Lighthouses of Spain: Eastern Andalusia

The Spanish region of Andalucía (Andalusia in English) is in the southern part of the country, including the coastal provinces of Almería, Granada, Málaga, Cádiz, and Huelva. The western third of the coast faces southwest on the Atlantic, west of Gibraltar, while the eastern two thirds faces southeast on the Mediterranean. This page includes the lighthouses of the Mediterranean coast, east of Gibraltar; lighthouses of the Atlantic coast are on the Western Andalusia page.

The word for a lighthouse is faro in Spanish, but its use is generally restricted to the larger coastal light stations. Smaller lighthouses are called balizas (beacons). The navigational lights in Spain are regulated at the national level by the Comisíon de Faros, but they are operated and maintained by the regional port authorities, one or more in most provinces.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. ES numbers are from the Spanish national list of lights, Libro de Faros. Admiralty numbers are from volume E of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 113.

General Sources
Libro de Faros y Señales de Niebla
Online edition of the official Spanish light list.
Historia de los Faros
Fact sheets on the major lighthouses, with historical information, posted by the national port authority Puertos de España.
Online List of Lights - Spain East Coast
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Lighthouses in Spain
Excellent aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
Phares d'Europe
Photos posted by Alain Guyomard and Robert Carceller.
Navigation and Ships - Lighthouses
Photos by Fran García.
Leuchttürme in Spanien am Mittelmeer
Photos posted by Bernd Claußen.
Lighthouses in Andalusia
Photos available from Wikimedia.
Spanische Leuchttürme auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.

 

Cabo de Gata Light
Cabo de Gata Light, Almería, April 2007
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Jesús Rubio García

Lighthouses of Almería

Note: These lighthouses are operated and maintained by the Autoridad Portuaria de Almería.
Levante Almeriense (Eastern Almería) Lighthouses
** Garrucha
1881. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); white light occulting four times every 13 s. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a square 1-story stone keeper's house. Building painted white; the lantern is gray metallic. A photo is at right, Trabas also has a photo, Carlos Cuerda has a photo, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Built to replace the 1863 Villaricos light, this harbor lighthouse has remained in service even though it is dwarfed now by modern development. The building houses the port captain's office. Located on the waterfront of Garrucha, near the south end of town. Site open, building probably open during business hours, tower status unknown. ARLHS SPA-078; ES-22800; Admiralty E0110; NGA 4512.
* Mesa Roldán
1863 (Antonio Molina). Active; focal plane 222 m (728 ft); four white flashes every 20 s. 18 m (59 ft) octagonal tower with lantern and double gallery, attached to a 1-story keeper's house. 3rd order Fresnel lens in use. Buildings painted white with ocher trim; the lantern is painted gray metallic. Trabas has a closeup photo, Carlos Olmo Bosco has a 2008 photo, Juan Sánchez has a panoramic view, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. The light at Punta de la Polacra is higher, but this historic lighthouse has a much greater range of 43 km (27 mi). Mesa Roldán is an extinct volcanic dome. Located at the summit of the dome about 8 km (5 mi) south of Carboneras. Accessible by a twisting mountain road (4WD recommended). Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata. ARLHS SPA-178; ES-22700; Admiralty E0108; NGA 4496.

Almería Metropolitan Area Lighthouses
* Punta de la Polacra
1991. Active; focal plane 281 m (922 ft); three white flashes every 14 s. 14 m (56 ft) round strongly conical stone watchtower, converted to a lighthouse by addition of a light on a short mast at the top. The tower is unpainted gray stone. Trabas has a photo, Carlos Olmo Bosco has a 2008 photo, and Bing has a satellite view. This watchtower is comparatively recent, having been built in 1767. It has become the highest lighthouse in Spain and is said to be the highest of the Mediterranean. Located atop a peak called Cerro de los Lobos, about 25 km (15 mi) northeast of Cabo de Gata. Accessible by a steep mountain road; parking available. Site status unknown. Site manager: Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata. ARLHS SPA-213; ES-22662; Admiralty E0107.7; NGA 4495.

