Lighthouses of Spain: Western Andalusia

The Spanish region of Andalucía (Andalusia in English) is in the southern part of the country, including the coastal provinces of Huelva, Cádiz, Málaga, Granada, and Almería. 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 lighthouses of the Atlantic coast, often called the Costa de la Luz (Coast of Light). Lighthouses of the Mediterranean coast are on the Eastern 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, an agency of the national port authority, 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 D 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.
Online List of Lights - Atlantic Spain
Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Lighthouses in Spain
Excellent aerial photos posted by Marinas.com.
Leuchttürme.net - Andalucia
Photos posted by Malte Werning.
Lighthouses in Andalusia
Photos by various photographers available from Wikimedia.
World of Lighthouses - Spain
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Phares d'Europe
Photos posted by Alain Guyomard and Robert Carceller.
Navigation and Ships - Lighthouses
Photos by Fran García.
Leuchttürme Spaniens auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard images posted by Klaus Huelse.

Chipiona Light
Chipiona Light, Chipiona, September 2011
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo
by Richard Avery

Lighthouses of Cádiz

Tarifa (Campo de Gibraltar) Lighthouses
Note: The famous Strait of Gibraltar separates Europe from Africa and Spain from Morocco. The strait extends (on the European side) from Cape Trafalgar to Europa Point at the foot of the Rock of Gibraltar. The minimum width of the strait is 14.24 km (8.85 mi). The peninsula of Gibraltar itself is a British possession, long claimed by Spain; there's a separate page for its lighthouses. Between Gibraltar and Cádiz, all the lighthouses are operated and maintained by the Autoridad Portuaria de la Bahía de Algeciras.
Isla Verde
1864. Inactive since the 1980s. 9 m (30 ft) octagonal cylindrical stone tower rising from a 1-story keeper's house. A view from the harbor and a closeup of the light tower are available, and Bing has a satellite view. The lighthouse was built on an island, but the island has disappeared within an extensive area of fill extending the Algeciras waterfront. Located on the Calle Gaitan Ayala in the commercial port area of Algeciras. Site and tower closed; the available photos were all taken from a distance. ex-Admiralty D2422.
* Punta Carnero (Bahía de Algeciras)
1874 (Jaime Font). Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); four flashes every 20 s, white or red depending on direction. 19 m (62 ft) round cut stone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story keeper's house. Tower is unpainted, lantern gray metallic. Fog siren (Morse code "K": long-short-long, every 30 s). Manželé Ebrovi's photo is at right, Werning has a lovely photo, Trabas has a closeup, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. The semicircular Bahía de Algeciras lies to the west of the Rock of Gibraltar; this lighthouse stands at the western entrance to the bay, directly opposite the Rock. The lighthouse is similar to the Faro de Chipiona, also designed by Jaime Font. Located on Punta Carnero, about 10 km (6 mi) south of Algeciras on provincial highway CA-223. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-203; ES-20110; Admiralty D2420; NGA 4128.
Tarifa
Late 1700s (partially rebuilt in 1854). Active; focal plane 41 m (135 ft); three flashes every 10 s, white or red depending on direction. 33 m (108 ft) round cut stone tower with lantern and gallery; entire lighthouse painted white. Fog siren (three 5s blasts every 60 s). Trabas has a closeup photo by Hans-Albert Liebetrau, Werning also has a photo, Antonio Guerra has another good photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Bing has a satellite view. This is Spain's southernmost lighthouse (excluding the lights of Spanish Morocco and the Canary Islands). It was raised in height in 1854, but the amount is unknown. Tarifa is at the western end of the narrow portion of the Strait of Gibraltar, about 25 km (15 mi) southwest of the Rock and only 14 km (9 mi) northeast of the Moroccan coastline. The lighthouse is on a small island just offshore from the town of Tarifa. The island is connected to the mainland by a causeway. Site and tower closed, but there are excellent views from shore. ARLHS SPA-148; ES-20080; Admiralty D2414; NGA 4116.
Punta Carnero Light
Punta Carnero Light, Algeciras
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Manželé Ebrovi
#Punta Paloma (1)
1899. Inactive, apparently since 2004, and subsequently demolished. 2-story octagonal masonry tower incorporated as part of a keeper's house; the light is shown through a square second-story window. The active light (focal plane 45 m (148 ft); white or red light, depending on direction, occulting once every 5 s) is on a 5 m (17 ft) square concrete pillar. Trabas has a closeup of the former lighthouse, and Google has a satellite view. The house was probably in very poor condition, having been unoccupied since the light was automated in 1973. Located on a promontory at the end of provincial road CA-222, about 10 km (6 mi) west of La Peña. Site and house closed (military reservation closed to the public). ARLHS SPA-248; ES-20070; Admiralty D2412; NGA 4112.
* Camarinal (Cabo de Gracia)
1989. Active; focal plane 75 m (246 ft); white light occulting twice every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) round stone tower converted into a lighthouse by adding a lantern mounted on 8 posts on the roof. The unpainted tower is a 16th century watchtower built of cut, fitted stone. Access is through a door midway in the tower, reached by a stairway that spirals up a post next to the tower. Trabas has an excellent closeup photo, Werning also has a fine photo, Wikimedia has a good photo, a 2009 photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on a high promontory near Camarinal, halfway between Barbate and Tarifa. Accessible by road. Site open, tower closed. ES-20065; Admiralty D2411.5; NGA 4110.

