Holidays in Cíes Islands: Discover the Paradise

Nov 28, 2019 | Cíes Islands | 0 comments

Cíes Islands (Illas Cíes in Galician) off Spain’s west coast is a mix of white sand beaches, clear blue crystalline waters, tree-lined coasts, and forest-covered mountains. They are a place of rugged, untamed beauty and a protected nature reserve. Locals describe the islands as the Galician Caribbean. Let’s take a deep dive and find out why. Consider spending your holidays at Cíes Islands.

Holidays at Cíes Islands and Ons Island

Together with Ons Island, the Cíes Islands are part of the Atlantic Islands National Park. They span 433 hectares, and you will find them close to the city of Vigo. Cies is comprised of three islands; Isla Sur or de San Martiño (San Martiño Island), Isla del Medio or del Faro (Faro Island) and Isla Norte or de Monteagudo (North Island).

The islands are sheltered by the Vigo estuary which protects it from the harshness of the Atlantic Ocean but still affords a great view of the vast expanse of sea.

As a National Park, the islands are governed by strict rules. Visitor numbers are restricted to 2,200 visitors per day. There are no hotels or cars allowed on the island to preserve the delicate eco-balance, and there are strict rules against harming animals. It is prohibited to collect shells from Cies too.

That’s why the islands’ magic is preserved and have become a beacon for holidaymakers. Boat trips will drop you here and collect you again, and there is a campsite where you can pitch your tent for a night or two in the summer.

Holidays in Cíes Islands

The Legend of Cíes Islands

The islands are also the stuff of legend. It is believed that Sir Francis Drake hid a fleet of ships in the secluded coves of the archipelago and some say there is buried loot on the islands. Locals sometimes refer to this legend as ‘the pirate Drake’.

Enjoy the beaches of Cíes Islands

It is not so much the promise of buried treasure in Cíes Islands that bring the visitors. The pristine beaches are a big tourist draw. There are nine in total, being Rodas the most popular. This beach links two islands of the archipelago together.

Holidays in Cíes Islands beaches

Rodas Beach stretches for about a kilometre in length and is flanked by dunes which form a natural lagoon. Some come and lay down in the sand or swim in the sea. Others seek out the other beaches as beautiful as Rodas. This not only provides you with a reason to explore this wonderous place but it is a great way to escape the crowds. Spending your holidays at Cíes Islands is a great idea!!

Figueiras Beach is surrounded by woodland and sand dunes, while Nosa Señora Beach transforms into an inlet at high tide that brings the emerald coloured water into full view.

Viños Beach, Areiña Beach and Muxieiro Beach extend organically from Rodas and many use these beaches to escape the crowds but still enjoy the sand.

Walking on Cies

Walking tours are very popular on Cies with many heading towards the Faro de Cíes, a lighthouse which marks the highest point on the islands. All the walks are clearly signposted and take you through the forests and over the dunes, affording magnificent views of everything this paradise has to offer. Cies is a hidden gem in a country full of gems. Make sure you savour it. Enjoy your holidays at Cíes Islands, ¡you will not regret it!