Garðskagi, the tip of the toe on the Reykjanes peninsula, with its shores and lighthouses might not seem too much to write home about at first sight. And, in fact, this wonderful place has been kept secret by the locals for years and years. Whenever they need a change of scenery, a perfect place to relax, to have a picnic, a stroll along the beach, or to find much needed solitude, to cry – or even scream their head of, their destination is the Garðskagi lighthouses.
The old Garðskagi lighthouse
It may be strange to find two lighthouses standing side by side to guide the seafarers, one tall, one short. For decades, the shorter one, constructed in 1897 was regarded as one of the best lighthouses in Iceland because it stood low. Its beams were not disturbed by the mist quite common offshore in this area. But, gradually the majestic ocean forces corroded the cliff serving as its base and in the end it was deemed unsafe to enter.
The more recent Garðskagi lighthouse
The tall one was constructed in 1944 and some two decades later the old lighthouse‘s foundations were strengthened to give it a new role. It became a bird observatory – and no wonder, as the local birdlife is spectacular. The new lighthouse is a cylindrical concrete tower rising 28 meters high with a four-way facing rotation lens. The view from the top is breath-taking. Here is where you find the midnight sun in its purest form and during winter you can practically touch the northern lights.