Garrucha Light, Garrucha, August 2005
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Sofía
* Cabo de Gata
1863 (Antonio Molina). Active; focal plane 55 m (180 ft); flash every 4 s, white or red depending on direction. 19 m (62 ft) round stone tower with lantern and double gallery, attached to a 1-story keeper's house. Buildings painted white with ocher trim; lantern is unpainted gray metallic. Fog horn (Morse code "G": two longs and one short, every 40 s). A photo by Jesús Rubio García is at the top of this page, Hector García has a photo, Wikimedia has Pablo Forcén Soler's distant view, Trabas has a rare closeup by Ian Wright, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This historic and famous lighthouse marks the extreme southeastern corner of Spain, a location that has been the site of countless shipwrecks since the time of the Phoeniceans. The light station was built on the ruins of the 1737 Fuerte de San Francisco de Paula. During World War I German submarines sank so many ships off the cape that the British protested to Spain, believing that the lightkeepers must be tipping off the subs; an investigation proved they were not. The lighthouse was repaired after being damaged by an air raid during the Spanish Civil War in July 1937. The wild area surrounding the cape is now included in a national park. Located on the southernmost point of the cape. Accessible by road; parking provided. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata. ARLHS SPA-015; ES-22640; Admiralty E0106; NGA 4492.
Almería Dique de Poniente (Almería Breakwater) (3)
1925 (station established 1865). Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); red flash every 5 s. 12 m (39 ft) octagonal cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white, lantern and gallery red. An evening photo by Antonio Manuel Gallardo Vargas is at right, Trabas has a photo, Carlos Moreno has a fine 2007 closeup, and Google has a satellite view. The first lighthouse was made obsolete by extension of the breakwater; it was replaced with an unusual portable light (on a wheeled cart) in 1883. Located at the end of the breakwater, a long pier enclosing the harbor of Almería. Accessible by walking the breakwater. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-116; ES-22430; Admiralty E0096; NGA 4464.
Almería Breakwater Light
Twilight at the Dique de Poniente Light, Almería, October 2006
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Antonio Manuel Gallardo Vargas
* Almería (Castillo de San Telmo)
1976. Active; focal plane 77 m (253 ft) two white flashes every 12 s. 7 m (23 ft) square cylindrical tower with lantern built atop a watchtower of the Castillo de San Telmo. Trabas has a photo, a view from below is available, Wikimedia has a distant view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Lighthouse painted white with a black vertical stripe. The castle was built in the late 18th century. Located on heights on the west side of Almería, above Castell del Rey. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-064; ES-22360; Admiralty E0093; NGA 4452.

Poniente Almeriense (Western Almería) Lighthouses
*** Roquetas de Mar
1863. Inactive since 1942 (a decorative light is displayed). Approx. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical stone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to the front of a 1-story stone keeper's house. The buildings are unpainted; lantern painted white with a green dome. A photo is at right, Paco Herrera has a good photo, a nighttime photo is available, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The lighthouse was abandoned because of changes to the harbor, and because it was too short to show up well against the lights of the town. It was replaced by lights on the breakwaters. Recently the lighthouse has been restored and transferred to the city; it is in use as a gallery for art and photography exhibits. Located on the waterfront on the south side of the harbor of Roquetas de Mar. Site open, building open daily, tower status unknown. Owner/site manager: Ayuntamiento de Roquetas de Mar. ARLHS SPA-298; Admiralty E0092.
* Sabinal (Punta Sabinar) (3)
1926 (station established 1863). Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft) three white flashes, in a 1+2 pattern, every 10 s. 32 m (105 ft) round masonry tower with lantern and double gallery, attached to a 1-story keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white with ocher trim. Trabas has a good photo, Carlos Olmo Bosco has a 2008 photo, and Google has a good satellite view and a very distant street view. The first lighthouse, a 9 m (30 ft) tower built only 50 m (55 ft) from the sea, collapsed in the surf in 1915 and was replaced immediately by a temporary wooden tower. The new lighthouse was set back 400 m (1/4 mi) from the beach to save it from continuing erosion. Fighting during the Spanish Civil War heavily damaged the present lighthouse and destroyed its Fresnel lens in June 1937. Located in El Sabinal, an area of dunes and wetlands south of San Agustín, at the western entrance to the Golfo de Almería. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Reserva Natural Punta Entinas-Sabinar. ARLHS SPA-258; ES-22250; Admiralty E0090; NGA 4440.
Roquetas de Mar Light
Roquetas de Mar Light, Roquetas de Mar, September 2009
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by AquariaNR
* Punta de los Baños
1992. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); four white flashes every 11 s. Approx. 18 m (59 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower with the light displayed from a "shelf" projecting from the top of the tower. Trabas has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. This unusual modern lighthouse was designed by the architect Rafael Melida Poch. Located on a point of land at Guardias Viejas. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-291; ES-22140; Admiralty E0089.5; NGA 4430.
* Adra (2)
1899 (station established 1883). Inactive since 1986. 6 m (20 ft) round cylindrical stone tower attached to one corner of a 1-story stone keeper's house. Lantern removed. The buildings are unpainted. No photo available. The first Adra light, a 13 m (43 ft) hexagonal wooden tower, was built near the former mouth of the Río Adra; it was quickly threatened by erosion and collapsed during a storm in 1896. The light was then moved to a safer location about 3 km (2 mi) to the west. The lighthouse was repaired after being damaged during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. The building is now owned by the local police (Protección Civil). Site open, building closed.
* Adra (3)
1986. Active; focal plane 49 m (161 ft); three white flashes every 10.5 s. 26 m (85 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and double gallery. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. A good closeup is available, Trabas also has a good photo, Carlos Olmo Bosco has a 2008 photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located just off the old coastal road (highway N-340A) on the west side of Adra. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-068; ES-22050; Admiralty E0088; NGA 4424.

