The Cíes Lighthouse Trail: an incredible climb for the brave
The Cíes Lighthouse Trail is the longest and most popular trail, offering the most spectacular views of the Ría de Vigo. It sets out from the information booth, and by taking the road to your left, you’ll cross to Faro Island through the 19th-century dike joining the two islands together. If the clearness of the water allows it, look into the lake to see a wide variety of algae, crustaceans and fish. Continue along the road at a moderate pace, as it’s a good idea to save your energy for the last stretch.
The first contrasting landscape you’ll come upon will be the dunes of Rodas Beach and a forest to your right. Leave the Cíes campsite behind and pass right in front of the interpretation centre (there’s an exhibition on the Park’s values). After about 300 m, at the crossroads near Nosa Señora Beach, turn right and start your climb up. Halfway to your destination, you’ll see the Pedra da Campá—a rock perforated by the Atlantic winds laden with salt. Take a 100 m detour to the bird observatory to watch the Caspian gulls and common shags as they squawk and screech.
Before the final climb uphill, you can also go to the castro of As Hortas, where the remains of a Bronze Age settlement are found. Go back to the main path and enjoy the views as it winds its way to the top. From there, watch how the waves crash against the rocks 175 metres above. You’ll also see San Martiño Island, aside from getting an extraordinary panoramic view of the archipelago, the Ría de Vigo, the Morrazo Peninsula and the Ons Archipelago.
- Starting point: at the information booth
- Distance: 3.5 km (one way), from the information booth to the Cíes Lighthouse
- Elevation change: 175 m
- Estimated duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes
- Difficulty: moderate
- Format: noncircular
- Places of interest: lake, interpretation centre, Nosa Señora Beach, Pedra da Campá and bird observatory (at the Monte Faro Lookout Point)