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.
Why Should You Choose A Couple Resort as a Romantic Getaway
There’s no point in planning a couple’s holiday retreat if you aren’t choosing a place that speaks of romance. Different couples have different tastes, some prefer long drives while some are into adventures. A majority of couples also turn to beaches or pick places that are known for calmness and quiet.
This is why it is important to know what your partner prefers so that you can choose a destination that fits everyone. This may be difficult, but what if there was a place that offered all of the above mentioned things? There is. A resort can offer you all this and much more.
You just have to find the best resort for the family and you are good to go. Remember that not all resorts are created same. For example, some are close to the beach while some are not. You need to find a resort that offers all the activities you are interested in so that you can have a great time when you go for a holiday with your partner.
Without much ado, let’s have a look at why you should go to a resort when you plan a picnic in the future:
If you are looking for memory making adventures as a couple then a couples resort is your best bet. Most resorts have their own excursions that you can opt for. This removes the need to find travel agents as you can book all that you need from the comfort of your room just by dialing the reception.
You can experience heart pumping activities like snorkeling, boat rides, jet ski and a lot more.
There’s no need to panic or worry if you haven’t gone through any of these activities before as you will be provided with safety equipment and training before you embark on your journey.
While all these are adventurous options, this is not all that a resort offers. You can enjoy other activities as well such as a couples massage and other relaxing activities.
Most top class resorts have their own spas where you can relax and allow your mind and body to soothe.
Meals are the soul of a holiday trip and bad meals can definitely ruin your adventure by ruining your mood. However, couple resorts are said to have trained and top notch chefs who know how to make the diners go wow with their cooking skills. There’s a wide variety of foods available at a couple’s resort.
You can look at the available menu before you book a resort so that you know what kind of food you will get at the resort. Many resorts offer all-inclusive deals where you pay a lump sum for your stay and food. This is a good option as it takes the burden off your shoulder and allows you to relax without any worries.
What’s your definition of a romantic spot? Sunbathing under an umbrella? Getting drenched in a jacuzzi with your partner? Expressing love on a boat while you’re in the middle of the sea? A couples resort can make all your romantic wishes come true and get you two connected like never before.
Let the receptionist know of your plan and they will make it happen for you. Plus, if you go for a couple resort you will be able to enjoy intimate moments without any trouble as they understand the importance of privacy and will provide you with all that you need.
Pack your bags and start planning your next trip tomorrow. The key lies in being on the same page as your partner and planning in advance so that you do not only save money, but also make every moment count.
4 Uncommon Sights To Find In Australia
Australia, a country with a rich, versatile and blossoming natural life. A country with amazing food, amazing people, and an amazing history. A trip to Australia can feel a little discombobulating in the first few moments if making the trip from a Western climate to here, as of course the seasons will be completely flipped on their head. However, the moment you exit the airport you’ll be greeted with the beautiful expanse of this wonderful country, and all it has to offer.
However, of course countries are known for many things, but it does feel like Australia is sometimes stereotyped a little too much. While beaches, great foods, crazy wildlife and hats with corks are to be found, as are plenty ‘g’day mates’ and kangaroos, that is only 0.01% of what this country has to offer. In the interest of finding you some wonderful uncommon experiences to see the hidden side of Australia, we have compiled a list of four uncommon sights you should find it more than worthwhile to visit.
The Western Australian Nambung desert is around ninety minutes north of Perth. You can get there even more quickly with a good car hire. Of course, you might be thinking ‘what does a desert have to offer me?’ Well, nestled there are The Pinnacles, one of the most interest natural limestone developments to be found. Jutting out from the surface and spread along around a mile of land, this area almost seems like a natural form of ruins.
There is a storied history here. The aboriginals suggest that these limestone rocks are natural memorials to those who died in the quicksand. Of course, any and all residual quicksand is heavily cordoned off and maintained, so there’s no need to be afraid of this area. However, it can certainly make for an interesting trip, as this is the one and unique place you will ever see a site such as this. Be sure to bring your camera, especially if you’re interested in photographing strange shadows and compositions of nature!
