Lonesome lighthouses in Iceland

1) Hafnarnes Lighthouse

On the outskirts of Þorlákshöfn town, this little white lighthouse is no longer open to visitors but still makes for a picturesque sight from the cliff side’s designated viewing area. There’s nothing quite like seeing this beacon of Icelandic history standing proud on the coastline as the waves break rhythmically below. Don’t be surprised if there are people in the water; the lighthouse overlooks a stretch of shoreline popular for surfing. Another lighthouse of the same name can be found in East Iceland, north of Stodvarfjordur village, and is immediately recognisable from it’s bright orange paint job.

Hafnarnes Lighthouse

Hafnarnes, 815 Þorlákshöfn

+354 483 4601


2) Knarrarós Lighthouse

Knarrarósviti lighthouse was finished in 1939 and has remained the tallest building in South Iceland since. It is another of Axel Sveinsson’s designs, this time combining functionalism and art nouveau styles in his 26,2-metre structure. Still unpainted, Knarrarósviti makes for an ideal secret spot for capturing photos of the Northern Lights.

 Knarrarósviti Lighthouse against Northern Lights

Knarrarósviti, 801 Selfoss

+354 483 4601


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3) Akranes Lighthouse

At the end of a romantic coastal promenade sit two lighthouses. The first, built in 1918, is a 10-metre-high concrete cuboid that has been out of use since 1947. Nine-metres taller, the second beacon was finished in 1944 and based on plans by the civil engineer, Axel Sveinsson, who also designed many other lighthouses across the island. Open to visitors, this more recent lighthouse is as famed for its views as it is for its internal acoustics, which over the years has made it a unique and sought-out performance venue.

Akranas Lighthouse against a colourful sunset

Ívar Eyþórsson

Breiðargata, 300 Akranes

+354 437 2214


4) Þrídrangaviti Lighthouse

Þrídrangaviti is considered one of the world’s most strange and dramatic lighthouses. Situated precariously atop an extended cluster of rock pillars that rise ominously from the sea, Þrídrangaviti is rarely visited due to its sheer isolation. Work on this lighthouse began in 1938, requiring true bravery on the part of the builders; the cliff sides fall almost vertically to the frothing Atlantic waves below, making for a treacherous climb to the top. Thanks to the miracle of aviation, the lighthouse can be seen by today’s travellers while flying overhead on a private helicopter tour.

aerial view of the Þrídrangaviti Lighthouse

visit with: Helo, Mörkin 3, 108 Reykjavík

+354 561 6100


5) Dalatangaviti Lighthouses

Built in 1895, the original lighthouse in Mjóifjörður fjord, Dalatangaviti, fell out of use in 1908 when a new yellow lighthouse was constructed metres from it. This isolated fjord is home to only 16 residents, making it the perfect destination for travellers seeking isolation in the beautiful eastern landscape. The original lighthouse was built by Otto Wathne, a Danish shipbuilder who lived and worked in nearby Seyðisfjörður. As such, it can be considered a monument of sorts to Iceland’s history as a trading port for European merchants.

Dalatangi, 715 Mjóifjörður

+354 570 1300


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