As you know, Croatia is a country with a beautiful coastline. The same coastline, known for many stunning beaches, which attract thousands of tourists today, was not that easily approachable before modern technology kicked in. More than 100 lighthouses are spread all over the country´s coast, some of them still doing what they do best – navigate incoming and outgoing ships and making sure everybody gets to their destination safe. Most of the lighthouses were built in the 19th century, either on the mainland or on tiny islands, but what they all have in common is guaranteed privacy while surrounded by beautiful nature and, of course, the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic sea. Some of the lighthouses have a completely new function and are being used as a unique accommodation possibility.
There are 9 lighthouses in Istria
, spreading from the northwest coast towards the south end of the peninsula and at the eastern coast of Istria. Some of the lighthouses you can even book for your vacation through our agency, make sure to check them out (Lighthouse Marlera, Lighthouse Verudica and Lighthouse Crna Punta
1. Lighthouse Savudrija
Savudrija Lighthouse (also known as the Cape Savudrija lighthouse) is the oldest operating lighthouse on the Adriatic coast. It´s located on the northern part of the Istrian peninsula, not far away from the Slovenian border and at the southern end of the Gulf of Trieste. The lighthouse, made from local stone, was completed in 1818 and designed by the architect Pietro Nobile. There is a romantic (some would say tragic) legend surrounding this charming lighthouse: allegedly count Metternich built it as a home for him and his beautiful companion, a Croatian lady of noble descent, but on the same day the lighthouse was built, the lady got ill and died so they never had the chance to enjoy it together.
2. The lighthouse of Cape Tooth
This lovely lighthouse was built in 1872 on the Lanterna peninsula, on the western coast of Istria.
The lighthouse is located only 10 meters from the sea and surrounded by beautiful greenery. Around it you will find a couple of well-kept beaches, suitable for all ages. As you may have noticed, the lighthouse has an unusual name. According to the legend, the wife of a local fisherman was sitting on a rock near the lighthouse for 3 days, waiting for her old husband who was at sea. The weather conditions were not good, and everyone thought that he was killed, but when he came back, she turned young again with perfect teeth.
3. The lighthouse of St. Nicholas
Built on the largest and most beautiful of the Porec islands, the lighthouse of St. Nicholas dating back to 1403 is the oldest lighthouse on the Adriatic – now no longer in use. This island (just a short boat drive from Porec) was used as a quarantine area in the 17th century, during the plague epidemic, which proves that it really is very secluded and private. The decision about building the lighthouse was made by the Venetians and at the time it was the highest lighthouse on the east side of the Adriatic (15 m). The first lighthouse keepers were the Benedictines that lit a fire on the top of the lighthouse every night in order to help navigate ships towards Porec.
4. The lighthouse of St. John’s cliff
Also known as Lighthouse Sv. Ivan, this stone attraction was built on the most distant islet of the Rovinj archipelago in 1853. The islet is a 70x50 m rock, relatively easily accessible through shallow waters. The lighthouse has a 23m tower providing stunning views and it still has a lighthouse keeper. The story tells us that a venetian duke was sailing through these waters during bad weather conditions when they spotted the cliffs of St. John and changed their course. The duke wowed that he would light a candle to St. John as a sign of appreciation, however, he forgot about his promise and went back home. He remembered it a couple of months later, when he was sailing again. Unfortunately, his ship and all of his crew were thrown onto the cliffs leaving no one behind.
5. The lighthouse of Cape Peneda
Built in 1877 on the southern part of the Veliki Brijun island, this lighthouse consists of a tower and a separate building. It was motorized a long time ago so there are no lighthouse keepers at Peneda lighthouse. The lighthouse (also known as Pineda) is easily approachable by a 4 km long road from Brijuni harbor. Today, lighthouse Pedena is a part of the Brijuni National Park. The interesting thing about this lighthouse is that it used to be the home of a weather station.
6. The lighthouse of Cape Verudica
This beautiful lighthouse was built in 1877, just a couple of steps from the sea. It is harmoniously set among pine trees and Mediterranean plants. The lighthouse is, just like every lighthouse, on a private location. However, it is located in the heart of the Verudela resort which means that you can find all the necessary facilities not too far away. According to the stories, Verudica lighthouse stands on the same ground where emperor Vespasian threw a great amount of coins to break the curse of the Amphitheatre builders he “forgot” to pay. Some say that the characters of these legends can be seen even today, roaming the grounds.
7. The lighthouse of Porer cliff
As the name says, the Porer lighthouse was built on a cliff, with absolutely no flora in sight. The lighthouse was built in 1833, designed by the architect M. Pertsch. Earlier there was only a wooden building, which burned down in 1839. When the lighthouse Porer was first built (from stone), it had a crew of 4 lighthouse keepers. Today, there are 2 lighthouse keepers taking care of the lighthouse. They live there for 2 weeks each, enjoying the serenity this tiny islet guarantees. The islet is so small that it only takes you a minute or two to get from one side to another. Nevertheless, the sunsets here are considered to be the most beautiful ones on the Adriatic (the main competition is probably Rovinj).
8. The lighthouse of Cape Marlera
Located near Liznjan, at the south-eastern top of the Istrian peninsula, lighthouse Marlera was built in 1875 by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It consists of a separate light tower and ground floor building. Due to strong sea currents and winter winds, the lighthouse was built in the vicinity of several islets and rocks in order to ensure safe navigation. From 1883 until 1970 there were lighthouse keepers making sure that everything was working properly. In 2011, the lighthouse was renovated and today it´s one of the most unique destinations for travelers in Croatia.
9. The lighthouse of Cape Crna Punta
Named after the cape it stands on, the lighthouse was built in 1873. It´s carved into the cliffs overlooking the sea. There are 2 ways to get to the lighthouse: either by boat or via a steep road. The lighthouse consists of a separate tower and a 2 floor-building. Due to its location, the lighthouse has its own water tank providing water. Lighthouse Crna Punta is a truly unique one, just look at the pictures and you will fall in love with it immediately! The legend says that treasure seekers discovered mysterious underwater corridors while looking for hidden gold here – unfortunately, no gold was ever found but the question about strange corridors remains unanswered.