Isla de Alborán Lighthouse
Isla de Alborán
1876. Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); four white flashes every 20 s. 20 m (66 ft) round cylindrical stone tower with gallery and a small lantern, rising from the center of a 2-story keeper's house. Tower unpainted; watch room painted white, lantern red; house is buff with unpainted red-brown stone trim. A closeup photo is available, the Degree Confluence Project has a photo showing the view from the sea, and José Manuel Gonzalez has an aerial photo, but Google has only a fuzzy satellite view of the island. Alborán is a small, barren island 56 km (35 mi) north of the Cap des Trois Fourches, Morocco, and 90 km (56 mi) south of the Spanish mainland at Adra. Occupied by Spain in 1540 and attached administratively to the Spanish province of Almería, Alborán has always been uninhabited except for the lighthouse keepers. However, after Soviet fishing vessels landed on the island in 1960, the Spanish navy established a base there occupied by rotating crews. In 1997 the island was incorporated into a marine reserve, along with the surrounding waters. In 2003-04 the lighthouse was restored and converted to wind power; the original lantern was removed and replaced by the present small lantern. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Operator: Autoridad Portuaria de Málaga. ARLHS CEU-009; ES-22120; Admiralty E0086; NGA 22780.

Lighthouses of Granada

Note: Mostly an inland province, Granada has a relatively short coastline with no major ports. Its former port authority, the Autoridad Portuaria de Motril, has been merged into the Autoridad Portuaria de Almería, so it is that authority that now operates these lighthouses.
Costa Tropical Lighthouses
Punta del Melonar (Castell de Ferro, Torre de la Instancia)
1992. Active; focal plane 237 m (776 ft); three white flashes every 13 s. 12 m (39 ft) round strongly conical stone watchtower, converted to a lighthouse by addition of a lantern on a short cylindrical tower on the roof. Access to the light is by a bridge from a square service building adjacent to the lighthouse. Trabas has a photo, Carlos Olmo Bosco has a good 2008 photo, and Google has a satellite view. This, Spain's second highest light, is another historic watchtower renovated into a lighthouse. Located atop a sharp peak above the coast on the southwest side of Castell de Ferro; it is not clear if there is public access to this site. ARLHS SPA-060; ES-22020; Admiralty E0082; NGA 4422.
* Cabo Sacratif
1863 (Constantino Germán). Active; focal plane 98 m (322 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 17 m (56 ft) round masonry tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a 1-story keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white with gold trim; lantern is all glass, even the dome. Trabas has a good photo by Hans-Albert Liebetrau, José Luis Ramirez has a wintry evening closeup, Claußen has photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This lighthouse marks the southernmost point of the Granada coastline. Located just off the coastal highway E-15 on a high promontory, the Cerro del Chucho, about 9 km (5.5 mi) southeast of Motril. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-042; ES-22000; Admiralty E0080; NGA 4420.
* Punta de la Mona (La Herradura, Torre de los Berengueles)
1992. Active; focal plane 140 m (459 ft); white flash every 5 s. 14 m (46 ft) round strongly conical rubblestone watchtower, converted to a lighthouse by addition of a lantern on a short cylindrical tower on the roof. Access to the light is by an external stairway that winds around the tower. Thanks to Greg Beal for the photo at right; Trabas has a photo, Juan Rimores also has a good photo, and Google has a satellite view. This is one of the many historic watchtowers on Spain's south coast that have been converted in recent years to serve as lighthouses. In this case, the tower is the Torre de los Berengueles, which dates from the 18th century, replacing a medieval tower at the same location. An unsightly cellphone tower stands beside the lighthouse, but visitors can enjoy the spectacular view of the Mediterranean from an overlook at the base of the tower. An upscale residential area surrounds the tower. Located on a high, rocky promontory at Punta de la Mona, between the popular beaches of La Herradura and Almuñécar. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-289; ES-21890; Admiralty E0074.8; NGA 4411.

