The Most Scenic Lighthouses In Sardinia

There are many gorgeous lighthouses in Sardinia. You see, Sardinia is a land of sailors. The island has seen several civilizations come and go through its seas, since the beginning of time. It only comes naturally that, with this never-ending flow of ships and people, ensuring safe travels and docking was more of a must than an actual option.

Sardinia’s coasts are lined with lighthouses that, at some point in history, had a crucial role for the area’s inhabitants and visitors. Some of them are still active, some completely abandoned, and some can be visited but aren’t in use anymore. Many of the places where these lighthouses are built are extremely fascinating and offer breathtaking views of their surroundings.

Here’s a selection of the best and most important lighthouses in Sardinia.

Capo Sant'Elia

The Most Scenic Lighthouses In Sardinia

Capo Sant’Elia (Cagliari)

Built in 1850, Capo Sant’Elia is one of the oldest lighthouses in Sardinia. It watches over Calamosca Bay and can be reached with a short walk that starts near Calamosca beach and that will grant you a nice view of the Gulf of Cagliari, especially at sunset.

You can also visit the Fortino di Sant’Ignazio, a 17th century abandoned fort, during the same walk. You can’t visit the inside of the lighthouse, because it’s still used: it’s a very important beacon for both ships and airplanes venturing around the Gulf of Cagliari.

Cala Cipolla

Capo Spartivento (Chia)

This is a very special lighthouse. Located on the homonymous Cape, it has been renewed and transformed into a beautiful boutique hotel. Many try, every year, to book a room in this exclusive, beautiful building! The lighthouse can be reached via an easy trail that connects it to Cala Cipolla beach.

Even if you can’t stay at the hotel, you should totally check out the lighthouse. The views from it are magnificent – and even the views of the lighthouse from Cala Cipolla beach are worth of a photo or two.

Sunset in Carloforte

Capo Sandalo (Carloforte)

Located on San Pietro Island, Capo Sandalo Lighthouse is the most western lighthouse in Sardinia. The path to get there is a bit tough, but word is, the view is also one of the best on the island. Sunset from there is simply stunning!

The hill where the lighthouse is located stands 138 meters (452.7 feet) above sea level, and you can enter the building and climb it up to its top. Be sure to bring your camera! You can see a great portion of the Iglesias Gulf from up there. And if you don’t fancy walking all the way up the lighthouse, simply do as I did: take a snap of it from the road and then continue to the viewpoint along the coast.

lighthouses in Sardinia

Punta Mangiabarche (Calasetta)

One of the most famous lighthouses in Sardinia, the Faro Mangiabarche is found is on a rock nearby the homonymous beach, not far from Calasetta. Its name means “ship-devouring beach” and it is quite self-explanatory: the rocks hiding just above the water surface have sunk more ships than they have had mercy of – even in recent years.

Although you can’t visit the lighthouse, it’s a place worth mentioning for its importance and role. Plus, the always troubled sea and the waves hitting the rocks are indeed picture-worthy – just looks at this video and you’ll get an idea of what I mean!

Capo San Marco

Capo San Marco (Cabras)

This lighthouse is the guardian of the Sinis peninsula. It guides the ships entering the Oristano Gulf. It can be reached with a nice walk (of about 30 to 45 minutes) along the Tharros Ruins and the lovely small San Giovanni di Sinis village. It’s a military lighthouse that is still active, so you can’t really go too close, but it’s worth a trip because you will be walking on a beautiful, history-filled trail. Plus the views are impressive.

Capo Caccia

Capo Caccia (Alghero)

Located on a cliff at about 25 km (15.5 miles) from Alghero and right above the beautiful Neptune’s Caves, Capo Caccia lighthouse is the second tallest lighthouse in Italy and the first in Sardinia. The building itself is 24 meters (78.7 feet) tall, but its strategic location on top of the cliff makes it stand at 186 meters (more than 610 feet) above sea level.

It’s still active and it is essential for all the marine traffic in the area. You can reach it with a panoramic road that will bring you all the way to the top: the view is considered one of the best in the Mediterranean sea, and the sunset from there simply out of this world.

