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What to see in the Island of Ons: the little unknown

If you want to know what to see in Ons Island, the little unknown of the National Park of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia, do not miss this article, because, like the Cies Islands, Ons Island offers its visitors an incomparable natural environment, with a variety of attractions and beaches of fine white sand.

The island also offers a wide range of activities: walking along its hiking trails, observing the native flora and fauna, learning about life in Ons by visiting the ethnographic exhibition in the old school, scuba diving and snorkeling in its waters inhabited by species unique in the world, enjoying the best octopus in its bars, having a drink at night and even staying overnight on the island, with rooms and apartments available to the traveler, as well as in the first self-sustainable camping site in Galicia. There is always an attractive plan to do in Ons Island.

All this makes the island a treasure to be discovered in the heart of the Rías Baixas, guaranteeing the best experience for anyone who wants to enjoy the nature and leisure offered by this natural park.

Ons Island: what to see and how to get there

what to do in Ons Island

The Ons archipelago consists of a group of two islands: Ons Island and Onza Island, surrounded by several islets around its perimeter. They belong to the municipality of Bueu for administrative purposes, although on the map they are closer to Sanxenxo.

The privileged geographical position it occupies -at the entrance of the Pontevedra estuary- and the cold currents that reach its coasts, mean that the islands and their waters have an exceptional biological richness, with important colonies of aquatic birds and a marine biodiversity worthy of protection.

For this reason, the archipelago of Ons is part of the National Maritime-Terrestrial Park of the Atlantic Islands, together with the Cíes Islands, the Sálvora Archipelago and the Cortegada Archipelago. This recognition grants its ecosystems the highest protection in order to preserve its particular natural variety and native species.


The only way to access the Illa de Ons is aboard a boat to the island, either by private boat or through a shipping company. If the sea permits, in high season (Easter and from June to November), Naviera Nabia offers regular transportation from the port of Bueu and from Portonovo. You can check our website for availability, days, schedules and rates, as well as the different destinations and services to see on the island of Ons. In 2018, round-trip adult fares were just €14, €7 for children ages six to 12 and free for children under six.

Although there are different ways of getting to know the Parque Nacional das Illas Atlánticas, from round trips to any island to cruises along the Rías Baixas, without a doubt the best way to live the experience and fully enjoy nature and the charm of its surroundings is to visit island by island every corner of the park, exploring its beaches and hiking trails.


The beaches of Ons Island. Beauty and tranquility

beaches to see on the island of Ons

With nothing to envy to the Cíes Islands, the beaches are one of the biggest attractions to see on the island of Ons. Practically virgin sandy beaches, with fresh and crystalline waters that frame all the beauty of the island and whose names appear frequently in any travel blog.

Melide beach is considered the most beautiful in the whole archipelago. Being a nudist beach, it could be considered the sister beach of Figueiras Beach. of the Cíes Islands and, like this one, is characterized by its beautiful white sands and calm waters. This is a beach to see on the island of Ons away from the main core, so to get there you have to walk for half an hour, although it is also possible to access by boat with permission to anchor.

beaches on the island of Ons

Canexol Beach, located below the village of the same name, has excellent views of the Pontevedra estuary and the island of Aldán and is easily reached via a path from the village of O Curro.

If you are looking for a quieter place to see on the island of Ons, away from possible crowds that may occur in the months of August, Pereiró Beach, in the southernmost part of the island, is a great alternative. It is a small cove delimited by rocks.The waves are moderate and there is a great panoramic view of the estuary.

As we can see, there are a multitude of coves and sandy beaches on the island of Ons to see and enjoy. Of all these beaches, Area dos Cans is perhaps the most famous. Accessible on foot or by private boat, it is the busiest of the whole island, due to its proximity to the urban centers. This does not detract from the fact that we are faced with a beautiful natural paradise of fine sand and clear water. In addition, at low tide you can walk to Laxe do Crego, an ancient medieval burial site. plagued by myths and legends.


Tour the island of Ons and its places of interest. Hiking trails

what to see in Ons: information booth of Ons island

To discover all the ecological abundance and unique places to see on the island of Ons, the self-guided hiking trails are the best option. We have four routes, of varying length and difficulty, designed from the ancient paths that surround the island and its beaches. Walking along these trails we can enjoy practically everything there is to see on the island of Ons, its places of interest and the natural and cultural values that characterize it.

The common starting point for all four trails is the island’s information booth, located at As Dornas Beach, right next to the pier where we will disembark. There, the park staff will provide us with the help and information we need, although, as these are self-guided routes, all the necessary signage is already installed so that we can walk these trails on our own.

  • The Southern Route is one of the most complete, with a distance of more than six kilometers, covering the southernmost half of the island of Ons. The places of interest that we will find in this tour are of the most varied, The Fedorentos Viewpoint is one of the most beautiful in Galicia, with the Onza Island in the foreground, the impressive Buraco do Inferno (Hell Hole), a deep cave that descends to the sea, or the Caniveliñas Cove, a quiet haven of peace where the blue of the sky and the ocean meet the green of the vegetation. On this route we will also visit the beaches of Area dos Cans and Canexol, which has the ruins of the ancient settlement of the castro of Castelo dos Mouros and its old cemetery with more than two centuries old.


