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Thridrangaviti – Lighthouse in Westman Islands

Legendary landmark only accessible by helicopter

|March 29, 2023
Konstancija is a writer who enjoys long walks and hikes in nature, "hunts" for second-hand goods, and is a frequent guest in public libraries where she loves to read and roam around stacks of books.

There's no secret that many of us are fascinated by hard-to-reach places. Once you see Þrídrangaviti lighthouse, it looks like something that can only be seen in a fairytale – a beautiful white house with a red beacon on one of the three cliffs close to the Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands).

What's spectacular about this remote place is that it's hard to reach, so it poses many questions about how the lighthouse emerged here in the first place. The scenery it has been surrounded by justifies the structure being called one of the world's most isolated and breathtaking lighthouses.

It is worth visit Westman Islands for their mesmerizing cliffs

How was Thridrangaviti Lighthouse built?

It might seem that the lighthouse was built not that long ago, but in fact, it was constructed before World War II, in 1938. While now projects as such might be easier to construct because of better tools and modern machinery, back in the day, workers didn't have that kind of luxury. So what makes this remote lighthouse even more exclusive is how it was brought to life. It took highly experienced mountaineers led by Arni Thorarinsson, a writer, journalist, and the main head behind these constructions, to prepare and build the lighthouse.

Thridrangaviti Lighthouse on a cliff in Westman Islands, Iceland

The construction workers had to scale the cliffs and lay the foundation, doing it all under extreme weather conditions. One mistake, one wrong step, could cost the workers their lives. It's said that even the climbing tools were useless at one point, so the crew built a human pyramid to reach the cliff. So the isolated lighthouse is not only famous for the area it's in but also because of the strength and determination one needed to make such a project come to life.

What to know about Thridrangaviti Lighthouse

Þrídrangaviti (Thridrangaviti or Thridrangar) actually means "three rock pillars" and refers to the three deserted rocks: Klofadrangur, Thufudrangur, and Storidrangur, the latter being the one where the lighthouse is located. The rock on which the building stands is 120 meters high, the lighthouse's height is 7.4 meters, and its lamp is 34 meters above sea level.

Rocks at Westaman Islands, Iceland

Thridrangaviti lighthouse today

If you're curious to know whether you can visit the famous lighthouse, the answer might disappoint you. Even though the place now has a helipad, it cannot be visited. But keep in mind that plenty of helicopter tours are ready to take you to other magnificent places in and near Iceland.

Helicopter landing place near Thridrangaviti Lighthouse in Westman Islands, Iceland

How do people then find out about this remote yet unforgettable place? Sometimes all you need is one right person to spread the news to have a viral sensation. At least that's what happened when famous singer Justin Bieber shared the picture of the lighthouse on social media. Photographer Árni Sæberg took the photo, and it soon became well-known thanks to the Canadian pop star.

What to explore around Thridrangaviti Lighthouse?

The good news is that the unreachable Þrídrangaviti lighthouse is not far from the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago. This area is known to be the biggest puffin colony in the world and a place that's ready to tell you its great volcanic history. Make sure to see it all by simply booking a tour of the Westman Islands. It's one of the best choices for those who want to learn about Icelandic culture and explore its nature in depth. Who knows what kind of hidden gems you might uncover during your adventure to Iceland?

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