplanes, as it also projects its light vertically), and it doesn’t signal dry land to the boats, but to the mouth of the Guadalquivir, one of the country’s longest river.
6 Formentor lighthouse (Mallorca)
The Formentor Peninsula on Mallorca’s northern tip is home to this 22m-high lighthouse, a true feat of construction built in one of the island’s wildest and steepest areas in the mid-19th century. Located 210m above sea level, the lighthouse – an inspiration for artists for decades – has not needed a keeper to operate it for decades. The building is also home to a café.
7 Fuencaliente lighthouse (La Palma)
The Fuencaliente lighthouse on the southern tip of the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands, has been reborn. There are actually two lighthouses, because the original one – located in an area carved out from volcanic fire – was severely damaged by the eruption of Teneguía, forcing the construction of a more modern one. The original lighthouse has been reformed and refurbished. Today, it serves as the ️La Palma Marine Reserve Visitors’ Centre.
8 Favàritx lighthouse (Menorca)
Local legend says that if you walk through the puddles that form around the lighthouse during a full moon, your body will receive energy from the moon and the sea. This lighthouse is one of the most surprising spots in Menorca, with black slate covering the landscape. Found in the S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park, its 28m black- and white-striped tower is Menorca’s most famous and symbolic lighthouse.
9 Igueldo lighthouse (San Sebastián)
Don’t miss Mount Igueldo if you’re travelling to San Sebastián. It’s home to a 100-year-old amusement park that features a replica of the lighthouse that guided ships back in the 16th century. The current lighthouse – which is 134m above sea level – dates back to the mid-19th century and continues illuminating the coast of Donostiarra five centuries later.
10 Cabo Vidio lighthouse (Asturias)
The Cabo Vidio lighthouse in the town of Oviñana, Cudillero, is one of the most stunning lighthouses in Asturias – with one of the most stunning vistas. The best way to enjoy its beauty is by standing on the beach below and gazing up, where the lighthouse sits perched on a cliff.