Las Islas Cies, or the Cies Islands, were once named as one of the top 10 beaches in the world by The Guardian newspaper. And after a recent sailing trip to the three islands near Vigo, we definitely agree that the beach is stunning.
Las Islas Cies
Las Islas Cies is made up of three islands, Monte Agudo, O Faro and San Martiño, and are situated at the entrance to the Ría de Vigo off the coast of Vigo in the northwest of Spain. While a protected National Park, you are allowed to wander around on the islands of Monte Agudo and O Faro.
Although the only way to make it out to Las Islas Cies is to sail.
In summer a number of companies operate regular services, but due to the islands popularity, there are only a limited number of visitors allowed to step on to the pristine beaches everyday. And a maximum of 800 people per night are allowed to camp on O Faro Island in summer, so bookings are essential!
Sailing out from Vigo harbour.
On one of our mornings exploring Vigo as part of their new #VigoAlive campaign we joined the Sailing charter company Sailway for a relaxing cruise out to Las Islas Cies. Climbing aboard one of their 10m yachts we set out for the hour long trip across the harbour.
Spending the day sailing past the mussel farms and old light houses standing sentry along the shoreline is the perfect way to see more of the Galician coastline.
The only place to land at Las Islas Cies is on the island of Monte Agudo and as you get closer to the shoreline you begin to realise just why it was included as one of the top 10 beaches.
Walking up the gangplank you get your first proper look across the islands. Sunlight filters through the clouds and reflects off the white particles of sand and tufts of coarse grass protect the fragile dunes from eroding into the Atlantic.
Rodas Beach, the beach proclaimed as one of the top 10 most beautiful beaches, actually joins the two islands of Monte Agudo and O Faro islands via its curving length of golden sand. While the water was freezing in October, it is possible to swim and snorkel straight off the beach in the height of summer.
At each end of Las Islas Cies there are lighthouses which are easily accessible on winding walkways for the more adventurous explorers.
Strolling along the gravel path across the artificial roadway to O Faro Island we made our way up the zigzagging paths. Between breaks in the trees we could catch glimpses of the protected island of San Martiño to the south. On which only the remains of a few abandoned houses crowd the shoreline from a time when you were allowed to live there.
Now no one except for the Park Rangers are allowed to disturb the native birds nesting on the island.
Views from O Faro Island to San Martiño Island
Pausing for breath at the top of Faro Island, we watched the birds cartwheel through the skies along the rocky outcrops. A sense of insignificance settled upon us as we gazed across the icy Atlantic Ocean. If you decided to dive in here and start swimming, then the next outcrop of land you stumbled upon would be somewhere in North America.
With so much empty space between the two continents you can only imagine how the waves have changed the landscape over the past millions of year. And how it will change in years to come as the deep turquoise water still churns to white around the base of the three Islands.
View from Faro Island back across
As the sun swept low across the ever darkening sky we raced the rain back to the shelter of boat.
The sky began to drizzle and a rush of adventure and excitement filled us as the increasing winds snatched at the sails. The weather threatening to send us on a wild journey should we loosen our hands on the wheel.
But as we drew closer to Vigo and back to civilisation it seemed the further we were from relaxing. I could definitely get used to wandering the deserted paradise of Las Islas Cies and becoming the next Robinson Crusoe.
Expert Travel Information for Las Islas Cies:
Many people don’t know that the main language in Galicia is not Spanish but actually another language called Gallego. However, just about everybody also speaks Spanish, so it’s still a good idea to brush up on your Spanish before coming.
Where to stay?
Check out the AC Hotel Palacio Universal if you would like a relaxing Hotel in Vigo. Nice and close to the harbour to visit Las Islas Cies easily.
What to do?
Sail out to the gorgeous Islas Cies of course! Check out the Sailway Facebook page if you want to learn a little bit more about them.
How to get there?
Unfortunately Vigo airport is quite small. But there are lots of flights into Madrid which is only a 50 minute flight from Vigo.
Helpful Travel Guides to use in Vigo and Spain:
Disclaimer: We were guests of the Vigo Tourism Board on the trip to Las Islas Cies. Although our photos and thoughts are always our own.
Tips For Unwinding While Travelling
People often don’t get the most out of their travelling experiences, and often the reason is a surprising one. People slam themselves with unrealistic schedules and try to do too much in too short of a time, and this winds up deteriorating the quality of the experiences that you want to have. So we have come up with a quick little guide with the help of our friends to help you get that needed decompression on your vacation:
Here are three key ways to savor that vacation many times more than you normally would just by running like a chicken with its head recently cut off. Note that all of them require time, and while time is precious, that’s actually why it’s that much more important to use it wisely.
Stay Inside For One Day:
Believe it or not, you don’t have to spend every waking moment of every vacation out there tramping around checking items off of a list. Whether you realize it or not, this is a lot like work, and can be very stressful.
