What to do in the Cíes Islands: a great adventure
The Cíes Islands and their waters not only offer us a paradise of incalculable ecological value where we can admire nature or enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches in Spain. In addition, the Natural Park offers travelers a wide range of activities of all kinds. There are always things to do in the Cíes Islands!
Hiking trails, water sports, discovering the unique flora and fauna found under its crystal clear waters and even eating and sleeping on the islands are some of the activities in the Cíes Islands that you can do whenever you visit. Want to know more? Here we tell you everything you can do in the Cíes Islands (Galicia).
- What to do in the Cíes Islands: a great adventure
- What to see in the Cíes Islands
- Routes and excursions to do in the Cíes Islands
- Things to do in the Cíes Islands if you like sports
- Eating and sleeping in the Cíes Islands
- How to get to the Cíes Islands
- The best things to do in the Cíes Islands
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What to see in the Cíes Islands
Enjoying the unique environment in which the archipelago is located is one of the best things to do in the Cíes Islands. Thanks to the exceptional geographical enclave in which they are located, visiting the Cíes Islands is synonymous with entering fully into one of the richest and most diverse ecosystems of the coasts of Galicia.
The Cíes Islands are located in the middle of the Rías Baixas, specifically closing the Vigo estuary and being directly exposed to the ocean currents, resulting in an explosion of life, both on the surface and within its waters. That is why, since 2000, the archipelago of the Cíes Islands is part of the Natural Park of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia, along with the islands of Ons, Sálvora and Cortegada. To ensure its preservation, this park has the privilege of having the category of National Maritime Terrestrial Park, which regulates the number of visitors per day and actively monitors the conservation of both terrestrial and underwater habitats.
Three main islands make up the archipelago of the Cíes Islands: Monteagudo Island, Faro Island and San Martiño Island. The first two are connected by Rhodes Beach, declared the best beach in the world by the British newspaper The Guardian. In the middle is the famous Lago Dos Nenos, a saltwater lagoon that, although it is almost devoid of life today, has a fossil record that is very valuable to biologists, as it tells the story of the last 6,000 years of the islands.
To be able to contemplate all the natural wealth of the Cíes Islands, the National Park has different routes for walking, as well as tours and occasional guided visits to various points of interest. The roads through which they run These routes have different difficulties, are properly signposted and have as their destination one of the lighthouses along the coastline. Planning a hike along any of these trails is one of the activities to do in the Cíes Islands more advisable.
Routes and excursions to do in the Cíes Islands
A visit to the Cíes Islands should be enjoyed walking, quietly, stopping to look at the landscapes, smell the sea and listen to the birds that fly over the skies. There are four main itineraries to discover every corner of the Monteagudo and Faro Islands.
Alto do Príncipe Route
This is an excursion of about 3.5 kilometers in total and its low difficulty makes it ideal for everyone. In the Cíes Islands there are impressive cliff formations on its western slope, which unfold before the eyes of the walker from the Alto do Príncipe, the destination of our walk. Along the route we can see the Figueiras Beach, with its characteristic dune system, or the Silla de la Reina, which projects a balcony directly over the ocean to which only the most daring dare to lean out.
Monte Faro Route
It is the most emblematic of the four routes, with approximately 7.5 kilometers (round trip) and of medium difficulty, as it has a long ascent to the destination of the route, the Cíes Lighthouse. It departs from the park information booth and along the way we will find some of the most symbolic places of the Cíes Islands: the beaches of Rodas and Nosa Señora, the dunes of Muxeiro, the singular Pedra da CampáThe area is perforated by the intensity of the Atlantic winds, the Cíes Islands Campsite, the Nature Interpretation Center, where you can share the values of the Natural Park and the bird observatory.located just before tackling the last climb to the lighthouse, from which you can contemplate a view of the archipelago and ocean that will leave you speechless. If you are a hiking enthusiast and you have about two hours and thirty minutes (round trip), the Monte Faro Route is one of the excursions to do in the Cíes Islands.
Monte Agudo Route
A natural walk through the forests on the eastern side of the island of the same name. The route of Monte Agudo runs along a little less than six kilometers, with destination in the Faro do Peito and also leaving from the information booth of the islands. This route, in spite of being a pleasant hike for most of the routeIt has a medium difficulty due to the irregular terrain in some sections. We will pass by the bird observatoryideal place to observe the autochthonous colonies of yellow-legged gulls and from which you can also observe we will enjoy a spectacular view of the Vigo estuary, the Cíes Islands and Cangas do Morrazo in the background.. Our goal, the Faro do Peito, is the closest point of the archipelago to the mainland, being separated from Cabo Home by only 2.5 km. From this site you can see the island of Ons and the entrance to the Ría de Pontevedra.
A Porta Lighthouse Route
A gentle, low-difficulty walk along the south coast of Faro Island. It is just over five kilometers round trip, and its destination is A Porta Lighthouse, which has an excellent viewpointfrom which you can see the island of San Martiño and the archaeological site of Castro das Hortas.