Barbate Lighthouses
* Barbate
1980. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); two flashes every 7 s, white or red depending on direction. 18 m (59 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower supporting an octagonal equipment room with the light mounted on the roof. Lighthouse painted white with red horizontal bands. Trabas has a good closeup, Werning has a photo, a 2008 photo is available, Wikimedia has a good photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located just off the waterfront in Barbate, a small port and beach resort about 8 km (5 mi) east of Cabo Trafalgar. Site open, tower closed. ES-20022; Admiralty D2408; NGA 4084.
* Barbate Contradique
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 8 m (26 ft); two green flashes every 7 s. 6 m (20 ft) round masonry tower, painted green. Trabas has a photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the east breakwater of Barbate. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ES-20050; Admiralty D2410; NGA 4092.
* Barbate Dique de Poniente (Barbate Breakwater)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 4 s. 6 m (20 ft) round conical stucco-clad masonry tower, painted red. Trabas has a photo. Google has a satellite view, but the tiny tower is hard to spot. Located at the end of the main breakwater of Barbate. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. ES-20030; Admiralty D2409; NGA 4088.
* Cabo Trafalgar
1862. Active; focal plane 51 m (167 ft); three white flashes in a 2+1 pattern every 15 s. 34 m (112 ft) round 8-ribbed tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story keeper's house. Entire lighthouse painted white. A photo is at right, Werning has a good photo, Trabas also has a closeup photo, and Google has a satellite view. The eight ribs were added to the lighthouse in 1926 to strengthen it to support a larger lantern structure. Trafalgar, located at the northwestern entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar, is famous as the location of Britain's decisive naval victory over France and Spain on 21 October 1805. The lighthouse is on the point of the cape, about 3 km (1.8 mi) south of Zahora. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-052; ES-20010(=10690); Admiralty D2406; NGA 4080.

Cabo Trafalgar Light, Barbate, March 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo by mikebert4

Conil de la Frontera Lighthouse
* Cabo Roche
1986. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); four white flashes every 24 s. 20 m (66 ft) square cylindrical stone watchtower, mounted on a pyramidal base, with lantern and gallery rising from the roof on four concrete pillars. Lighthouse painted a very light yellow; lantern is unpainted gray metallic. Trabas has a fine closeup, Werning has a good photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This lighthouse is a recent lighting of a late 16th century watchtower. Located at the point of the cape about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) south of the town of Cabo Roche. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-041; ES-10655; Admiralty D2405; NGA 4077.


Chiclana de la Frontera Lighthouses
Sancti Petri
1918. Active; focal plane 20 m (66 ft); white flash every 3 s. 16 m (52 ft) square cylindrical concrete watchtower, mounted on a pyramidal base, with lantern on the roof. Tower unpainted; lantern painted white. Trabas has a photo, Werning also has a photo, amateur radio operator WC6DX has posted a closeup photo, and Google has a satellite view. The Isla de Sancti Petri lies about 1.5 km (1 mi) off the coast at the mouth of the Río Iro. The lighthouse is built on the north side of a circular fortification. Located about 20 km (13 mi) south southwest of Cádiz. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. ARLHS SPA-065; ES-10630; Admiralty D2388; NGA 4060.

