Fans of nature tourism should camp in the Cíes islands at least once in their lifetime. Sunsets on Rodas beach, evenings spent stargazing, the shade from the pine trees…everything that this archipelago offers us is unmissable for a camper. However, we should make a pact with this environment and commit to camping responsibly on the Cíes islands, respecting its fauna, vegetation and the natural calm of the area.
We have good news: the team at Camping Islas Cíes, who look after the space dedicated to camping on the island of O Faro, carry out their work sustainably: in fact, the campsite is part of the ECST initiative (European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas) by the EUROPARC Federation and also has the green tourism campsite award.
What can you do, in addition, to be a respectful camper on the Cíes Islands? Make a note of the following advice and visit them with us!
Don’t waste energy, don’t waste water
The commitment not to waste energy or water cannot be something which is unusual: it must be a firm commitment, with an influence on day-to-day actions. In the context of the Cíes Islands, we have to make an extra effort. At the campsite, you will find plugs in the social room, in the toilet blocks and in some cloakroom lockers (with two plugs in each one) where you can charge the batteries of your electronic devices; however, we ask you not to waste energy and, whenever possible, to use the solar energy mobile battery charging points located opposite the campsite’s reception.
In terms of water, we all know what a responsible use of it consists of: we should speed up the time spent in the shower as well as washing plates and cutlery or clothes. If possible, use soaps and detergents that do not harm the environment.
Do not disturb its flora, don’t annoy its fauna
In order to camp responsibly in the Cíes Islands, you have to respect the environment, without mistreating its vegetation or disturbing the lives of the animals:
- Don’t pick flowers or take sand or shells as a souvenir. We can’t change the habitat that different species live in or disturb the seabeds. The visitor cannot catch fish or shellfish in the area.
- It is not permitted to nail sharp objects into the trees or hang hammocks in the campsite.
- To move around the islands, use the wooden walkways or the marked paths. By leaving them, you might step on dunes or delicate vegetation and you will contribute to their erosion.
- Do not feed the birds or fish on the Cíes islands; your food may make them ill. Changing their feeding routine could also cause a risk to them.
The archipelago of Cíes, like the rest of the islands that form part of the Galician Atlantic Islands Maritime-Terrestrial National Park, is a protected area; in its case, it has been listed as an SPA (Special Protection Area) for birds and SAC (Special Area of Conservation). The leisure activities we carry out in these places cannot be a danger for the stability of the ecosystems. In fact, the area of the campsite in Cíes has views of a beautiful lake, the Lake of Nenos, where swimming is prohibited; this mass of water is the refuge and breeding place for different fish and aquatic animals.
Value silence and don’t make too much noise
In order for coexistence in the campsite to be pleasant, we should avoid being noisy. People who do nature tourism are usually looking for peace and quiet, and enjoy being surrounded by the original soundtrack of the Cíes Islands: the sound of the sea, the coming and going of birds, the whistles of the wind…. In any case, too much noise should be avoided, not just with other campers in mind but also considering the archipelago’s fauna. Noise which is too intense and unknown may disturb its normal activity and have negative consequences in processes as important as breeding.
In the camping area, loud music, the use of musical instruments, groups of people having parties, singing, social gatherings , “botellón parties”, etc. are prohibited.
Photograph: Camping Islas Cíes
Keep the islands clean
The ideal situation is that, wherever they are, campers and visitors generate the least amount of waste possible.
In Cíes, try not to use disposable plates or cutlery and take your rubbish to the recycling point which is located by the toilet blocks Do not, under any circumstances, leave rubbish or food waste outside the tent: this may attract gulls.
Of course, the cleaning criteria that applies to the space reserved for camping should also apply to the rest of the islands: never drop cigarette ends of other waste.
Hire or borrow your camping equipment
We would like to make a final request for your responsible camping in the Cíes Islands or any other place: it is not necessary to buy new equipment each time you go camping. Perhaps your family or friends can lend you a tent, an inflatable mattress or sleeping bag. In order for this activity to be sustainable and environmentally friendly, we should try not to fall into the trap of mass production and/or too much pollution of the equipment and accessories we use.
To camp in Cíes you can take your own tent or you can hire one through the campsite’s website. The number of tents is limited so it is recommended you book them well in advance.
The company also has sleeping bags, blankets and lanterns to hire, a very useful option for people who are camping novices or for those who prefer not to arrive at the islands weighed down and obtain some of the equipment when they get there.
Photograph: Camping Islas Cíes
Are you ready to start a responsible camping adventure on the Cíes Islands? The experience is worth it: starting with the outward trip by boat from the ports of Vigo, Cangas, Baiona, Sanxenxo or Portonovo to the joy of the return, after having relaxed, eaten tasty dishes from Galician cuisine and done some water sports.
To stay at the Cíes Islands campsite, you have to book on the website www.campingislascies.com. Do it in advance: remember that there are a lot of people who want to visit the Cíes islands in high season and that, for the wellbeing of the environment, the islands’ capacity is limited.
After making your booking at the campsite, you will receive a permit for the Galician Atlantic Islands Maritime-Terrestrial National Park by email with a pre-booking code that you will need to use to buy your tickets on our website and thereby obtain the necessary authorisation to be able to travel. With this permit, you won’t need to request the authorisation required by the Galician Government for other visitors.
Check the timetables for our boats to Cíes and get started or consolidate yourself as a camper in dreamlike surroundings. Can you imagine how beautiful it would be to visit the Cíes Islands without clock-watching for the return home? Well, don’t imagine it and camp on these islands for a few days, seeing one of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets of the Atlantic ocean. You will love this plan and you will be left wanting more: we can also take you to the island of Ons or the island of San Simón. In addition, we do tours of the ria with mussel tasting; all in conditions of maximum safety, cleaning our facilities fully and respecting all of the protection measures against Covid-19.