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A tour of the beaches in the Cíes Islands

Beaches in the Cíes Islands

The Cíes Islands have nine sand beaches that will take your breath away with their unspoilt beauty, their white sand and their crystal-clear waters. There’s a beach for everyone: compact, nudist and exclusive. The beaches of Rodas, Figueiras and San Martiño are the largest and most crowded ones, but the coves of Areíña, Bolos, Cantareira, Margaridas, Muxieiro and Nosa Señora de Carracido round off the variety of beaches found in this paradise.

Cíes Island

Rodas Beach: the best beach in the world

Rodas Beach, according to the British newspaper The Guardian “the best beach in the world”, is found between the islands of Monteagudo and Faro. It is the largest beach in the Cíes Islands and enjoys a stunning setting: it faces the Ría de Vigo while it has Cíes Lake behind it. In Lagoa dos Nenos, there is an abundance of all kinds of crustaceans and fish. It’s connected to the ocean through the holes in the breakwater. The tides—with a difference of 4 m between high and low tide—allows for the renewal of inland waters. In winter, the storms and strong tides flood the lake and the beach, and the islands remain linked only through the breakwater bridge. The beach is crescent shaped, open and windy, with calm waters and fine white sand. The only way to get there is by private boat—there’s an area for anchoring—or by riding one of the ferries.

  • Location: on Faro Island
  • Size: 1,300 m x 60 m
  • How to get there: by ferry; once you’re at the Rodas pier, it’s to your left
  • Accessways: there are stairs and paths all around the beach
  • Services: surveillance, lifeguards, information booth, public address system, public toilets, restaurants and campsite
  • Red Cross aid station: in July and August, every day (from the arrival of the first ferry until the last one leaves), and in June and September, on weekends
  • Blue Flag beach
  • Level of crowdedness in summer: high
The beaches in the Cíes Islands: idyllic sand beaches

Figueiras Beach

Rectilinear, it is open and windy, with fine white sand. Its calm waters are perfect to take a dip in; what’s more, you can practice nudism here. It’s isolated amidst a rustic environment, and the only way to get there is by private boat—there’s an area for anchoring—or by riding one of the ferries. Lastly, one of the nature reserves of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia Marine-Terrestrial National Park is found here—the dunes.

  • Location: on Monteagudo Island
  • Size: 300 m x 50 m
  • How to get there: by ferry; from the Rodas pier, you’ll have to walk along a small path to your right
  • Accessways: through small paths
  • Blue Flag beach
  • Level of crowdedness in summer: high

San Martiño Beach

San Martiño Beach is found on San Martiño Island (also known as South Island), the most rugged one of the three. This island is triangular in shape and is wider than its neighbours to the north, from which it’s separated by the Freu da Porta channel. The beach is crescent shaped, open and windy, with calm waters and fine-grained white sand. It is privately owned and quite isolated amidst an unspoilt environment; you can practice nudism here. What’s more, it’s only accessible by private boat (it has an area for anchoring).

  • Location: on San Martiño Island
  • Size: 520 m x 35 m
  • How to get there: only by private boat
  • Level of crowdedness in summer: moderate
Faro Island - Cíes Islands

Nosa Señora de Carracido Beach

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