Asinara

Punta Scorno (Asinara)

The lighthouse of Punta Scorno can be reached with via an incredible and challenging hiking trail on the Asinara island, where it is located. It was built in the 16th century and still stands, lighting up every night. The only sound you will hear there is that of the waves crashing on the rocks. The island itself is an incredibly peaceful place where it’s pleasant to spend a few days.

Porto Torres

The lighthouse in Porto Torres is not particularly pretty but it has an essential role in the marine activities of the island: in fact, it’s located in one of the areas with the highest concentration of ferry traffic in Sardinia. So, despite it not being a real tourist attraction, it deserved an honorable mention here.

Capo Testa

Capo Testa (Santa Teresa di Gallura)

Located right next to Santa Teresa di Gallura, this lighthouse is visible from both La Maddalena island and Corsica. It’s still active and very important, like many other lighthouses in Sardinia: the sea bottom in this part of the island, being quite rocky and dangerous, calls for a thorough system of illumination.

This is the main lighthouse for the Bocche di Bonifacio area, where countless ships have had unpleasant, often tragic, accidents because of the often rough sea conditions.

You can visit the lighthouse on an easy walk that starts from the parking lot in the area of Capo Testa. It’s also a great sunset spot!

Razzoli

Punta Razzoli (La Maddalena)

To see this lighthouse – or better, the two lighthouses – you will have to take a boat and leave it at the docking in Razzoli Island, one of the many small islands of the La Maddalena Archipelago.

You will have to walk a little bit: try to enjoy the peace and the sounds on this small island, away from almost everything. At some point, you will find two buildings: a bigger, abandoned building which is the old lighthouse, where the guardians (three families) used to live in the past centuries, and the new, smaller, and automated lighthouse. It is quite a sight indeed.

Lighthouses in Sardinia

Punta Sardegna (Palau)

Located nearby Porto Rafael in Palau and easily reachable by car, this lighthouse is now the headquarters for a marine observatory. Its position, on a promontory overlooking the La Maddalena Archipelago, is simply amazing: if you climb up the cliffs, you will have a breathtaking view of the surroundings. It’s a fantastic photo spot for sure.

Capo Ferro

Capo Ferro (Arzachena)

Located in Arzachena municipality, Capo Ferro is another one of the essential lighthouses guarding the Strait of Bonifacio. It can’t be visited inside (it’s a military property) but many use it as a viewpoint during the Costa Smeralda Yacht Club competitions.

The lighthouse is located in a nice and elevated area, so even if you can’t get too close to the actual building, there are plenty of cliffs that offer an excellent view over the sea and of the lighthouse itself.

Figarolo (Golfo Aranci)

The lighthouse is located on the small Figarolo islet, on a cliff at 139 meters (456 feet) above sea level, inside the Capo Figari Promontory. The whole place is a marine protected area (which also includes the islands of Tavolara and Molara, pictured above) and that makes the trip to the lighthouse a very interesting experience.

You can walk immersed in the wild Sardinian nature and, if you are lucky enough, spot (from afar, of course) some local wildlife. The best option is to book a guide and enjoy the trip to its fullest. Of course, the view, once you reach the top of the cliff, is stunning.

lighthouses in Sardinia
trolvag, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Capo Bellavista (Arbatax)

Located on a hill nearby Arbatax, at 156 meters (511.8 feet) above sea level, Capo Bellavista Lighthouse is considered one of the prettiest on the island. It was built as a watchtower during the Giuducati era and has later been turned into a lighthouse, which is still an essential beacon in the area. The nature around it and the view from up the cliff are well worth the little hike to get there.

Lighthouses in Sardinia

Isola dei Cavoli (Villasimius)

Located on the small Isola dei Cavoli island nearby Villasimius, the lighthouse is not open to visits but can be seen from afar if you approach the area via boat and you can even walk around it if your boat tour actually docks. The area is quite pretty – perfect for snorkeling! – and, if you can have a trip around there, you’ll definitely spend a good time and take great pictures.

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