Since ancient times lighthouses have offered protection, their glowing lenses providing a guiding light to the weary traveler. They meant a safe haven from the tumultuous sea, a warning of dangerous rocks or reefs. And after a long voyage, the first sight of a lighthouse gave hope and relief that home was near.
Do you have any photos of lighthouses? I invite you to share them with me! I’ll upload them to this post, and of course will give you attribution and a link back to your own blog (if you have one.) Send the photo along with a brief caption to email@example.com.
This first one was taken on my visit to the Fatherland – Santa Maria Island in the Azores, Portugal. Located in the township of Maia, this lighthouse stands high on a rugged cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The hillside is terraced with grapevines used for making the local wine.
Poking high above the tropical foliage and the city’s peaked Victorian roofs is the Key West lighthouse. It was built in 1848 to help prevent shipwrecks on the shallow reef just offshore. Nowadays, visitors can climb the eighty-eight steps for unbelievable panoramic views of the Florida Keys and sparkling sea all around.
Located at the tip of Point Loma at the Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego, the Old Point Loma Lighthouse was actually only in use for a short time. The frequent, thick coastal fog forced its closure and a newer, more modern lighthouse was built on the shoreline below the cliffs.
Protecting the entrance to the harbor at Nassau in the Bahamas, this lighthouse is located at the western end of Paradise Island, just a couple miles from the famous Atlantis Resort. It’s reputed to be the oldest surviving lighthouse in the West Indies and makes for a great photo op when your cruise ship pulls out after a day of fun in the sun.
Lighthouses aren’t only located on coastlines. I found this one in Puno, Peru on the banks of Lake Titicaca—the highest navigable lake in the world. At 12,507 feet (3,812 meters) above sea level, Lake Titicaca straddles the border of Peru and Bolivia and is also the largest lake in South America.
More for show than anything, this lighthouse is perched atop the historic Catalina Yacht Club building in Avalon on Santa Catalina Island. Located about 30 miles offshore from Los Angeles, the lighthouse is only illuminated during the summer yachting season.
Often described as the “St. Tropez of South America,” Punta del Este is the playground for the rich & famous below the equator. The lighthouse in “Punta,” as it’s called by locals, helps protect the posh peninsula at the southeast corner of Uruguay, right where the Río de la Plata meets the Atlantic Ocean.
This is deserted Michipicoten Lighthouse located on Michipicoten Island in Lake Superior. It’s an area famous for its number of shipwrecks though it’s not surprising when you hear that storms have produced 65 mph winds and 26 foot waves. Leigh from HikeBikeTravel submitted this photo to me. She kayaked around the island in the summer during a window of good weather.
Jan from Wanderlust Wonder sent this shot in. It shows the lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her husband Tom slipped and fell while taking this shot, but I think sometimes it takes a little pain to make great art.
This is a different angle of Portland Head Light, in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Christina from Sandal Road snapped this shot while on a road trip from Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal-Portland-Boston-Niagara Falls-Toronto. The lighthouse reminded her of the SyFy TV series Haven which is set in Maine.
Do you have any photos of lighthouses? I invite you to share them with me! I’ll upload them to this post, and of course will give you attribution and a link back to your own blog (if you have one.) Send the photo along with a brief description of where you took it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Figueiredo is a freelance travel writer based in Los Angeles, California. When he’s not gallivanting around the world, he’s enjoying the laid-back lifestyle and perfect weather of Southern California. So far he’s visited forty countries and territories on five continents. His goal is to see at least one new country every year! . Read more from this author