Karlu Karlu are also known as ‘The Devil’s Marbles,’ and for quite a funny reason. These two massive granite rocks standing parallel to one another on rock platforms. This area is a protected conservation reserve, due to them being a strong and spiritually significant area for the aboriginals. This means that it is known as one of the oldest religious sites in the world. Karlu Karlu roughly translates to round boulders, which lends credence and respect to the sight.
You can get here at the exact midway point between Tennant Creek (North) and the Alice Springs (South.) Of course, like any protected conservation effort, you can learn the history here, enjoy a guided tour and relax in the nearby facilities. However, if you’re into your natural history, the age and breadth of this site should give you some genuine pause for thought and wonder.
Wolfe Creek Crater
If you like your odd space history, where else is better to go than a meteoric impact? That is until Elon Musk allows us all to travel to Mars. However, the weather is much more pleasant in Australia, so this will more than serve for now. The Wolfe Creek Crater is located in the Western Australian outback and is of course the filming location of the popular horror series ‘Wolf Creek’. Luckily in real life the tragedies to be experienced here are zero, only a natural wonder and interest that something so small could produce a crater so large. Be sure to bring your hiking boots, and only stick to the predestined path if traversing this rocky landscape.
If you have a little hippie in you, then it might do you well to visit Nimbin, one of the very first hippie communities to ever grace Australia. Luckily this place is still thriving today, with plenty of community-led stores, events, art displays and musical gigs for you to explore. Nimbin is very popular with tourists, and the self-sufficient community hosts festivals for them to attend every year. This can be quite a tiring place to visit, as almost everyone has profound energy for celebration all the time. However, if you’re looking to blow off some steam with people you’ll think you’ve known forever, then relaxing and enjoying this community can be one of the best things you’ll do on your Australian travels.
So what are you waiting for? A world of incredible Australian adventure lies just around the corner. Be sure to experience the most you can within the time allotted, and you’re sure to have one of the best vacations of your life.
Perfect Your Car for an Offroading Adventure
There is something awesome about offroading – the ability to just drive is so freeing it can get addictive! But if you don’t want to get stuck or find yourself in a jam, you will need to make sure that your car is properly equipped to handle the terrain in front of you.
Road trips are the best way to discover what the wild has to hold and travel beyond the safety of the city. There is so much land to explore and so many opportunities to get back to nature that you just can’t pass up a road trip when it comes along. Wherever you plan to go, here are the things you should never be without.
It sounds weird, but it does work exactly like a regular snorkel and allows you to take your car through deeper ravines without messing up the engine or exhaust. Airflow 4X4 Snorkels are great models to try and you can use their CAD templates to double check your measurements.
Even if you aren’t planning to cross deeper water, having a car snorkel ready is perfect for a spontaneous change of route or if the weather takes a turn and there is a lot of water to deal with all of a sudden. It’s also good to have when you find that you are going through a lot of mud.
The Right Tires
Depending on the terrain you plan to drive on, you will need to make sure your tires can handle it. Regular tires are just made for fairly smooth tarmac so if you want to go anywhere that doesn’t have a road like that, you will need to step up your game and have a look at an off-road tire guide to see which is best for your trip.
Getting the right tires is important because you need to have enough grip on multiple terrain types to get to your destination. You also need to make sure that the car is stable while you drive so you aren’t going to put your back out going over a bump. The better suited your tires are to different terrains, the more comfortable your trip will be and the safer it will be too.
Storing Extra Fuel
When you are far away from anywhere, fuel stations are, obviously, few and far between. This means that you need to think carefully about how much fuel you will need as running out in this environment is extremely dangerous. You could think about installing a long range fuel tank or bring jerry cans of fuel just in case.
Whichever method you choose, you need to make sure that you have enough plus spare to get to your next fuel stop. However, do remember that your vehicle will be weighted down with all your food and water as well as your clothes and whatever else you want to take. This means that you will go through fuel a bit faster than normal – especially if you are using your car battery to cook.
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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