Reykjanesviti: The Oldest Lighthouse in Iceland

Dating back to 1908 and serving both Reykjavík and Keflavík, Reykjanesviti is the oldest lighthouse in Iceland — and at only one kilometer, the distance from Gunnuhver Hot Springs near Möðruvallavegur is short enough that one can walk between the two places instead of drive.

Reykjanesviti: The Oldest Lighthouse in Iceland

Reykjanesviti lighthouse Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Looming on Bæjarfell hill over the landscape of the Reykjanes peninsula, Reykjanesviti is constructed out of concrete; but it still maintains the appearance of a more traditional lighthouse.

Reykjanesviti lighthouse Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Although Reykjanesviti is indeed the oldest lighthouse in Iceland, it actually is a replacement for the first lighthouse in Iceland, which was built on Valahnúkur in Reykjanes in 1878…

Reykjanesviti lighthouse Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

…but by 1905, earthquakes and surf had damaged Valahnúkur to the point of the lighthouse possibly falling into the sea one day. The ruins which are seen in the above photograph are all which currently remains of that original lighthouse.

Reykjanesviti lighthouse Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Once the new lighthouse — which is the current one — was built, the original one was demolished by explosion on Thursday, April 16, 1908.

Reykjanesviti lighthouse Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The focal plane of the lighthouse measures 73 meters above sea level.

Reykjanesviti lighthouse Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The tower is 31 meters — or 102 feet — tall and located on the southwestern part of Reykjanes peninsula.

Gunnuhver Hot Springs Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Climb up Bæjarfell hill to the top where the base of the lighthouse is located; and you are treated to an incredible view of Gunnuhver Hot Springs and the roads below.

Reykjanesviti lighthouse Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

One also is treated to a spectacular view of Valahnúkamöl cliffs, which will be covered in a future article. My rental car is one of only two in the entire parking lot.

Reykjanesviti lighthouse Iceland

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The residence of the keeper of the lighthouse — which is two stories tall — was built more recently; and the lighthouse has a resident keeper, who has a sweeping view of the Atlantic Ocean.

Summary


The door to the lighthouse was locked when I visited; and I found no evidence at the time this article was written that it is ever open to the public; but you are welcome to visit its exterior any time you like.

There are no facilities and no admission fee to enjoy Reykjanesviti, where you can stay as long as you like.

All photographs ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

5 thoughts on “Reykjanesviti: The Oldest Lighthouse in Iceland”

  1. tiffany says:

    Thanks for the Iceland posts, Brian.

    I’m wondering if you remember if there are arrival/customs forms that need to be filled out upon arrival?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      No forms were needed to be completed to visit Iceland, tiffany.

      In fact, the entire customs process was so fast and easy that I was too early for the time I estimated to rent a car and had to wait.

      1. tiffany says:

        Great, thanks, Brian! (And it seems great minds think alike–I was already scheduled to visit Banff/Jasper when you started those posts last year, and I was finalizing my Iceland plans when you started this series of posts!)

        1. Brian Cohen says:

          Great minds do think, tiffany. I smiled when I read your comment. Thank you.

          I hope that you had a great time in Canada; and that you have a safe, fun and exciting trip in Iceland.

          Are there any questions you have about Iceland? I have many more articles to write about Iceland; so what you would like me to write about which may help you with your trip?

          1. tiffany says:

            My time in Iceland is already pretty heavily booked, so I’m just enjoying your impressions on sights/activities. The only thing you could do is post faster, in case there’s something I overlooked and can work in 🙂

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