  • hiking trails on the island of OnsThe North Route has a length of more than 8 kilometers and is considered of medium-low difficulty. It is also known as “Ruta Naturista”, because it passes through the nudist beach of Melide. The route has some points in common with the Southern Route, such as the village of O Curro or the Caniveliñas Cove, finding more To the north is the Fonte do Castelo, a wooded area with an old water reservoir used for irrigation and a real haven of tranquility, or the viewpoints of Punta Centolo and Punta Xubenco, where you can see first hand the migrations and nesting areas. of different birds and take the best pictures.


  • The Northern Route in turn connects with the Lighthouse Route, whose destination is the famous Ons Lighthouse, located at the highest point of the island. and almost a hundred years old, being one of the few lighthouses that still remain is Spain attended by a lighthouse keeper, so it is one of the main points of interest to see on the island of Ons. It is a route of about four kilometers, with a very gentle slope that facilitates that its difficulty is low. This route crosses the entire east-west extension of the island through its narrowest part.


  • Finally, the Ruta do Castelo is the shortest and most frequented of all. It runs for about one kilometer along the eastern coast of the island of Ons, with places of interest such as the Mirador do Castello, an ancient defensive fortification, now in ruins, which offers beautiful views of the entire estuary.


What to do in Ons Island


In addition to finding out about everything there is to see in Ons Island and its places of interest, one of the important aspects when planning possible trips to the island is to know the different leisure proposals that our destination offers to its visitors.

There is always something interesting to do on the island of Ons. Although it is a quieter island than the Cíes, there are many activities to do.


Highlights include, for example, the various diving routes, guided tours of the island by day and night, stargazing, its interpretation center of the history of the island and the national park, with its permanent ethnographic exhibition or its exquisite gastronomic offer.

Unlike the Cíes, Ons Island is inhabited by a few dozen people, distributed in nine villages, The offer of services is therefore greater, you can find rooms to sleep in, places to have a drink in the evening, a store, church and also a wide range of catering services. The island has restaurants where you can taste the best Galician cuisine in the best possible environment. The oldest of them is Casa Acuña, active since 1945 and one of the best places on the island where you can eat like at home. With its famous octopus and caldeiradas, eating at Casa Acuña is synonymous of tasting the most traditional cuisine elaborated with the freshest product. In addition, as if it were a rural house, Casa Acuña is also a great lodging option on the island, since it has twenty double rooms where you can spend the night in the middle of the natural park.

Another traditional place to visit on the island of Ons is the Bar O Pirata, specialists in steaks, seafood and daily menu. The bar has a dining terrace from which you can enjoy the spectacular views of Ons, an incentive that will make your dishes taste even better.

camping in the Ons archipelago

A good alternative is to go to the cafeteria of the island’s campsite for lunch. Located in the Chan da Pólvora area, Camping de Ons offers breakfast and quick meals. The campsite was completely refurbished in 2016, becoming the first self-sustainable campsite in Galicia. It surprises for its wide range of services available to the traveler, as well as all kinds of cultural, sports and entertainment activities offered in high season. If you want to spend the night it is advisable to make a reservation, and you can choose to sleep in the “glamping” area, with large fixed tents fully equipped, or in the camping area.

Ons Island is, in general, more unknown than the Cíes Islands. However, its natural beauty, its beaches and the range of activities available to all visitors make it as perfect a destination as its sister islands. There is so much to see and so much to do on Ons Island!


What to see near the island of Ons?

Beach of La Lanzada (O Grove) near OnsIf you have decided to come to the Island of Ons, Surely you are interested in knowing what other places are worth visiting in the areas near the Ría de Pontevedra. Although it is difficult to choose among all the charming places that surround the natural park, we can not fail to recommend passing through towns like Vigo, Bueu, Portonovo, Sanxenxo, Cangas…

A place of special interest is the Lanzada Beach, in O Grove, considered one of the best in Spain. Galicia has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country and perhaps this is one of the most famous. Located in the middle of a protected natural environment of dunes and more than two and a half kilometers long, the Lanzada Beach overlooks the open sea, so it registers an intense swell, ideal for sports such as surfing or windsurfing. Nearby we find places with the charm of the Chapel of Nuestra Señora de la Lanzada – a Romanesque chapel from the late twelfth century – or San Vicente do Mar, a quiet village surrounded by the sea.

Maybe you have the desire to visit another island… which island to choose? The Rías Baixas are dotted with treasures. For example, you can plan a trip to the island of San Simón, one of the most historic places in the entire Galician community. It is also worth a visit to Isla de La Toja, with its spas, classic hotels and luxury services. And, of course, we can not fail to recommend coming to see the Cíes Islands, where all the beauty you expect to find is little.


Ons: the little unknown

Fedorentos viewpoint: what to see in Ons Island

Cliffs, dunes, pine forests, laurel forests, paradisiacal beaches, chasms full of mystery, medieval tombstones surrounded by legend, migratory birds, unique seahorses on the planet, the best octopus in Galicia, camping with all the comforts of an apartment … surely you never thought there was so much to see on the island of Ons, so many places of interest in this little jewel surrounded by the waters of the Atlantic. Can’t wait to plan your trip? At Nabia you can count on us to take you to this magical destination. We are waiting for you!

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