Cádiz City Lighthouses
Note: The Bahía de Cádiz is a large, partly sheltered harbor facing west on the open Atlantic; it has been an important Spanish port for centuries. These lighthouses are operated by the Autoridad Portuaria de la Bahía de Cádiz.
* Castillo de San Sebastián (Cádiz) (3)
1913 (station established about 1776). Active; focal plane 39 m (128 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 37 m (121 ft) octagonal skeletal tower with central cylinder, lantern, and gallery. Entire structure painted white. Fog horn (one long and one short blast every 20 s). A photo is at right, Werning has a photo, Trabas also has a photo by Hans-Albert Liebetrau, Huelse has a historic postcard image, and Bing has a satellite view.This is the only surviving lighthouse of this type in Spain. The Castillo de San Sebastián was built, starting in the early 17th century, on a small island commanding the approach to Cádiz; the island had earlier been the location of a monastery dedicated to San Sebastián. The island has been joined to the mainland by a kilometer-long jetty since the late 1800s. In 1898, the military commander of Cádiz ordered the second (1855) lighthouse, a 39 m (128 ft) stone tower, demolished for fear it would guide attacking U.S. ships during the Spanish-American War (in fact the U.S. made no attacks on the Spanish mainland). The current lighthouse serves as the landfall light for Cádiz. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-063; ES-10250; Admiralty D2362; NGA 3940.
* Cádiz Muelle Ciudad
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); white light, 3 s on, 2 s off. 25 m (82 ft) slender triangular skeletal tower with gallery. The gallery also carries floodlights to illuminate the pier. Trabas has a photo, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located at the base of the main quay of Cádiz. Site open, tower closed. ES-10330; Admiralty D2373; NGA 3980.
Faro de San Sebastián
Castillo de San Sebastián Light, Cádiz, October 2005
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by emijrp
Cádiz Approach Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); green light occulting once every 3 s. 21 m (69 ft) round cylindrical tower mounted on a round concrete pier supported by a massive pile. Trabas has a photo, and Bing has a satellite view. The front light is on a similar but much shirter tower. Located in the center of the Bahía de Cádiz, about 3.5 km (2.2 mi) northeast of the waterfront. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. ES-10267.1; Admiralty D2380.1.

El Puerto de Santa María Lighthouse
Note: El Puerto de Santa María, known locally as El Puerto, is a modern port on the Río Guadalete opposite Cádiz. Lighthouses of El Puerto and those of Rota are operated by the Autoridad Portuaria de la Bahía de Cádiz.
* Puerto Sherry
Date unknown. Active; focal plane approx. 23 m (75 ft); red light occulting once every 4 s. Approx. 23 m (75 ft) stucco-clad harbor control tower with lantern and gallery, painted a very light yellow. Werning has a great photo, Trabas has a good closeup by Hans-Albert Liebetrau, Wikimedia has a 2010 photo, and Google has a distant street view and a satellite view. Located at the end of the breakwater sheltering Puerto Sherry, a large yacht basin just west of the mouth of the Río Guadalete in El Puerto de Santa María. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: Puerto Sherry. ARLHS SPA-338; ES-10185; Admiralty D2382; NGA 4037.

Rota Lighthouses
Rota Naval Base Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 27 m (92 ft); white light occulting once every 3 s. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The front light is on a similar but shorter tower. Rota, at the northern entrance to the Bahía de Cádiz, is a major base for the Spanish Navy. Located on the base, near the harbor. Site and tower closed (military reservation). ES-10160; Admiralty D2359; NGA 3924.
* Rota (2)
1980 (station established 1910). Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); 28 m (92 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and double gallery. Lighthouse painted white with a single red band; lantern dome is unpainted metallic gray. Manuel Caballero's photo is at right, Werning has an excellent photo, Trabas also has a photo by Hans-Albert Liebetrau, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The lighthouse is located on the waterfront of the civilian port, at the end of the Avenida de San Juan de Puerto Rico. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-085; ES-10140; Admiralty D2355.2; NGA 3908.
* Rota (1)
1910. Inactive since 1980. Lantern mounted atop an archway at the front of the port. Manuel Caballero's photo is at right, Werning has a fine closeup, Trabas has a photo by Hans-Albert Liebetrau, and Google has a street view.