Torre de los Berengueles
photo copyright Greg Beal; used by permission

Lighthouses of Málaga

Note: The province of Málaga includes the famous resort area known as the Costa del Sol, its beaches backed by high mountains and facing south on the Mediterranean. Lighthouses in the province and operated and maintained by the Autoridad Portuaria de Málaga.
Axarquía Lighthouses
* Punta de Torrox
1864. Active; focal plane 29 m (95 ft); four white flashes every 15 s. 23 m (75 ft) round cut stone tower with lantern and double gallery, surrounded by a 1-story keeper's house. The lighthouse, painted entirely white, rises from the central courtyard of the circular house. Trabas has an excellent photo by Hans-Albert Liebetrau, Wikimedia has photos, another photo is available, and Google has a fine satellite view. The tower was heightened and the second gallery added in 1922. Located on a promontory above the beach at Torrox-Costa, 4 km (2.5 mi) south of Torrox. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-219; ES-21880; Admiralty E0074; NGA 4408.
* Torre del Mar (4)
1969 (station established 1864). Inactive since 1974. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) square cylindrical rubblestone tower; lantern removed. A 2008 photo is available. This station has a complex history. The original lighthouse, built at the mouth of the Río Vélez, collapsed in 1880 due to beach erosion both by the ocean and the river. It was replaced by a "temporary" wood tower, which served until an 11 m (36 ft) masonry replacement tower was finally built in 1930. By the late 1960s, rapid beachfront development had rendered that lighthouse useless, so this tower was built near the ocean beach as a stopgap measure. Located beside the modern lighthouse. Site open, tower closed.
* Torre del Mar (5)
1974 (station established 1864). Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); three white flashes, in a 1+2 pattern, every 10 s. 28 m (92 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and double gallery. Lighthouse painted with blue and white horizontal bands; lantern dome is gray metallic. Trabas has a photo by Hans-Albert Liebetrau, a 2008 photo is available, and Google has a 2014 street view and a satellite view. The lighthouse was refurbished in 2013 and painted in the blue and white colors of the flag of Málaga province. Located at the foot of the Avenida de Antonio Peré Peré on the waterfront of Torre del Mar, about 32 km (20 mi) east of Málaga and about 1.8 km (1.1 mi) east of the Río Vélez; Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-277; ES-21780; Admiralty E0072; NGA 4392.

