Five Best: Holiday lighthouses

Sophie Lam finds the best places in the world to lie in bed and watch the ships come in

Harlingen, The Netherlands

Harlingen, The Netherlands

Harlingen lighthouse is an architectural gem - the 1920s edifice was restored and the interior remodelled after it was taken out of service in 1998. It can now sleep two guests - on the first floor is a bathroom with a circular shower, and upstairs is a bedroom and sitting area with panoramic views of the harbour, the North Sea and the West Frisian Islands. On the third floor, 24m above sea level, guests are treated to spectacular vistas from a small sitting room beneath the original copper lamp. The old VHF radio-telephone can still be used to listen in to shipping communications and there is an external viewing platform at the top of the building. Breakfast is delivered every morning.

Harlingen Lighthouse (00 31 515 540550; The lighthouse is available to rent from €279 (£199) per night, including breakfast

Palagruza, Croatia

Palagruza offers the ultimate in seclusion. Between Croatia and Italy in the Adriatic Sea, the lighthouse (built from the same Brac stone used for the White House) stands on an island just 1,400m long by 300m wide and is the largest working example in Croatia. Beneath the tower are two apartments, each sleeping up to four people. Electricity is generated by solar panels that keep the kitchen equipment, heating and lights going. This is about as high tech as it gets, and guests have to bring their food and water with them. A local fisherman can provide fresh fish and boat trips to two nearby beaches that are good for swimming. (00 385 1 241 5611; Prices start at €520 (£371) for seven nights' rental. This does not include boat transfers, which cost around €330 (£236)

Mermaid Cottage, Alderney

Alderney's 32m-tall lighthouse still guides ships through the hazardous tidal streams between the island and Cap de la Hague in France. Established in 1912, the imposing black-and-white-striped edifice was automated in 1997, so the adjoining Grade II-listed Mermaid Cottage, once home to lighthouse keepers, was subsequently converted into self-catering accommodation for five guests. The cottage has three bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen, dining room, sitting room and enclosed garden, with two of the Channel Islands' best beaches just a short stroll away.

Rural Retreats (01386 701177; Rental of the cottage starts at £605 for seven nights, including a food hamper. Shorter stays can be arranged

Smoky Cape, Australia

This two-storey octagonal lighthouse is the tallest, and one of the oldest, lighthouses in New South Wales. Smoky Cape was given its name by Captain Cook, who arrived in 1770 as bush fires were raging. Built nearly a century later, the unmanned lighthouse is still functional. There are two double rooms in the head lighthouse keeper's house offering B&B accommodation, and the two assistants' houses sleep up to six guests on a self-catering basis. Both guest rooms have four-poster beds and locally made furniture.

Smoky Cape Lighthouse (00 61 2 65 666301; Double rooms at the head lighthouse keeper's cottage start at A$187 (£75) per night including breakfast. Seven nights' rental of the assistant lighthouse keepers' cottages start at A$726 (£290)

Wicklow Head, Ireland

Wicklow Head once had two lighthouses, but only the taller now remains; the second was knocked down to build the now ruined lighthouse keepers' cottages. The 30m octagonal tower on Long Hill, restored by the Irish Landmark Trust, provides self-catering accommodation for up to six people. Built in 1781, the tower's interior was gutted by a fire sparked by a lightning strike. Following restoration, it now has two bedrooms, a bathroom, a living room and a kitchen, spread across six floors. There are 27 windows cut into the thick walls, giving the building an airy feel.

Irish Landmark Trust (00 353 1 670 4733; Prices start at €440 (£314) for Monday-Friday rental

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Leonardo DiCaprio talks during the press conference for the film

Film follows park rangers in the Congo

ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Adel Taraabt in action for QPR against West Ham earlier this month
footballQPR boss says midfielder is 'not fit to play football'
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    SCRUM Master

    £30 - 50k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a SCRUM Master to joi...

    Franchise Support Assistant

    £13,520: Recruitment Genius: As this role can be customer facing at times, the...

    Financial Controller

    £50000 - £60000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful entertainment, even...

    Direct Marketing Executive - Offline - SW London

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A fantastic opportunity h...

    Day In a Page

    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Let's talk about loss

    We need to talk about loss

    Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
    Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

    'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

    If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
    James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
    Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

    Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

    Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
    Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

    Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

    Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
    How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

    How to dress with authority

    Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
    New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

    New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

    'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
    Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

    Tim Minchin interview

    For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
    Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
    Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

    Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

    Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album