top of page

The Gavdos Lighthouse - the landmark of the southernmost island in Europe

The lighthouse on Gavdos - also known as Pharos - is one of the highest located lighthouses in Europe. A place full of history and magic, it offers breathtaking sunsets. A visit to the lighthouse is an essential part of a stay on Gavdos.

Gavdos Lighthouse
Gavdos Lighthouse

Pharos is located on the south side of the island, not far from the highest point. At over 360 meters, the lighthouse is one of the most elevated lighthouses in Europe. It no longer performs its actual function. Instead, the tower now serves as a landmark, museum and attraction on the island. Pharos is a place that has a lot to tell, has great historical significance and captivates visitors with its magic. The view to the south in particular leaves every visitor speechless. Not an inch of land rises from the endless Libyan Sea until you reach the Libyan coast 260 kilometers away. Let me tell you what the lighthouse on Gavdos has to offer.

#1 Pharos is a place with history


#1 Pharos is a place with history

It towers proudly - the lighthouse. It seems to guard the island like a rock in the surf. Just over 20 years ago, however, things looked very different. The lighthouse was rebuilt in 2003 as it appears today. Before that, the area resembled a landscape of ruins after Gavdos was not spared from German attacks during the Second World War. The island of Crete, 40 kilometers away, played an important strategic role for the Nazis, so major military operations were launched. Gavdos was one of them. Originally, "Pharos Gavdos" was built in 1880. The beacon, which was no longer in operation after reconstruction, was visible from over 40 nautical miles away and was therefore considered one of the most visible lights in the world. "Pharos Gavdos" therefore has a historical significance. Today, the tower is mainly used as a hiking and excursion destination.

#2 Unique sunsets at Pharos Gavdos

The full magic of this place unfolds especially in the evening hours. Here you will be able to experience one of the best sunsets you have ever seen. Almost the entire island can be seen from the plateau of the lighthouse. On the horizon, the island of Crete stretches along the horizon line. The white mountains of Crete "Lefka Ori", which are over 2000 meters high, are particularly impressive. The small sister island of Gavdopoula can also be clearly seen between Crete and Gavdos. In the midst of this fascinating scenery, the sun sinks into the endless Libyan Sea. Towards the south, a view of infinity opens up. You might imagine that you can see the coast of Libya. However, this is not mathematically possible. In summer, especially in July and August, the number of visitors is quite high. People usually sit together in a cozy atmosphere. People play music, sing and have a cold drink. However, when the sun sinks into the sea, it becomes very quiet for a moment. Personally, I have been to the lighthouse countless times and every single sunset amazes me anew. Another little tip: you don't have to stand directly at the lighthouse, but it's also worth walking a few minutes to the west. There are usually far fewer people there and more sensational views open up!

#3 The museum in the lighthouse and other activities at the lighthouse

During the summer months, the lighthouse keeper from Gavdos opens the doors of the building. Admission is free. On the first floor, pictures and drawings tell the story of the building. A steep and narrow staircase leads to the top in the middle - but the climb is well worth it. The ascent takes you directly into the tower's illuminated dome and onto a narrow balcony that leads around the entire tower. Once again, you can enjoy great views from there. Cold food and drinks can be purchased from the lighthouse keeper in the adjacent building. The sunset tastes even better with a cool beer! A visit to the lighthouse can also be easily combined with a hike to Potamos beach. From the beach, you walk back up to Ambelos and from there it takes about 15 minutes to reach the "Pharos". The tower can also be reached via the tarred road from Kastri or Vatsiana. The most beautiful hiking trail leads from Kastri through a beautiful pine forest to Ambelos. A scenically and historically special hiking tour on Gavdos. You can find all the information about this and many other hikes, including full route descriptions and background information, in my travel guide book to Gavdos ;).

Gavdos Lighthouse Museum
The lighthouse and the entrance to the museum

#4 How to get to the lighthouse on Gavdos?

As "Pharos Gavdos" is located directly on a more or less well-developed paved road, the landmark is very easy to reach by car. In the summer months from June to around mid-September, there are daily bus connections to the lighthouse. An extra bus service has been set up for the sunset hour so that all onlookers and those who want to can easily reach the tower. You can be taken directly to your destination from Agios Ioannis and Sarakiniko. The buses also cover all other locations. So depending on where you are on the island, you can plan an evening detour to the lighthouse and let the bus pick you up. In the evening, shortly after the sun has sunk into the sea, the buses return in the direction of Sarakiniko and Agios Ioannis. The route also goes via Kastri. The bus drivers will beep their horns several times to attract your attention. Unfortunately, you won't have much time. It's time to set off about 30 minutes after sunset. This gives you more time to end the evening in the taverna. Information about the bus connections can be found under the following link on my website: To bus connections:


bottom of page