The beautiful stone lighthouses of Attica
With an otherworldly charm that fascinates, Attica’s stone lighthouses are points of reference not only for seafarers but also for visitors who have the chance to marvel at these stunning monuments. They dominate the coasts, offering breathtaking views, and yet they are “marine creatures”, solely aiming to communicate with the open sea.
Being a country with long maritime tradition, Greece features one of the greatest lighthouse networks in the world. In Attica you will marvel at some of the most beautiful stone lighthouses of the country, monuments of cultural heritage and architecture.
In Vryssaki, Lavrio you will find the southernmost lighthouse of Attica’s mainland, which has been in operation since 1892. It is 7 metres high and was powered with oil until 1983, when it was electrified. It consists of a stone tower, square on the outside and round on the inside, with an adjacent ground-floor keeper’s residence.
“Fonias” Lighthouse in Sounio was constructed in 1889 and was completely destroyed by the German army during World War II. It was 9 metres high, with a focal height of 15 metres. Today, only ruins of the old stone lighthouse remain at the site, which is accessible through Lavrio. Today, a cast-iron lighthouse stands near the remains of its predecessor.
Konhi, one of the most beautiful beaches in Salamina, lies hidden under the stone lighthouse that dominates the area. The lighthouse has a focal height of 34 metres and was built in 1901. It is located in Peristeria area, at the southernmost edge of the island, and has been listed as “Protected Modern Monument”.
The Lighthouse in Aegina is located in Livadi area, at Cape Plakakia, one of the most beautiful parts of the island. Next to the lighthouse you will see the small church of Agioi Apostoloi. The stone-built tower of the lighthouse was constructed in 1881 and is 9 metres high. The views of the open blue sea and the neighbouring Agistri island are breathtaking!
Dana Lighthouse dominates the entrance of Poros bay and is one of the most stunning stone, square lighthouses in Greece. It was constructed in 1870, while today’s renovated building has been declared “Protected Modern Monument”. A beautiful 15-minute route through a path that starts in Gerolimenas will bring you to the lighthouse.
Among the first stone-built lighthouses that operated in Greece after the country’s liberation, Spetses Lighthouse is a unique example due to its position in an inhabited area, at the Old Harbour of Spetses. It first operated in 1837, while today’s stone lighthouse and the keeper’s residence were first used in 1885.
Dokos is a small islet in the Saronic Gulf, a stone’s throw away from Hydra. Historically, it was a strategic point of interest, since it allowed control of maritime transport in the region, and served as safe winter anchorage for Hydra’s fleet during the 1821 Greek War of Independence. Dokos Lighthouse was constructed in 1923 and with a focal height of 23 metres it dominates the islet.
At the rocky northeast end of Hydra, a path connects Zourva Monastery with the namesake lighthouse. The tower of Zourva Lighthouse is 10 metres high, it was built in 1883 and was destroyed by the Germans in World War II. It was re-built in 1946 and up until 1986 it operated with oil.
At the southernmost edge of Antikythera, at Cape Apolytares, one of Greece’s biggest oil lighthouses was built in 1926. The lighthouse is accessible by boat, from the island’s harbour, Potamos. It is housed in a stone, round tower that is 23 metres high, with an adjacent keeper’s residence.
The Lighthouse in Kaspali, Kythera imposingly stands at the top of the hill, east of the picturesque harbour of the island. It first operated in 1853 and its tower is 6 metres high.
Kythera also hosts one of the biggest lighthouses in Greece, the Moudari Lighthouse. The cylindrical lighthouse was constructed in 1901 and is 25 metres high, while its focal height is 110 metres. It is located in Cape Spathi, at the northernmost end of the island, over Agios Nikolaos beach. Hike the last 400 metres before you reach the lighthouse and enjoy the truly majestic view of the endless sea from the stone-built low wall around the lighthouse. Best time to visit the site is right before sunset, when the scenery and colours are absolutely stunning!
An ideal opportunity to visit the wonderful lighthouses of Attica is the International Lighthouse Day that is celebrated every year, on the third Sunday of August. Several lighthouses in Attica, such as Moudari Lighthouse in Kythera and Vryssaki Lighthouse in Lavrio, remain open for the public from morning until evening. Join in the events that are organised every year, learn about the significant role of lighthouses for maritime safety and marvel at the beautiful traditional monuments with the extraordinary architecture that stand at the edge of land and offer unhindered view of the endless sea.