10 Breathtakingly Isolated Lighthouses


Lighthouses have perhaps always been inherently paradoxical. On the one hand, they’re beacons of terra firma, drawing ships lost at sea back to civilization. On the other hand, they convey such a lonely existence, perched solitary on a weathered rock, inhabited by some hermit or perhaps totally abandoned. We think lighthouses are best taken alone, spiring up from the waves and fog: the perfect place to enjoy peace and quiet, if only we could live in one. The following photos at least allow us to daydream. We’ve collected ten of the coolest and remotest lighthouses in the world, for your reclusive pleasure.

Photo credit: Complex

The Dämman Lighthouse, situated off the coast of Sweden, is the height of reclusive luxury. With four bedrooms, three bars, a terrace, a mini-casino, and an awesome lagoon entryway, it’s a steal at just 19 million SEK.

Photo credit: VisitShetland

Among the many sea-battered lighthouses built by Thomas Stevenson — father of novelist Robert Louis Stevenson — lies the fantastically remote Muckle Flugga Lighthouse. The isolated rock stack sits at the northernmost point of Scotland’s Shetland Islands, offering just the sort of rugged setting that might inspire a young novelist’s adventure-filled fantasies.

Photo credit: Michael John Grist

The abandoned nuclear-powered Aniva lighthouse was originally built by Japan on a small rock off the coast of Sakhalin. The island was later annexed by Russia for use as a penal colony.

Image credit: Spaceweather

The Vattarnes Lighthouse guards the remote Icelandic fjord of Reyðarfjörður on the easternmost edge of the island. Its bright orange color is difficult to miss in the vast, otherworldly expanse of laval fields and aurora-filled skies.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Cape Saunders lighthouse is perched atop the dramatic cliffs of southeastern New Zealand. From what we can gather, this far-flung corner of the world is populated only by hobbits and novelty folk-comedy duos.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Kjeungskjaer sits on a rock off the Norwegian coast, just to the northwest of the small town of Uthaug. Accessible only by boat, Kjeungskjaer is one of the loveliest, and loneliest, lighthouses in Norway.

Image credit: Detroit News

The Great Lakes region may not sound all that remote, but there’s a reason why the Whitefish Point lighthouse also houses the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. Jutting out into Lake Superior from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Whitefish Point is an isolated stretch in a Midwestern wilderness.

Photo credit: The Lighthouse Directory

On a thin island set in the mouth of one of Svalbard’s icy fjords is the Akseløya lighthouse. The nearest trace of civilization here is a town called Longyearbyen, and your best bet for company is probably a polar bear. That’s about as desolate as they come.

Photo credit: The Lighthouse Directory

Though not technically a lighthouse, the Earhart Light was a navigational beacon set up on Howland Island, an uninhabited atoll in the Pacific, and was meant to guide Amelia Earhart’s famous flight around the world. Howland Island was the refueling destination that Earhart never reached, lending the now crumbling beacon a rather eerie quality.

Photo credit: FIPCA

San Juan de Salvamento, more popularly known as the Lighthouse at the End of the World, famously inspired the Jules Verne novel of the same name. Located 18 miles off the southernmost tip of Tierra del Fuego on the Isla de los Estados, this probably wins as the remotest lighthouse ever solely by virtue of its epithet.