10 Amazing Lighthouses You Can Rent

Fanad Head lighthouse, Ireland.
Fanad Head lighthouse, Ireland. / © Marco Bottigelli/Moment/Getty Images

If peace and tranquility are the two core principles you’re searching for in a vacation, then look no further. These (often remote) lighthouses and lighthouse keeper’s cottages are online and ready to rent. Whether it's the proximity to the sea or a slice of history that pulls you in, these lighthouses offer something for everyone.

1. Corran Lighthouse Lodge // Fort William, Scotland

Lighthouse Lodge in Fort William, Scotland.
Lighthouse Lodge in Fort William, Scotland. / Courtesy of Bookalighthouse.com

This magnificent lighthouse on Scotland’s west coast was built in 1860 by the great lighthouse engineers of the Victorian age, brothers Thomas and David Stevenson. If that surname seems familiar, that’s because Thomas’s son Robert Louis Stevenson decided to leave the family trade behind him and write some of the most famous novels of the 19th century, including Treasure Island. This historically rich lighthouse boasts stunning views of Glencoe and Ben Nevis mountains. It’s fancy inside, too—all five bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms, and there’s a log fireplace in the living room. The lighthouse is on the edge of Loch Linnhe and is still fully functional, operated by the Northern Lighthouse Board.

2. Faro Cumplida Lighthouse // Canary Islands, Spain

Faro Cumplida in Spain.
Faro Cumplida Lighthouse, Spain. / imageBROKER/Oliver Gerhard/Getty Images

This 19th-century lighthouse is now a luxurious retreat. The grounds may be a serene escape now, but things weren’t always so peaceful in the area: In 1942, the lighthouse led nearly 100 British sailors to safety after a German submarine sank their battleship. Now, guests can climb the viewing platform for sweeping vistas of the sea, stroll the property’s 5000-square-meter garden, or soak in the infinity swimming pool. Visitors can book the entire lighthouse, which sleeps eight people; smaller parties can rent individual suites. 

3. Great Fish Point Lighthouse // Port Alfred, South Africa

Great Fish Point lighthouse towers over South Africa’s Eastern Cape. It’s one of four fully functioning lighthouses in the country that welcomes guests to its cottages. This petite lighthouse’s beams stretch out to sea for 32 nautical miles—an impressively long distance, as the world’s most powerful lighthouses reach 37 nautical miles. Each of the lighthouse’s cottages can house up to six guests, making it the perfect family retreat. It’s a short drive from Port Alfred, and is close to rolling beaches.

4. Garpen Lighthouse // Bergkvara, Sweden

Garpen Island, Sweden.
Garpen Island, Sweden. / Courtesy of Bookalighthouse.com

Garpen Island’s lighthouse is a 15-minute boat ride off Sweden’s eastern shore, roughly 350 miles (around 400 kilometers) south of Stockholm. Built in the 1930s, the lighthouse and its cottages are the sole residences on the small island (though there’s a café that caters to guests). There’s space for 20 guests total, so get a group together, take over the whole island, and enjoy jumping from your own personal pier straight into the Baltic Sea.

5. Big Bay Point Lighthouse // Michigan, United States

The Big Bay Point Lighthouse was built in 1892 to direct steamers as they changed course across Lake Superior. It’s now one of the last functioning lighthouses in the United States to still have resident keepers. Its high-end rooms all come en-suite; some even have their own jacuzzi-style thermo-massage tubs. The rooms are named after former keepers or helpers who worked there, keeping the beacon’s history and heritage alive. It’s a great place for hikers and trekkers to stay, as you’ll be immersed in nature with plenty of walking and skiing trails available.

6. Delimara Lighthouse // Delimara, Malta

Delimara Lighthouse, Malta.
Delimara Lighthouse, Malta. / Courtesy of Bookalighthouse.com

A stay in this lush property lets you spend the night in the two lighthouse keeper’s cottages just under the working lighthouse. Built by the British government in 1856, these luxurious cottages were recently restored by Din l-Art Helwa, National Trust of Malta. You can rent one of the five-bed apartments or get a crew of 10 together and take over the whole place. Being this close to hard-to-reach rocky coves with famously beautiful waters is a once-in-a-lifetime vacation.

7. Fanad Lighthouse // Donegal, Ireland

Fanad Lighthouse, perched on a cliff overlooking the North Atlantic, is fully automated, and continues to guide ships and keep them safe at sea. It’s ideal for those looking to go fully off the grid. Despite its modern renovation, the keeper’s cottages do not have Wi-Fi and there’s very little in the way of phone signal to be had. The isolation makes it perfect for stargazers, and the Northern Lights are visible here on a crisp, clear night. There are three individual self-catering cottages; one sleeps two, while the other two can each accommodate up to four people. 

8. Rose Island Lighthouse // Rhode Island, United States

Rose Island Lighthouse, Rhode Island.
Rose Island Lighthouse, Rhode Island. / Kenneth C. Zirkel, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

The lighthouse on Rose Island was built in the southwest corner of the old Fort Hamilton to guide steam-powered ships through the Narragansett Bay. Completed in 1870, this property is a historical treasure trove: All six bedrooms were restored with period features and furniture from its heyday in the early 20th century. You can rent the rooms—each named after a former lighthouse keeper—individually.

9. The Lighthouse of Llandudno // Llandudno, Wales

You'd be forgiven for mistaking this lighthouse for a castle.
You'd be forgiven for mistaking this lighthouse for a castle. / Tom Parnell, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Nestled on North Wales’s beautiful coast is a lighthouse that looks more like a small castle than its tower-style counterparts. It was built within Great Orme Country Park, two miles away from the Victorian beach resort of Llandudno, and completed in 1862. This lighthouse boasts interiors decked out in Victorian decor, so a visit here is truly like time travel. There are three sumptuous (and typical of Victoriana, chintzy) suites to choose from, but the Lamp Room is the one to aim for, as it offers spectacular panoramic sea views.

10. The Stavik Lighthouse // Värmland, Sweden

The Stavik Lighthouse, Sweden.
The Stavik Lighthouse, Sweden. / Courtesy of Bookalighthouse.com

This charming wooden lighthouse, which overlooks Lake Vänern in the heart of Sweden, was built in 1860. Two of the three bedrooms are squeezed into the hexagonal lighthouse itself, so your stay will be cozy and snug. The kitchen, living room, and other facilities (including your own personal wood fire sauna) are in the keeper’s cottages below. You can safely swim in the freshwater lake, or borrow one of the property’s many boats and go canoeing or fishing.

A version of this story originally ran in 2021; it has been updated for 2023.