The Maspalomas Lighthouse: A Unique Landmark

The Maspalomas lighthouse is, without a shade of doubt, one of the main tourist landmarks of Gran Canaria. It is impossible to find any guidebook or postcard, without a photo of a sunset at Maspalomas beach and the lighthouse. It is located on one end of the beach, in an area known as "Punta Maspalomas". The lighthouse is painted in a blue-gray tone, and has small square windows so that daylight can illuminate the winding staircase inside.  You just can't miss it when you visit the area. 


History of the Maspalomas Lighthouse: Active for Over a Century


This lighthouse has been working since February 1st of 1890. The purpose of building it there was to guide ships travelling between Europe and the Americas. It wasn't easy to build it. First of all, Maspalomas was a deserted area. It was hard to get there as there were no proper roads. So what they did first, was build a small harbor nearby. Then, all the building materials were brought by sea, in boats, and stored there. That's why it took five long years to get the job done, from designing to building, and all was supervised by the local engineer Juan Leon y Castillo. 

When everything else was almost ready, the lens and the lamp were especially brought from Paris, France, in 1889. These were supplied by Barbier Bernard & Turenne (BBT). This manufacturer was the world leader back then.


Maspalomas Lighthouse Features

The whole structure is 60 meters tall. This includes the base (which was used as additional protection for the structure against strong winds), the tower, and the lamp room.  The beam of light that it gives off can be seen from 19 nautical miles. The tower goes on getting narrower as it goes up. At the top, the diameter is 6.2 meters. The lamp room's diameter is 3.7 meters. This room contains a 1000w halogen lamp, the lens, and the reflectors.


In the base, there are storage facilities and living quarters for the lighthouse keeper. This is where the generator, and the backup batteries can be found, although these are rarely used because the lighthouse uses the electricity from the street. There is no need any more for a keeper, because it runs automatically.


In 2005 the Government of the Canaries declared it a historical monument of special cultural interest. This means that it will be preserved and taken care of, no matter what. 

Fantastic Video of the Maspalomas Lighthouse

Our friend from Finland took this video using his drone, a DJI Phantom 2, of the lighthouse in February 2015. As you can see, it was a glorious sunny day. Enjoy!



How to Get to the Lighthouse

Being a tourist spot, it is easy to get there. A small bus terminal is located withing 5 minutes walking distance, and taxis are available in the many taxi stands nearby. If you rent a car, you can head to towards the Maspalomas beach and find plenty of free parking spaces on the street (although you may have to walk a block or two), or paid parking inside the Varadero shopping center.


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