Chipiona Lighthouse
Note: This lighthouse and the lighthouses of Sanlúcar de Barrameda are located at the mouth of the Río Guadalquivir, on the western border of Cádiz province. The river leads to the major port of Sevilla (Seville), and the lighthouses are operated by the Autoridad Portuaria de Sevilla.
* Chipiona (Punta del Perro)
1867 (Jaime Font). Active; focal plane 69 m (226 ft); white flash every 10 s. 63 m (207 ft) round cut stone tower with lantern and gallery, mounted on a 4-story square stone base and rising from the front of a 2-story keeper's house. The lighthouse is unpainted; keeper's house painted white. Richard Avery's photo is at the top of this page, Chris Applegate has a photo, Trabas has a closeup, Werning has a good photo, the Aero Club de Sevilla has a fine aerial photo, Marinas.com also has aerial photos. Huelse has a historic postcard view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This lighthouse, the tallest in Spain, serves as the landfall light for Seville. Located on the Punta del Perro in Chipiona, about 6 km (4 mi) southwest of the Río Guadalquivir entrance. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-301; ES-09180; Admiralty D2351; NGA 3880.

Faros de Rota
Rota Lights (old and new), Rota, March 2010
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Manuel Caballero


Sanlúcar de Barrameda Lighthouses
* #Bonanza (New Canal) Range Front (2)
Date unknown. Replaced in 2012. This was a 22 m (72 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. The tower carried at the top a triangular slatted daymark painted red, and below it a rectangular daymark painted in a red and white checkerboard pattern. Trabas has a closeup photo of the old light, and Google has a satellite view. This is the entrance range for the Río Guadalquiver. Google has a street view of the new light (focal plane 29 m (95 ft); quick-flashing white light); it appears to be on a much shorter tower. Located on the Avenida de Huelva on the south side of Bonanza. Site open, tower closed. ES-09220; Admiralty D2348.5; NGA 3864.
* Bonanza (New Canal) Range Rear (3)
2012. Active; focal plane 62 m (203 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 30 m (98 ft) square cylindrical skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. The tower carries at the top a square slatted daymark painted yellow. Google has a distant street view of the new light. Trabas has a closeup photo, and Google has a satellite view of the location. Located on a hilltop off the Camino de Sevilla on the west side of Bonanza. Site open, tower closed. ES-09221; Admiralty D2348.51; NGA 3868.
* Bonanza (Range Front (1))
1865. Active (apparently reactivated in 2008); focal plane 22 m (72 ft); white flash every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) octagonal brick tower on a square base. Tower is unpainted red brick; lantern painted white. Werning's photo is at right, Trabas has a good photo, Javier Gordillo has a 2011 photo, a closeup is available, and Huelse has a historic postcard view. Google has a street view, but the tower is mysteriously hidden in the satellite view. From 1897 to 1982 this lighthouse was the front light of a range for ships entering the Río Guadalquivir. According to Falcón, the range was deactivated in 1982, replaced by buoys along the channel. However, the light is listed currently by the port authority as active; either it remained in service without the rear light or it has been reactivated. Located at the south end of the commercial dock area in Bonanza, on the east bank of the Guadalquivir at the first bend in the estuary about 4 km (2.4 mi) northeast of Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-073; ES-09400; Admiralty D2346.
* San Jerónimo (Bonanza Range Rear (1))
1897. Inactive since 1982. 24 m (79 ft) round cylindrical brick tower with gallery; lantern removed. The tower is unpainted red brick. Werning has a good photo, another photo is available, Google has a distant street view, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the Camino Colorado 800 m (1/2 mi) northeast of the Faro de Bonanza. Site open, tower closed. Site manager: unknown. ARLHS SPA-340.

Bonanza Light, Bonanza
photo copyright Malte Werning; used by permission

Lighthouses of Huelva

Note: Huelva, the westernmost province of Andalucía, faces the Atlantic next to Portugal's Algarve coastline. Lighthouses in Huelva are maintained and operated by the Autoridad Portuaria de Huelva.
Almonte Lighthouse
* La Higuera (Matalascañas)
Early 1990s. Active; focal plane 47 m (154 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 24 m (79 ft) triangular cylindrical concrete tower with lantern. The tower is white concrete with a single red horizontal band near the top; lantern painted white. Trabas has a photo, Wikimedia has photos, another photo is available, Google has a distant street view, and Bing has a satellite view. The architects of this modern lighthouse, Ismael Guarner and José Fernández, were inspired by the monolith in the film 2001. Located behind the beach at Matalascañas, about 35 km (22 mi) southeast of Mazagón. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-174; ES-09175; Admiralty D2345; NGA 3863.

