Who would be brave enough to spend a night in this extreme lighthouse? Undoubtedly one of the world's most extreme lighthouses is the Þrídrangar (or Thridrangar) lighthouse. It perches on one of the world's most impossible-to-reach pillars jutting up from the ocean floor. Has anyone ever seen such a solitary beacon of light?
The Thridrangar lighthouse was built in 1939 and its only access to and from the lighthouse is by helicopter (it's easy to see why). While it may seem like the perfect hermit's, monk's, or hater-of-mankind's retreat, it is actually uninhabitable.
The Thridrangar Lighthouse - The World's Most Dramatic?
But while it may be uninhabitable, periodically it does need to be maintained. In July 2015, six workmen were flown by helicopter to carry out maintenance work on the lighthouse. They filmed a video of their approach which encapsulates the sheer remoteness of this building. During their stay, they were graced with bird's eye views of killer whales in the waters below.
- Access: By Helicopter Only
- Name: Thridrangar Means "Three Rock Pillars" in English
- Location: Near The Vestmannaeyjar (or Westman) islands In Southwest Iceland
- Coordinates: 63 29.3258 N,20 30.7935 W
- Height: 120 Feet
- Mainland: Around 4.5 Miles of the Coast of The Icelandic Mainland
From a distance, the lighthouse looks something like a colorful speck has settled atop the largest of the pillars arising like fingers out of the ocean. But look a little closer and one will see that the spet is in fact a tiny red-roofed lighthouse - and perhaps the loneliest in the world at that.
It is situated around 4.5 miles off the coast of mainland Iceland and just off the coast of the Vestmannaeyjar or Westman Islands. It is set atop a basalt stack some 120 feet above the raging sea.
The Incredible Tale Of How It Was Built
The lonely lighthouse was built just before the outbreak of World War II when Iceland was still a part of Denmark. Just imagine how difficult it was to build this lighthouse! Today the only way on and off the pillar is via helicopter - but in 1939 there were no helicopters (early helicopters were first developed during the war).
- Built: Construction Started In 1938 Before World War Two
- Workers: Had to Scale The Cliffs Without A Helicopter
Construction began in 1938 and the builder had the onerous task of scaling the cliffs to reach the pillar’s pinnacle. And then they had to lay out the groundwork by hand. They faced numerous challenges including slick rocks, rain, and bitter winds.
At the same time, the deathly cold and famously tempestuous North Atlantic Ocean thrashed below. Rumor has it that local climbers from Westmannaeyar were hired to do the job. One story goes so far as to claim the climbers had to climb on top of each other because there was nowhere to get a grip!
If one would like to visit, unfortunately, this is not exactly a developed tourist destination. How about getting on the maintenance team for the next time the far-flung beacon needs some tender loving care?
Alternatively, if one would like to actually see a lighthouse under the sea, it is now possible to dive and see the reunions of the famed Lighthouse of Alexandria - one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Journey To The Center of the Earth In Iceland
If one is looking for something truly unique that one can actually do in Iceland, then how about climb down into the heart of a volcano?
Iceland is basically a big volcanic hotspot (kinda like Hawaii) and is a paradise for those looking to see and explore the world of volcanos.
Today, Thrihnukagigur is the only volcano in the world where tourists can actually take an elevator and safely descend into a magma chamber.
Thrihnukagigur is a normal volcano for this part of Iceland. Its last eruption was almost 2,000 years ago. Normally after an eruption, the volcano's magma chamber remains filled with lava, which then cools into solid rock. If this doesn't happen, normally the volcano would collapse in on itself. But neither of those things happened to this volcano.
- Depth: 213 Meter or 699 Feet
- Last Eruption: 2,000 Years Ago
- Chamber Size: 3,270 Square Meters or 35,200 Square Feet
Tours of the volcano are operated by Inside the Volcano who offer the trip of a lifetime. It takes around 6 minutes to be slowly lowered down into the volcano. The tour is really a tour into another world. They have all the necessary gear and equipment
- Tour Duration: 5-6 Hours (With Around 35-40 Minutes Actually Inside the Volcano) - Alternatively it Take around 4 Hours If People Drive Themselves
- Pricing: Adults: ISK 44,000 ($341) | Children: ISK 22,000 ($170) (Aged 8 to 12 Years Old)
- Descent: 120 Meters or 400 Feet