Málaga City Lighthouses
* Málaga ("La Farola")
1817 (Joaquín M. Pery y Guzmán). Active; focal plane 38 m (125 ft); four white flashes, in a 3+1 pattern, every 20 s. 37 m (121 ft) robust round masonry tower with lantern and gallery, rising through the center of a 2-story keeper's house. 3rd order Chance Brothers Fresnel lens (1922). Entire lighthouse painted white. Daniel Capilla's 2012 photo is at right, Franz van Pelt has a 2011 photo, Trabas has a good photo by Egidio Ferrighi, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. One of the oldest and most historic lighthouses of Spain, this tower has lived an eventful life. The lighthouse was damaged by an earthquake in 1898 and not completely repaired until 1913. It was further damaged by artillery during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s; it had to be extensively repaired and refurbished in 1939. In recent years GPS and radar installations have been added. It is known affectionately as La Farola, a term usually used for much smaller light towers. Floodlit at night, it is a familiar symbol of the city's waterfront. Located on the Paseo de la Farola on the east side of the harbor of Málaga. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-302; ES-21550; Admiralty E0062; NGA 4360.
Málaga Light
Málaga Light, Málaga, December 2012
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Daniel Capilla
#Málaga Dique de Poniente Extremo (Málaga West Breakwater)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red flash every 5 s. This was a 7 m (23 ft) slender round masonry tower atop a 1-story masonry equipment room. Entire lighthouse is white. A photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. The light has been removed and the breakwater shortened. Located at the end of the old west breakwater of Málaga (the harbor has since been extended and there is another breakwater to the south). Site status unknown. ARLHS SPA-303; ES-21590; Admiralty E0066; NGA 4368.

Costa del Sol Occidental Lighthouses
* Calaburras (2)
1928 (station established 1863). Active; focal plane 46 m (151 ft); white flash every 5 s. 25 m (82 ft) round cut stone tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a circular equipment building. The tower is unpainted white stone. A photo is at right, Trabas has an excellent photo, Claußen has photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This lighthouse marks a major cape, where the trend of the coastline changes from east to north northeast. The location is quite conspicuous; part of the light station property was taken in 1999 in order to widen the A-7 coastal highway (the Autovia del Mediterráneo), which now runs very close to the lighthouse. The present lighthouse replaced a 13.5 m (45 ft) octagonal masonry tower. The lighthouse was formerly attached by a covered passageway to the original (1863) 1-story masonry keeper's house, as shown by a historic photo (bottom of the page). Located on the Punta das Calaburras about 4 km (2.5 mi) south of Fuengirola. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-198; ES-21280; Admiralty E0058; NGA 4320.
* Marbella (2)
1974 (station established 1864). Active; focal plane 35 m (115 ft); two whaite flashes every 14.5 s. 29 m (95 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and double gallery. 3rd order Barbier, Bernard & Turenne Fresnel lens in use. Entire lighthouse painted white. Wikimedia has a photo, Trabas also has a photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located just off the beach in Marbella. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-083; ES-21100; Admiralty E0056; NGA 4304.
* Punta de la Doncella (Estepona) (2)
1922 (station established 1863). Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); three white flashes in a 1+2 pattern every 15 s. 21 m (69 ft) octagonal stone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story masonry keeper's house. Original 3rd order Barbier, Bernard & Turenne Fresnel lens in use. The tower is unpainted and the lantern is all glass, including the dome. Trabas has a fine photo, a 2008 photo is available, Wikimedia has photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The original lighthouse, seen in Huelse's postcard view, was only 8.5 m (28 ft) tall. The keeper's house is the 1863 original, although it has been modified over the years. Located on the Avenida del Puerto just off the Avenida de España, the seaside boulevard, in Estepona. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-212; ES-20940; Admiralty E0020; NGA 4280.
Faro de Calaburras
Calaburras Light, Calaburras, April 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Landahlauts

Lighthouses of Eastern Cádiz

Campo de Gibraltar Lighthouse
* Punta Carbonera (Punta Mala)
1990 (Enrique Martínez Tercero). Active; focal plane 39 m (128 ft); white light occulting once every 4 s. 14 m (46 ft) round stucco-covered rubblestone tower with an aluminum lantern mounted off-center; an outside stairway winds around the tower to a door about halfway up. Lighthouse painted a pale yellow. Trabas has a closeup photo, another closeup and a distant view are available, and Bing has a satellite view. This is another historic watchtower converted into a lighthouse. Located on a bluff facing the Mediterranean about 15 km (9 mi) north of La Linea; Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-082; ES-20820; Admiralty E0012; NGA 4266.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

  • Gibralfaro, Málaga, is a mountain topped by a medieval castle built on the ruins of fortifications constructed by the Phoenicians, who founded Málaga in the 7th century BCE. Fires were lit on this height as beacons as early as Phoenician days.

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: East: Murcia and Valencia | Southwest: Gibraltar | West: Western Andalusia

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Posted February 1, 2006. Checked and revised June 7, 2014. Lighthouses: 24. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.