Palos de la Frontera Lighthouses
* Padre Santo (Río Odiel Leading Light)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 61 m (200 ft); white, red or green light depending on direction (a continuous white light is shown on the proper line of approach; occulting, continuous, or flashing red or green lights are shown to the sides). 15 m (49 ft) round cylindrical dumbbell-shaped tower, painted white. Trabas has a closeup photo, and Google has a satellite view. According to Findlay's 1879 list, a pair of range lights were established near here in 1861. Located on a bluff off the end of the Calle de los Reyes Católicos on the west side of Mazagón. Site open, tower closed. ES-08722; Admiralty D2324.05; NGA 3845.
* Punta del Picacho (Mazagón)
1884. Active; focal plane 52 m (171 ft); six white flashes, in a 2+4 pattern, every 30s s. 25 m (82 ft) octagonal cylindrical cut stone tower with lantern and double gallery, rising from the front of a 1-story keeper's house. 3rd order Fresnel lens (1899) in use. Lighthouse painted white with unpainted buff-colored brick trim; lantern dome is unpainted metallic gray. Marc Ryckaert's photo is at right, Wikimedia has several more of his photos, Trabas has a great photo, Pedro Abad has a photo taken from the riverbank, Google has a street view, and Bing has a satellite view. This historic light station is the traditional landfall light for the port of Huelva. Located on the Avenida del Mar in Mazagón, on the east side of the entrance to the Río Odiel. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-185; ES-08700; Admiralty D2320; NGA 3844.
Faro de Mazagón
Mazagón Light, Mazagón, April 2007
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Marc Ryckaert

Punta Umbría Lighthouse
* Río Odiel (Dique Juan Carlos I)
1983. Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); four white flashes, in a 3+1 pattern, every 20 s. 26 m (89 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and double gallery. Lighthouse painted white with a single red band below the galleries; lantern dome is unpainted metallic gray. Trabas has a photo, another photo is available, Guyomard and Carceller have a very distant view, and Google has a distant satellite view. The lighthouse marks the entrance to the Río Odiel and the port of Huelva. The west breakwater, now called the Dique Juan Carlos I, curves southeastward for several miles, extending the natural sandspit of Punta Umbría. The road along the spit and breakwater is apparently open to the public. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-099; ES-08710; Admiralty D2321; NGA 3861.

Cartaya Lighthouses
* El Rompido (1)
1861. Inactive since 1976. Approx. 10 m (33 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, attached to a 1-story keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white; lantern dome is unpainted metallic gray. Tomas Fano's photo is at right, García has a good photo, and Trabas also has a photo. The lantern appears to be in poor condition. The light station was built on the west side of the entrance to the Río Piedras and the harbor of El Rompido in Cartaya. Since 1861, Flecha de El Rompido, the barrier sandspit that protects the lower course of the river, has extended itself 8 km (5 mi) to the east, putting the lighthouse that far to the west of the river's mouth. Located on the waterfront of El Rompido. Site open, tower closed.
* El Rompido (2)
1976 (station established 1861). Active; focal plane 43 m (141 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 29 m (95 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and double gallery. Lighthouse painted white with a single red band below the galleries; lantern dome is unpainted metallic gray. Tomas Fano's photo is at right, Fran García has a good photo, Trabas also has a photo, Wikimedia has photos, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The lighthouse was formerly painted with black and white horizontal bands and is still described that way by NGA; faded bands can be seen some older photos. It seems odd that this lighthouse now has the same daymark as the nearby Río Odiel lighthouse. Located behind the historic lighthouse. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS SPA-271; ES-08570; Admiralty D2312; NGA 3828.
Faros del Rompido
El Rompido Lights (old and new), El Rompido, October 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Tomas Fano

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: East: Eastern Andalusia | South: Gibraltar | West: Southern Portugal

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Posted February 1, 2006. Checked and revised December 17, 2013. Lighthouses: 29. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.