These 15 Photos Will Inspire You To Visit the Cies Islands
On my Instagram stories, I recently conducted a poll with the question: Have you ever heard of the Cies Islands? Out of dozens of people who responded, 39% voted yes and 61% voted no. I wasn’t entirely surprised. The Cies Islands in Galicia, Spain are still a well-kept secret even though National Geographic voted one of the beaches there, Rodas Beach, as the best in the world. Located right off Spain’s northwestern coast, the Cies Islands offer a relaxing escape in an untouched natural environment. I’ll show, not tell, you why you need to add these islands to your bucket list. Here are 15 photos that will inspire you to visit the Cies Islands – like right now.
This is the sixth post in the Spain Bucketlist Series. Here’s the complete list:
Culture: 9 Experiences You Must Have in Spain
Off the beaten path: 8 Underrated Cities You Need To Visit in Spain
Barcelona: A Self-Guided Walking Tour of Barcelona
Before You Go
The Cies Islands are a natural protected habitat with rare bird species and fauna. Because of that, there are some special rules visitors have to follow. The government of Galicia, Xunta de Galicia, requires that all visitors obtain a permit before visiting during these specified periods:
- From March 23rd until April 1st.
- March 29, 30 and 31.
- Holidays in May.
- From June to September.
- Weekends and holidays in October.
The dates when permits are required may vary by year so the above timetable is not set in stone.
Two Options to Get a Permit
- Purchase your ferry ticket online – when you book a ferry ticket for the Cies Islands, a message will pop up telling you to get a permit. It will include a link to the Xunta de Galicia website, where you can complete the request form in about 2 minutes. It’s really simple – you just need to enter a few personal details. The ferries operates from the cities Cangas and Vigo. I went through Vigo (the Cies Islands are considered a part of Vigo.)
- Go directly to the Xunta de Galicia website and fill out the request form. Then you can purchase your ticket either online or at the ticket booth at the port of Vigo.
The only way to get to the Cies Islands is by ferry. There are two major ferry operators that offer daily trips to the island: Nabia Naviera and Mar de Ons. They both cost 16 euros per round trip ticket. I used Nabia Naviera because the Mars de Ons website was having some technical glitches. Both ferry companies operate frequently from 9 am to 8 pm.
A Few Rules
In addition to obtaining a permit, there are a few simple rules you need to follow on the island. There are no trash cans of any sort on the beaches so you have to either take your trash with you or dispose of it at the restaurant by the entrance. There is absolutely no littering allowed (of course, you don’t need reminding anyway.) Most importantly, you can’t feed or touch the animals; the government is serious about protecting the animals because some of them are on the verge of extinction.
One more thing: the seagulls are kind of vicious and will probably try to steal your food if you’re eating at the outdoor restaurant. One stole a piece of calamari from my plate! Just wave your hand and they’ll leave you alone, momentarily.
Let the inspiration begin…
OTHER POSTS IN THE SPAIN BUCKET LIST SERIES
- A Self-Guided Walking Tour of Barcelona
- 9 Experiences You Must Have in Spain
- The Ultimate Packing List for Your Summer Vacation in Spain
- 10 Travel Tips You Need To Know Before Visiting Spain
- 8 Underrated Cities You Need To Visit in Spain
- 10 Best Beaches in Spain You Should Visit Before You Die
- 6 Dishes to Eat in Spain Besides Paella and Tapas
- 10 Unconventional Tips for Women Traveling Solo in Spain
- Forget Barcelona, Why Granada is the Best Place to Visit in Spain