Cies Islands Galicia Spain

Cíes Islands, Galicia, Spain

The Cíes consist of three islands, Monteagudo, do Faro (Isla do Medio) and San Martiño. They are located off the coast of Galicia in Spain.

The islands make for a lovely excursion from Viana do Castelo in Portugal to Vigo in Spain by direct train or bus.

Cíes Islands, Galicia, Spain
Cíes Islands, Galicia, Spain

Natural Environment

There are no cars or hotels on the islands to preserve the pristine natural environment. However, there are cafes and restaurants for both refreshments and food.

Now a National Park, the Cíes Islands are home to over 22,000 pairs of seagulls. In addition, there are petrels, pelicans, as well as birds of prey on the islands. There are, however, now only a few surviving Iberian guillemots.

The waters around the islands attract dolphins, sharks, and even whales.

Cíes Islands, Galicia, Spain
Beautiful sandy beach, but the water is cold!

Beaches

Visitors numbers are limited. Would-be tourists have to obtain an online permit which is checked on your phone or on a print out before you get on the ferry to the islands. See below for further information.

The main beach is Praia das Rodas which links the two main islands. In addition, there are the pretty coves of Praia de Nosa Señora and Praia das Figueres.

Activities include walking up to the Montefaro lighthouse (one of three on the islands) and enjoying relaxing on the beaches or in the (cool) water.

There are four trails altogether including the recommended Monte Faro trail and Alto del Príncipe trail.

The views from Alto do Principe are indeed superb.

Cíes Islands, Galicia, Spain
The islands are part of a nature reserve - the National Land-Marine Park of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia

Accommodation

There is only a single place to stay on the islands which is Camping Islas Cíes - a rather basic and not cheap accommodation. If you prefer to stay in Vigo there is a wide selection of hotels.


Lighthouse
Lighthouse on Montefaro

Cíes Islands, Galicia, Spain
Boats

The waters around the islands are super clean
The waters around the islands are crystal clear

Pristine beach on the Cies Islands
The local flora includes both scrub and woodland seen here on Praia das Rodas

The local flora includes both scrub and woodland
The islands are known as the Illas Cíes in Galician

The islands are reached by boat from Vigo
Find peace and tranquility


Access - Getting There

The uninhabited islands are reached by boat from Vigo. There are also boats to the islands from the ports of Baiona and Cangas on the Galician coast. The boat from Vigo takes about 40 minutes. Journey time from Viana do Castelo Station to Vigo is about 1 hour, 20 minutes.

For boat times from Vigo check crucerosriasbaixas.com on your phone. It doesn't seem to work very well on PC. 

The mardeons.es/en/cies-islands website also has good information on the islands.

There are strict rules in force to protect the environment: no littering (visitors must take their litter home), no fishing, and no campfires.

The permit is available from this website: autorizacionillasatlanticas.xunta.gal


The Cíes consist of three islands, Monteagudo, do Faro (Isla do Medio) and San Martiño
The Cíes consist of three islands, Monteagudo, do Faro (Isla do Medio) and San Martiño

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Sandeman Cellars Vila Nova de Gaia

Sandeman Cellars Vila Nova de Gaia

The Sandeman Port Wine Lodge in Vila Nova de Gaia across the River Douro from Porto is a distinctive sight.

The House of Sandeman was founded way back in 1790 by the Scottish businessman George Sandeman. He dealt in Spanish sherry through Cadiz and port wine from Portugal. He purchased his cellars and wine lodge in Vila Nova de Gaia in 1811. Nowadays, the company also trades in wine from Madeira.

Sandeman Cellars Vila Nova de Gaia
Sandeman's wine cellars

The traditional logo of "the Don" - a figure wearing a long Portuguese student's cape and a Spanish Cabellero hat is one of the world's first commercial logos. It was painted by the Scottish artist George Massiot Brown.

Nowadays visitors to Sandeman's cellars and museum on the history of the company and brand can enjoy a variety of tours. They are conducted by a guide dressed as "the Don" aka the Sandeman Man. The tours end with a Port wine tasting and an opportunity to buy the company's celebrated port wines and vintage ports.

The museum exhibits vintage bottles going back as far as the 17th century, paintings and pottery. 

Distinctive rooftops of the building
Distinctive rooftops of the building


Access - Getting There

Largo Miguel Bombarda, 47
4400-222 Vila Nova de Gaia

Hours

March to October; daily from 10 am to 8pm; November to February; daily from 10 am to 12:30 pm and from 2 pm to 6 pm.

Porto buses 900, 901 904, and 906 all stop outside the cellars.

The Sandeman logo is one of the world's first
The Sandeman logo is one of the world's first commercial logos

© PortugalVisitor.com

Rua das Flores Porto

Rua das Flores, Porto

The Rua das Flores in Porto was laid out in the early 16th century on land owned by the Bishop of Porto. By the 19th century, the street had some of the city's most expensive shops including goldsmiths.

Rua das Flores, Porto
Rua das Flores, Porto

Nowadays the street is lined with chic cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops and hip boutiques running down to the Igreja da Misericórdia, the Museu da Misericórdia do Porto, and the Largo São Domingos from just across the road from São Bento Station.

The street is pedestrianized and is usually thronged with tourists in the summer season. This is turn attracts musicians and street artists to entertain the crowds.

Some of the elegant buildings on the street once belonged to the aristocracy and wealthy merchants and date from the 17th-19th centuries.

Shop on the pedestrianized Rua das Flores
Rua das Flores

Note the fine wrought-iron balconies and tile work on some of the buildings. If you wish to stay on or near to this trendy thoroughfare try the recommended Casa dos Lóios Boutique Guesthouse or Myo Design House. Both are within renovated, historic houses with modern facilities.

Flores Boutique Hotel & Spa is a four-star hotel on the street complete with a wellness center, roof terrace and indoor pool.

Shop on the pedestrianized Rua das Flores
Shop on the pedestrianized Rua das Flores

Museu da Misericórdia do Porto
Museu da Misericórdia do Porto


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