The Lighthouse of Kavos Papas is situated on the southwestern cape of Ikaria. This UNESCO registered Cultural Heritage site belongs to the Greek government-Lighthouse Service of the Greek Navy.
Built between 1886 and 1890 by the French Company of Lighthouses during the Ottoman Empire, it lights one of the most difficult passages in the central Aegean, between Mykonos and Ikaria.
It became operational for the first time on 20 May 1890 and joined the Greek lighthouses network on April 9, 1915 shortly after the Balkan wars. For many years, the lighthouse beam was generated using an oil burning system. In 1933, it begun to operate with bulbs filled with petroleum vapor. The internal mechanism of the lighthouse is characterized by a clockwork system of rotating gears upon which is integrated the lightbeam..
During the Second World War, the lighthouse was converted into a garrison of the Italian Army and suffered damages in battles. The lighthouse was re-opened in 1945 with the temporary installation of an automatic acetylene torch, while work began on repairing the damage. The repair work was completed in intervals during 1949, 1958 and 1979, with the installation of new lighting equipment.
In 1980 the lighthouse was converted into an electric lighting system but kept the former oil system as a backup, until October 2000, when it was fully automated. The lighthouse beam height is approximately 75 meters and is visible from 25 nautical miles. The beam interval is a single sweeping white flash every 20 seconds. The height of the cylindrical tower is 11 meters and access to the top is via an internal staircase of 32 stone and 21 metal stairs.
Access to the lighthouse is via a dirt road with branches of from the main coastal road leading to Karkinagri. In order to reach the lighthouse on foot you must traverse a somewhat difficult path. Alternatively you can observe the lighthouse from where the dirt road ends.