The stunning Cíes Islands
The Romans called the Cíes Islands (Galicia), “the islands of the Gods”. To this day they are an idyllic paradise in northern Spain where you can enjoy nature and the sea. When you see them for yourself you will understand why their main beach was chosen as best in the world by The Guardian newspaper. Heaven on earth? If not, then this is close.
Crystal clear, turquoise water. Beaches with the finest white sand. A lake whose transparent surface allows you to see the wide variety of fish that live below. Are we in the tropics? No, these are the Cíes Islands, in northwestern Spain. There are three islands and they are located in the Rías Baixas region of Galicia, facing the coast of Vigo. This archipelago, besides being a fairy-tale setting, is also of great ecological importance. Its stunning landscapes form part of the Islas Atlánticas National Park, outstanding for its rich sea beds and some of the most important colonies of marine birds in the world. The Atlantic Ocean, dunes, pine forest, cliffs… You will see for yourself – the Cíes Islands have incredible landscapes, worthy of the gods.
How to visit
Peace, quiet and cleanliness are further qualities that make these islands outstanding. To protect the environment and avoid mass tourism, access to visitors is limited to 2,200 people per day. During Easter week, at weekends in May and throughout the summer, there are regular boat services from Vigo, Baiona and Cangas de Morrazo. If you want to sleep on the Cíes Islands, then there is a campsite with capacity for 800 people. It opens for Easter week and 15 June to 15 September, and stays are limited to a maximum of 2 weeks. To make use of these facilities you should book in advance by telephone (on +34 986438358 or +34 986687050) and complete your camper’s registration card at the campsite office at Vigo Marine Resort. When you buy your boat ticket, don’t forget to show this card – otherwise you will only be sold a 1-day return.
A perfect day of beach and more
The first thing you will notice as you approach the Cíes Islands is the stunning sandy Rodas Beach, which joins the islands of Monteagudo and El Faro. This is not the only beach on the eastern side of the archipelago, however: Figueiras Beach, popular with naturists, and Nosa Señora Beach are two further examples. What is more, you will have access to a full range of services to enjoy a perfect day on the beach: bars and restaurants, toilets, lifeguards, healthcare facilities…
If you prefer sporting activities, hiking is an excellent way of exploring the Cíes Islands. There are four established itineraries you can go on to discover the forests, Los Niños Lake, bird watching observatories, a pre-Roman settlement, and wonderful views of the cliffs in the western part of the islands from their lighthouses. Come to the Visitor Centre, located at the site of the remains of the old San Estevo Monastery, and get information on the different routes, the importance of the natural environment and the norms to be observed.
Scuba diving and sailing are also permitted off the Cíes Islands with authorisation. This can be obtained by completing a form and sending it to the National Park office (documents and processing information are available at the official website). What is more, in the case of scuba diving, you can get your permit on the islands themselves, by calling 24 hours in advance (+34 986687502). Remember that once you are there you will have to provide a photocopy of your passport or ID, scuba diving licence and insurance policy.
Come and discover the Cíes Islands and you will not be disappointed. You will see that words alone are insufficient to describe “the islands of the gods”. More information:
모든 권리 보유. Turespaña / Segittur © 2013
웹사이트 관리: Sociedad Estatal para la Gestión de la Innovación y las Tecnologías Turísticas, S.A. (SEGITTUR)