Declared a National Park in 1980 and included in the National Parks of the Atlantc Islands of Galicia in 2002 (formed by the group of archipelagos, islands, and islets of Cíes, Ons, Sálvora, Noro, Vioneta, Cortegada, and Malveiras), the Cíes Islands are one of the most important tourist destinations in Galicia. In February of 2007, the British newspaper The Guardian even named the Playa de Rodas as the best in the world. It is a real natural paradise and a place where you can spend a beautiful summer’s day. Some of its many attractions are its natural beauty, its walking and hiking trails, its spectacular views, its beaches, and the ability to relax that it offers.
The boats to the islands depart daily from Baiona, Cangas de Morrazo, and Vigo; and you can reserve your tickets at the websites Cruceiros Rías Baixas and Mar de Ons. You can visit the island from the end of June until the end of September (but there are other possible visiting times at the websites mentioned above). No more than 2200 people can visit the island in a day, and the most popular times are during Semana Santa and the summer. Since this island is technically uninhabited and protected, you can only camp here for a maximum of 15 days. But that is still a pretty long time, and the island offered 800 places to camp.
When visiting the Cíes, it is best to take one of the roundtrip tours that leaves from the information booth on the island of Monteagudo. The Ruta del Monte Faro (7.4 km; 2 and a half hours) is the longest and most comprehensive of them all. During the tour to the Faro, you can see the Playa de Rodas, the children’s lake, the beach and the picnic area of Nuestra Señora, the Isla Sur, the remains of the Castro das Hortas, and the zigzagging path up to the lighthouse. The Ruta del Faro da Porta (5.2 km, an hour and 45 minutes) is easier and shorter than the previous one, with which part of its tour overlaps. Instead of going up to the lighthouse, you veer off and go to the Faro de Portas, one that is much lower. The Ruta del Alto do Príncipe (3 km, an hour and 15 minutes) is the shortest, but it is still beautiful. It takes you to the Alto del Príncipe, where you have a great view to admire the landscape. Lastly, the Ruta de Monteagudo (5.6 km, an hour and 45 minutes) adds on to the previous one with a trip to the area of A Valgada, bringing you to the Faro do Peito and the point at which you can do some birdwatching. Here, you can enjoy amazing views of the Ría de Vigo and the Costa da Vela.