The Cíes Islands and the Atlantic Islands National Park

Talking about natural wonders is very easy in Galicia because it is something that we can find almost in any corner of this corner of Spain.

But nature becomes extraordinarily beautiful when we talk about the National Park of the Atlantic Islands, a group of islands near the coast, among which the Cíes Islands stand out above all.

In the Cíes Islands we find what for many is the best beach in the world, Playa de Rodas. And here we tell you how to enjoy this natural jewel.

Atlantic Islands National Park

Galicia - Ons IslandThe Parque Nacional das Illas Atlánticas de Galicia, as this spectacular park is known in Galician, is a beautiful maritime-terrestrial enclave formed by 4 archipelagos that form an enviable ecosystem with a great variety of flora and fauna.

The northernmost archipelago is Cortegada, whose largest island, of the same name, is located in the Ría de Arousa.

It is very close to the coast and at low tide you can reach it on foot.

The Sálvora Archipelago is the next one we come across going south. It is also found in the Ría de Arousa, although further from the coast.

Further south are the two most famous of the national park. On the one hand, the Ons Archipelago, in the Ría de Pontevedra, and where we find interesting beaches and a good colony of seagulls, among other birds.

And the world famous Cíes Islands, located in the Ría de Vigo and where Playa de Rodas is located, which many consider the most beautiful in the world.

Visit the Cíes Islands

Although visiting all the archipelagos is a unique experience, if you do not have enough time we consider it essential to visit the Cíes Islands, an archipelago made up of 3 islands: Monteagudo, do Faro and San Martiño.

On the islands we can find from fine sand beaches bathed by crystal clear turquoise waters, to steep cliffs from which we can have beautiful views of both the islands and the coast.

In addition, they are a perfect place to admire the flora and fauna of the area, especially birds, although we can also admire dolphins, whales, sea turtles as well as reptiles and molluscs.

On the islands you can do several hiking trails, which will take you to its different corners, including its lighthouses, and also to the beaches, including Playa de Rodas, where you will also disembark if you arrive from the coast. They are not too demanding routes so they are recommended for all audiences.

Do not miss the zigzag climb that will take you to Monte Faro.

How to go to the Cíes Islands

Galicia - Cies Islands - Rodas BeachTo guarantee the conservation of the islands and avoid overcrowding, each day only 2,200 people can go to the Cíes Islands and no vehicle can drive through them (either on the other islands in the park).

For this reason, it is advisable to buy the boat ticket in advance, although this also runs the risk that the chosen day will not have the weather, although even then you will be able to enjoy this wonderful archipelago.

The tickets have a return time, so it is important that you organize yourself perfectly so as not to miss that boat or to not finish your visit too soon and have to wait a long time to return.

These boats depart from Vigo, Cangas or Baiona in summer and Easter and take you to Monteagudo and O Faro. To get to San Martiño you have to go by private boat, the only means of transport at other times of the year. If you want to spend the night on the boat next to the islands, you have to ask for permission.

You can find more information on the official website of the Atlantic Islands National Park.

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