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Lighthouses are an iconic part of the European coastline. For centuries, these beacons of light have helped guide ships safely to shore. Today, there are over 1,000 lighthouses dotting the coasts of Europe. From towering cliff-top structures to quaint cottage-style buildings, each lighthouse has its own unique history and personality.
While their primary purpose may be functional, many lighthouses have also become popular tourist attractions. Visitors can enjoy stunning coastal views, learn about the fascinating history of these landmarks, and even stay overnight in some cases. Here are just a few of the most notable lighthouses in Europe worth a visit:
- The Eddystone Lighthouse is one of the oldest and most famous lighthouses in existence. It is located on a rocky island off the coast of Plymouth, England and has been standing since 1699 (although it has undergone several rebuilds over the years). The current structure stands at nearly 40 meters tall and is visible for up to 24 nautical miles out to sea. The Eddystone Lighthouse is open to visitors from April through October.
- The Hook Head Lighthouse is located in Wexford Town on Ireland’s southeast coast. This structure has been guarding ships since 1172 making it one of the oldest operational lighthouses in the world! The current building was constructed in 1803 and stands 35 meters tall with sweeping views out over Hook Head peninsula and nearby villages such as Duncannon Fort . The Hook Head Lighthouse is open daily for tours year-round (weather permitting).
- Cape Sardinia Lighthouse lies on a remote island off Sardinia’s northeastern coast near La Maddalena archipelago National Park . This striking white tower was built in 1856 and stands 55 meters tall – making it one of tallest lighthouses in Italy! While Cape Sardinia itself is only accessible by boat (and requires permission from park authorities), visitors can enjoy panoramic views from nearby Spargi Island which can be reached via public ferries departing from Palau or Santa Teresa Gallura .
These are just a few examples – there are hundreds more incredible lighthouses waiting to be discovered all along Europe’s coastline!