There’s nothing wrong with taking a day to do next to nothing. Casinos online are an excellent way to pass the time in a fun fashion, or any other sort of game that catches your fancy. Also, get your food ordered in for once. Get a reset. The rest of your vacation will be 1000% better.
Treat Yourself to a Nice Meal:
Go out and find the restaurant wherever you are where you most want to go. If you’re in a group, vote on it, but make sure everybody’s happy to go there. If you’re alone, this is that much easier. Either way, pick an excellent restaurant. Go there and absolutely take your time, meaning don’t even think about leaving that place less than 2 hours after you’ve gone in. Enjoy every aspect of the meal slowly, contemplating the ambience and the flavors of what you are eating. It’s a small thing, but it’s a big thing at the same time.
Watch The Sun Rise or Set:
This is especially something to do if you can find a great lookout point. One thing that really works is to go to the lookout point, and just chill with a camera, even your phone’s camera, and take pictures every 5 minutes or so and document the sun going up or down until it’s done.
It’s incredibly relaxing, and you will take with you a serious series of souvenirs that are eminently shareable with friends and loved ones. You can even turn the whole thing into one big time-lapse photo. And the act of calmly and quietly observing one’s environment is in and of itself so relaxing and rewarding in surprising ways.
Tips For Hitting The Orlando Area For Holidays
Planning on visiting the famous theme parks in and around Orlando soon? This is definitely something everyone should do at least once in their lifetimes, whether as a couple, with the whole family, or even solo. Here are some pro tips to make the experience the absolute best one possible:
Don’t Leave Anything for the Last Minute:
You have to understand that this is an extremely popular destination for tourists, so much so that if you don’t have things planned out beforehand, you could be shut out of a lot of things you actually wanted to see, because they actually fill up to capacity well in advance sometimes. Especially, make very sure to get your theme park tickets before you go. Doing so will save you so much potential headache and stress.
Think Carefully about When You Want to Go:
Orlando is in a particularly hot and humid part of this Earth, but it’s not that way all year round.
If your schedule permits, you may want to consider going during March and April. This is a great time because the summer heat hasn’t started slamming the area yet, and because it’s still during the school year, the place isn’t packed with tourists.
The second best time of the year to go would be September and October. The temperatures will be roughly the same as in March and April, and prices will be even lower and crowds even less. The one caveat is that this is technically in the middle of Florida’s hurricane season, and while Orlando is quite a ways inland, there still exists some risk, albeit a minor one.
November through the beginning of March is an excellent time to go for weather (although as of this writing it went below freezing in Orlando for the first time in 30 years, this is a very rare event; usually things in Orlando are quite balmy, even in the absolute dead of winter). The problem with this time of year is that a lot of people are on vacation, especially during Christmas break, Presidents’ Week, and Spring Break. This means crowds and marked-up prices everywhere.
Lastly is the summer. Unless you are a gecko or an iguana, you probably won’t like Orlando in the summer very much, as the heat and especially the humidity go practically off the charts. If all people concerned are very cold-blooded, this may be an option for you. The other downside is that people tend to come here despite the heat in the summer because that’s when their kids have their summer break from school.
What is Your Dream Vacation When You Have Won the Lottery?
For everyone that buys a ticket for a lottery draw anywhere in the world, the dream is always to win and win big. We all have things we would buy and stuff we want to do when we won the lottery and among that list is to take a dream vacation. But what are the types of dream vacation you could enjoy with all those millions in the bank?
Ultimate safari in Africa
Africa is the second largest continent in the world and takes up a massive 22% of the planet. That means there is a lot to see across it and the ultimate safari would include the most important sights. From scaling Mount Kilimanjaro to seeing Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World there are so many things to do. You can visit one of the oldest prehistoric sites in Olduvai Gorge or the larger unbroken volcanic caldera at Ngorongoro Crater. Then there’s the wildlife – elephants, giraffe, lions and so much more to see during the 29 day private tour across Southern Africa.
Jet tours with National Geographic
If you want to see the most amazing natural wonders, there’s no-one better to do it with than National Geographic experts and this is something you can do for just around $80,000 a person. This 24 day adventure takes you from the Iguacu Falls in Brazil to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to Easter Island and lets you see the most amazing places in the world while learning about them from the ultimate experts.
Luxury Antarctica Cruise
For the adventure fans, there’s nowhere more fascinating that Antarctica and a luxury tour of the frozen continent is a great way to see the most amazing sights while still enjoying all the best conveniences. Spot the penguins and elephant seals who are unafraid of human visitors while seeing the amazing icebergs floating through the glasslike seas.
Silk Road private train
The Silk Road is associated with some of the most famous figures and events in history from Alexander the Great to Marco Polo. Now you can take a private train and explore the 4000-mile length of the ‘road’. Stop at historic spots, see amazing modern towns and villages and enjoy the amazing scenery while recreating a route that brought many of the luxuries we take for granted today from the Far East in the first place.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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