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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