Photo Essay: Lighthouses of the World

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.

Like photos of bridges and windows, shots of lighthouses are a motif in my photo albums. Below are some of the lighthouses I’ve come across on my adventures around the world.

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

Maia Portugal

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.

Key West Florida

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.

Paradise Island

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.

Lake Titicaca

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.

Punta del Este

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.

VashonIsland 2012 009
Jackie at TravelnWrite sent this photo in. It depicts the Point Robinson lighthouse located on Vashon Island in Washington State. They don’t get more charming than this!
Reykjanesviti lighthouse is Iceland’s oldest lighthouse and has been around since 1929. Mary from The World Is A Book snapped this shot on her family’s trip to Iceland last summer.
Here’s another photo from Mary at The World Is A Book. It’s of Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. This picture-perfect lighthouse is the oldest in Maine (since 1791). Mary was traveling in New England  a few years ago to see the beautiful fall colors, something I’ve always wanted to do too.
Kathy from Diver Maiden found this lighthouse on the wild side of Bonaire island in the Southern Caribbean. The lighthouse is mostly abandoned although there was a working light at the top of the tower. The ocean on this side of Bonaire pounds the coastline causing the strange terrain and contributing to its deterioration. The lighthouse looks so lonely and desolate to me, even spooky in a way.

Peggys Cove Lighthouse Halifax Nova Scotia Tom RossJan 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.

IMG_3289This 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

And be sure to check out the other photo essays from my travels: Windows of the World and Bridges of the World too!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...