Croatia, with its sprawling coastline along the Adriatic Sea, is home to some of the world's most enchanting lighthouses. These towering structures, often perched on isolated islands or rugged cliffs, have guided sailors for centuries. They not only serve as beacons for mariners but also as windows into Croatia's rich maritime history.
The Legacy of Croatian Lighthouses
The Adriatic coast has seen the rise of over 100 lighthouses, each with its unique story and architectural marvel. While some have stood the test of time, others have been renovated to accommodate modern amenities. Today, many of these lighthouses offer a unique blend of historical charm and contemporary luxury.
We have prepared for you the list of the 7 most majestic Croatian Lighthouses, most of which are also available for rent!
Struga Lighthouse: The Coral Guardian
Situated on Lastovo, in the middle of the southern side of the island, Struga guides sailors who enter the bay of Skrivena Luka. The lighthouse was built in 1839, at the height of 70 m, on the edge of a cliff and it offers an indeed splendid view.
On the northern side of the cape, pine trees hide beaches and secluded bays, while the city of Lastovo is 10 km away. As many islands in the Dubrovnik region, Lastovo and its untouched nature offer a lot to be explored.
This location is known as the one where the largest coral tree of the Adriatic was pulled out, so this would be a good spot to go snorkelling!
Veli Rat: The Towering Beacon
One of the most recognizable lighthouses is the Veli Rat on the island of Dugi Otok (Zadar region). The „tower“ of the lighthouse emerges suddenly from the dense pine forest which covers the island. It's 42 meters high which makes it the highest one in the Adriatic.
It was built in 1849, and the legend says that the walls were covered with thousands of egg whites to make them more resistant to wind and sea. In the yard, there is a small chapel of Saint Nicholas, saint patron of the sailors.
The proof that this lighthouse is indeed something special is the fact that it always had a lighthouse keeper and there has been a waiting list for the job!
Palagruža: The Island of Legends
Palagruža lighthouse was built in 1875 on the little island carrying the same name, placed in the middle of the Adriatic Sea, between Italian and Croatian coasts and it's technically a part of the Split region. It is the furthest Croatian island, only 1400 m long, 300 m wide and 90 m high and the best way to reach it is from Komiža on the island of Vis! On its highest point, the lighthouse was built. The building is impressive with its size and stone, made like that to show the power of the Austro-Hungarian empire, as it was the edge of the empire at the time and therefore the first thing to see when sailing up the coast.
The legend says that this is the island where Greek hero Diomedes was buried and some archaeological researches actually support that legend.
Sušac: The Island of Dualities
This lighthouse also carries the name of the island on which it is situated. It's surrounded by the endless open sea. The stone ground-floor house was built in 1878 on the highest point of the island (100m), upon a cliff. However, the island was well known even before, archaeological sites and remains confirm this.
The only inhabitants of Sušac are the lighthouse keepers and sometimes a shepherd who comes with his sheep due to the specific grass of the island. Imagine being a lighthouse keeper here!
Interesting note: on the north part of the island there is a seawater lake that can be reached from the sea by diving through a cave.
Host: The English Tribute
The lighthouse Host is probably one of the first things many visitors see when the ferry or yacht approaches the island of Vis. Situated just outside the town of Vis, this little island and it's lighthouse carry the name by English officer Sir William Host who participated in a battle nearby in 1811. In this battle between Englishman and Frenchman and Sir Host was, of course, the winner.
Prišnjak: The Gateway to Kornati
Prišnjak is a lighthouse built in 1886 on the islet of the same name which guides sailors entering the Murter archipelago. The islet itself is impressive to see because it's covered with a „stone lace“ - stone walls dividing it on small agricultural plots.
While in these waters do not miss a chance to also visit Kornati National Park, only 6 NM away!
Porer: The Challenge of the Istrian Coast
Porer lighthouse amazes everyone with its position on an islet of the same name. This stone beauty is situated 2,5 km from the coast of Istria and the small town of Premantura, and it's surrounded by the open sea. It was built in 1833, the construction must have been challenging in such rough weather and nature conditions!
The Modern Transformation: Lighthouses as Luxury Retreats
Many of Croatia's lighthouses have undergone transformations, turning them into luxury accommodations. These renovated structures offer a unique blend of history and modern comfort, allowing visitors to relive the past while enjoying contemporary amenities.
Croatia's lighthouses are more than just navigational aids. They are symbols of the nation's rich maritime heritage, standing as silent witnesses to the tales of sailors, storms, and time itself. Whether you're a history buff, a maritime enthusiast, or someone seeking a unique travel experience, the lighthouses of Croatia promise an unforgettable journey