The Cíes Islands are an enchanting archipelago, made up of three absolutely unforgettable islands. A paradise next door.
When we envision a paradisiacal holiday, our imagination takes us to faraway destinations, which involve several hours of flight and a rather large investment. Destinations like the Maldives, Thailand, Australia, Mexico, Fiji are some of the most frequent. But there are also Cíes Islands.
The truth is that there are paradises very close to our country and these islands are clear proof of that. Will this be your next destination for a weekend getaway? Get to know more!
In Spain, in Galicia, is the small archipelago of the Cíes Islands. Located practically at the exit of the Vigo estuary, the Cíes are part of the Terrestrial Maritime National Park of the Atlantic islands of Galicia.
This park also includes two other archipelagos: Salvora and Ons. A region not to be missed.
Cíes Islands: a paradise right next door
Faro, Monte Agudo and San Martiño are the 3 islands that make up this beautiful archipelago. Those who have their own boat and intend to spend the night can (and should) request in advance a anchoring permit.
However, it is possible to visit both Faro and Monte Agudo by public boat.
Both islands are connected by a long stretch of sand – Praia de Rodas. In addition, there is still a path created at one end of the lake. San Martiño is only accessible by private boat.
How to get?
resort to a ferry boat is the best way to visit this paradise. This, for all those who have this interest and do not have their own boat.
Those who do not have this privilege should also bear in mind that there is a specific calendar for visiting the Cíes. There are public boats from June to September, in the middle of the summer season.
The possibility of visiting the islands after the bathing season is more remote, as the available boat trips are sporadic or non-existent. The journey by boat takes approximately one hour.
Public boats available
Cruceros Rías Baixas, Sea of Ons It is Pirates of Nabia are companies that make it possible to make the journey to the Cíes Islands. Despite being islands with many interested parties, it should be taken into account that the number of visitors is limited, so as not to overcrowd the islands.
The ideal is to plan the trip in advance, being able to buy the tickets online and travel from Baiona, Cangas or Vigo, through one of the three companies mentioned above.
Do not forget that it is essential to previously request a administrative authorization to visit the site, which is free.
Playa de San Martiño has all the exclusivity and privacy of a beach only accessible by private boat. However, in general, all the beaches are stunning and, therefore, it is not surprising that one of them – Praia de Rodas – was even named, in 2006, the most beautiful in the world, by the prestigious British newspaper. The Guardian.
The beach unites Faro and Monte Agudo islands. Faro and its fantastic landscape, combined with the “addictive” water, also help to explain the success of this beach.
Those who go, do not want to leave and, having to leave, feel like returning. The recommendations are added to each visit and, therefore, the concern to limit the entrances, so as not to overcrowd the space, is understandable.
For the more adventurous – who like to imitate the daily life of Adão and Eve –, you can always favor Praia de Figueiras which, having a substantially smaller extension, is classified as a Nudist Beach.
Access to this beach is done, exclusively, by private boat. Anyone who has a private boat or manages to use one will enjoy a peace and tranquility on this beach that make this paradise even more charming.
Accommodation – camping
Camping is the only accommodation available on the Cíes Islands, so make reserve is required.
The lagoon is just one of the many attractions of the existing campsite. You can choose to rent a tent with a bed or take your own tent, which is naturally the most economical option.
One of the drawbacks of this paradise is the scarcity of places to dine. There are few restaurants on the Cíes Islands and the two or three options present are in high demand and in short supply.
Inside the campsite, there is a restaurant that is open to the general public, but the prices are not very attractive and it still involves a long wait, with long queues.
What to do?
These islands are ideal places to “do nothing but swim”. Of course, you can also choose to go for a walk or practice some sports or have your backpack equipped with food and have a nice picnic with friends, family or your better half.
In the latter case, especially, it is essential to take bags to put your rubbish in, as you will not find containers or bins for this purpose on site.