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47 Lighthouses to discover in Portugal

They are limit places, stages of countless legends, protagonists of metaphors, poetry and present in the cinematographic imagination. Lighthouses are a guiding light, and Portugal is full of them.


With an extensive coastline of 943 kilometers in mainland Portugal, 667 kilometers in the Azores and 250 kilometers in Madeira, it is no wonder that our country has a remarkable maritime history .

The Portuguese navigators threw themselves out to sea and set out in search of distant lands, but always with the hope of finding their way back home.


That's why lighthouses played a fundamental role in the history of Portugal and are still national monuments that arouse much interest today.


Cabo de São Vicente Lighthouse. By Rui Gloria


According to the Portuguese Maritime Authority , in Portugal there are 30 lighthouses on the mainland, 16 in the Azores and 7 in Madeira, constituting a priceless heritage that began around the 16th century.


We have selected some lighthouses that you can visit in Portugal , each with its own light, a unique view and many stories to tell.


Lighthouse of Cabo de Santa Maria. By Manjeet Bawa


The Cabo de Santa Maria Lighthouse dates back to 1851. This lighthouse was the first in Portugal to receive a second-order Fresnel lenticular apparatus with a focal length of 700mm, which allowed white light to reach 15 miles, installed in the high of a cylindrical tower of 35 meters. In 1922, the tower was increased by 12 meters, now measuring 47 meters.


Leça Lighthouse. By Victor Oliveira

Also known as Boa Nova Lighthouse, this lighthouse has the shape of a white conical tower, in reinforced concrete, with narrow black strips and outbuildings. It is located between the bars of the rivers Ave and Douro, about two kilometers north of the mouth of the river Leça where the Port of Leixões is located.


In the annex building there is a small museum, which you can also visit, with an exhibition of pieces and mechanisms related to the theme of lighthouses. In the outer enclosure, there is still the column and lantern of the old Farolim das Sobreiras.


Located on Barra beach in Gafanha da Nazaré, Farol da Barra is the largest lighthouse in Portugal.

At the time of its construction, between the years 1885 and 1893, it was the sixth largest in the world in stone masonry, and currently remains the second largest in the Iberian Peninsula, being included in the 26 largest in the world .