All these routes, with a common origin, are signposted in detail. But there are many other small trails and twists and turns in the Cíes. On each island, other routes explore more hidden places that are difficult to access. However, there is a risk of entering nature reserves or bird breeding areas where passage is completely prohibited in the interest of habitat conservation, it is therefore advisable to have a guide who knows the terrain. if we decide to venture out and walk the unmarked trails. Do not hesitate to ask the staff at the booth for practical information about the routes, the park and future activities in the Cíes Islands.
Things to do in the Cíes Islands if you like sports
Every day there is an increasing number of activities in the Cíes Islands oriented to the sports world. In addition to hiking, the park also offers a wide range of water sports on its beaches.
The Cíes Islands do not have particularly good areas for surfing or windsurfing, as their tides do not raise as many waves as on the island of Ons, for example. However, the tranquility of its waters provides the ideal setting for diving to explore the wealth of underwater life. It is common to find here and there snorkelers and scuba divers who put on their wetsuits (beware, the water is very cold!) and set out to discover the seabed. In addition, several companies offer tickets to the Cíes Islands for diving baptisms or even diving lessons in Cíes and Vigo.
The rugged areas of the islands and their cliffs and caves are the perfect place for sea kayaking. The most courageous dare to reach the archipelago from Limens (Cangas) and the Cíes campsite offers four routes through the islands, including an introductory trip to San Martiño with no experience required. previous.
But if you are looking for something really unique to do in the Cíes Islands, next August 31, 2019 an exceptional sporting event will be held: the 10 km swim between the Cíes Islands (Rodas Beach) and Vigo (Vao Beach). It will be a non-competitive event open to anyone who wants to live an unforgettable experience. The registration period will open soon, so stay tuned!
Eating and sleeping in the Cíes Islands
Among all the things to do in the Cíes Islands, you will surely find one of the most common and appealing activities is to take a break and enjoy a good meal surrounded by nature. As can be seen in the travel blogs, the gastronomic offer in the Cíes is not very wide.This is understandable in a Natural Park, whose hotel and catering businesses must be adapted to and sustainable with the environment, but it does not detract from its quality.
You can enjoy a good home-cooked meal in the campsite’s restaurant and choose between self-service, for a quicker meal, or table service, with a glassed-in dining room overlooking Rhodes Beach. Its menu is rich in fish and seafood from Galicia.
The Cíes Islands also have a restaurant next to the dock where the ships dock, the Rodas Restaurant, with a large terrace and food service. It is also possible to stop the Bar Serafín, specialized in portions. To complete the offer, Bocatería Begoña offers a wide variety of sandwiches and hamburgers..
What if, in addition to eating in the Cíes Islands, you feel like sleeping in the Cíes Islands? The campsite located on Faro Island offers you the unique experience of sleeping in a Natural Park, among groves of trees and under millions of stars. It has capacity for 800 people and has all the services expected in a Green Camping (no electricity, but it has a supermarket, restaurant, toilets and showers ….). You can bring your own tent or rent one on site. In addition, the campsite organizes a large number of activities in the Cíes Islands, including guided astronomical observation excursions .
It should be recalled that all these businesses are open during the high season, that is, during the months of July and August. If you are interested in visiting the Cíes Islands on a low season day, such as weekends in May, Easter or in the months of June or September, each location will inform you through their contact telephone number about schedules and availability. Of course, the campsite has an e-mail address to answer any questions you may have.
How to get to the Cíes Islands
Now that you know many of the things to do in the Cíes Islands and have taken note of our tips for visiting the islands, you are sure to be eager to come and visit this jewel of our seas.
The Cíes Islands can only be accessed by boat, either by private boat, with the corresponding anchoring permit, or through shipping companies. However, in this case it is not as simple as buying a boat ticket and getting on board. Due to the impact generated because of tourism and the sensitivity of the park, the Xunta de Galicia has decided in recent years to limit the number of visitors and to establish a daily limit on the number of visitors.The same has been done in some special protection sites in other Autonomous Communities such as Cantabria, Castilla y León, the Balearic Islands and Madrid. Therefore, it is necessary to request a permit to visit the archipelago and enjoy everything that can be done in the Cíes Islands.
Piratas de Nabia offers you boats to Cíes from the ports of Vigo, Cangas and Baiona, and we have points of sale in the same port in the case of Vigo and Cangas (look for the Nabia Naviera logo!). At these points you will be informed of the days of high or low season on which we operate our routes, schedules and ticket sales fares.
The company also has a website(www.piratasdenabia.com) where you can find information about everything: the destinations we cover, our history, latest news, information about other routes (Moaña – Vigo), groups and special travel services for events, schedules and ticket fares, etc. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to send an
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The best things to do in the Cíes Islands
We hope this little tour about all the things to do in the Cíes Islands has fueled your wanderlust and we can see you soon visiting this incredible natural paradise. Would you like to know all its wonders? If the answer is yes, we are sure that, once you come, you won’t be long in coming back. And we know that, in reality, the best thing to do in the Cíes Islands is to return again and again.