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Gardur, Suðurnesjabær, Iceland
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Sunset on Gardskagi Lighthouse  Suðurnesjabær  Iceland

Sunset on Gardskagi Lighthouse

Just outside Reykjavik, in the tiny coastal village of Gardur on the Reykjanes peninsula, lies the Gardskagi lighthouse, definitely worth a trip if you're visiting Iceland.

Two lighthouses sit on the Reykjanes peninsula, with Gardskagi being the taller of the two at around 90 feet tall. In fact, it's Iceland's tallest lighthouse, and recently Icelanders voted it their second-favorite in the whole country.

A shorter lighthouse was built in 1897 and was particularly good in foggy conditions because it sat below the fog and was unaffected by it. But because it was built right on the coastline, the ground under that shorter lighthouse eroded and left it unsafe to use, leading to the Gardskagi lighthouse being built in 1944 a safer distance from the coastline. Today Gardskagi is equipped with transponders that Iceland's weather service uses for storm tracking.

Although it was covered with snow on the day we visited so I don't know for sure, supposedly the beach sitting behind Gardskagi is one of the few white-sand beaches in Iceland - most beaches are composed of black volcanic sand. The area surrounding the Gardskagi lighthouse is a wonderful place to have a picnic in the summer, and there's even a campground nearby for those looking to get a bit closer to nature.