Cíes Islands, the best beach in the world?


The Cies Island, which make up one more municipality of Vigo, form one of the most special archipelagos of the Galician coast although it was not until 2007 when the famous British newspaper The guardian publish your particular Top Ten of the best beaches in the Worlddeclaring Rhodes Beach (Cíes Islands) as the best beach in the world (or at least the most beautiful) sharing list with other wonders of Colombia, Brazil, Philippines, Tanzania or Polynesia. Later we will talk about this particular "classification" but we will tell you how to get there, ferry, camping accommodation and much more (UPDATED for the 2015 season)

One of its greatest values, in addition to the blue flags of its beaches, was the declaration as a Natural Park in 1980, being in 2002 when they would join the group of surrounding archipelagos and islands (Ons, Sálvora, Noro, Vionta, Cortegada and Malveiras ) forming the Maritime-Terrestrial National Park of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia.

Today is day August 13, 2010 and a very usual getaway in the Galician summer awaits us (Paula comes down to 2 or 3 times per summer). 1 hour and a half (€ 20 round trip toll) separates A Coruña from Vigo, place we have chosen today for the departure of the ferry. The getaway alignment: Juve and Ruth (Secuoias), Javi and Noelia, Isaac and Paula.

Not later than 10'00, and after parking in the tedious robotic parking of Vigo (of 350 seats in the form of pallets with several loading and unloading docks), we met to embark (€ 17'50 per person) in the Naviera Mar de Ons at 11'00.

¿How to get to the Cíes Islands ?:

There is only one way to get to the Cíes Islands, and this is by sea ​​transport (boat, ferry or sailboat) and only during Easter and Summer. Two companies make the route between the land port and the archipelago every day at different times:

- Ferry Naviera Mar de Ons ( From Vigo, Cangas and Baiona.
- Ferry Naviera NABIA ( From Vigo and Cangas.

Prices on the date of this story are around € 14-16 for Easter 2015 (in summer they are usually somewhat more expensive) for round trips. !! EYE !! IN SUMMER YOU MUST RESERVE WITH LOTS OF ADVANCE (of at least 1 week, if you want to get a place, since there is a maximum limit of visitors per day)

It is important to know this detail, Juve made reservations for six to 8 days before leaving. You play it a little with the weather, but there is no other way, and always online, having to be 30 minutes before to collect the tickets with the reservation receipt.

The boat that moves us, this time, is a kind of catamaran that has up to 4 different levels, the last two being open, which gives a beautiful view of the estuary for visitors, from a journey time of approximately 40 minutes.

There is a phrase, which we really like to say, that comes as a "finger ring" to this little getaway: "You don't have to go to the other end of the world to find wonderful places"…

Rhodes Beach, the best beach in the world

... enter through the area of ​​dunes and beaches of Monteagudo Island, protected by rock formations of the other abrupt face, it has nothing to envy to places of the nature of any other corner of the planet.

We are in the National Maritime-Terrestrial Park of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia, possibly in which more fauna and flora can be observed.

The park has guides and interpreters for hiking trails, which can be practiced individually as they are very well indicated. The most famous, possibly, is the mount lighthouse route, which we take although we will not reach the end (the day accompanies and we will take advantage of the beach).

We advance leaving the famous Rhodes Beach, which we will return to in the afternoon. A little further on we observe a curious formation of sand accumulation and a small lake, which has ended up linking the Lighthouse Island with the North Island or Monteagudo in which we had landed.

Right here, and before reaching the Information Point of the Monastery of San Estevo we see the only place to sleep ("legal") of all the Cíes Islands, a campsite.

Accommodation where to sleep in Cíes Islands

The only sleeping accommodation in all the Cies Islands is a 800-seater campsite that does not have cabins or bungalows and that only remains open during Holy Week and from June 15 to September 15.

There is also a small cocktail bar and a supermarket, to allow stays of up to 15 days.

Prices are affordable, from € 10 per adult if you bring your store and € 45-49 if you need a single rental store or € 70-75 in a double store (UPDATED 2015)

His website is and the reservation phone 986 438 358

Where to eat in Cíes Islands?

There is only 3 restaurants In all the islands and 2 of them serve sandwiches (and similar). Prices are somewhat higher than normal prices but not exaggerated. There is also a small supermarket in the Camping.

The best option is to bring your own picnic from home, since the place lends itself to it. !! EYE!! THERE ARE NO PAPERS IN THE CIES! You have to take the trash you generate back or leave it in the wastebaskets of the jetty.

So, we keep walking and find our goal, the Our Lady's Beach, which is reached by going down a sandy path surrounded by a very suggestive picnic area, although we have already prepared our picnic (like the Getaway to the Rías Baixas and O Grove recent)…

... Padrón peppers, croquettes, sausage, breaded pork fillets, empanadillas ... !! So it's nice to go to the beach !!

Our Lady's Beach is also called Carracido Beach and is, perhaps, more welcoming than the main Rhodes Beach. It is a small little house of about 150 meters where sailboats dock to spend the day on the island.

The sand is fine and white on all beaches. There is also a nudist beach called Playa de los Alemanes (as they were the only ones who dared to nudity and from there it remained) that is also beautiful. We take the opportunity to take a little nap in which we have chosen to spend the morning and noon, Playa de Nuestra Señora.

And many will wonder at this point, Is Rhodes Beach the most beautiful in the world?

The best beach in the world? Our verdict on Rhodes Beach

When you think about your ideal beach, a series of features come to mind: white and fine sand, natural surroundings, heavenly corner, warm turquoise waters, moderate waves and we could continue.

The newspaper The guardianwhen in 2007 he published his Top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world, described in his article that "mentioning the Beaches of Spain, most people instinctively think of the Mediterranean but that there is a jewel, the Playa de Rodas, a perfect half-moon beach, with fine white sand and sheltered in the Galician Coasts. by small dunes, which host a true lagoon of crystalline waters"

AND, What do we think That all this is true!. Rhodes Beach, where we approach undoing the walk, is a beach that meets all these characteristics, starting with its fine white sand, located in a privileged natural environment, with abundant fauna and flora, where diving for fans should be exceptional and where the limitation of people makes, although not paradisiacal, if you can enjoy without crowds.

There we spent the afternoon, finishing the nap, playing paddles and enjoying the sun.

But, even fulfilling all this, is it the best beach in the world? Here comes the subjectivity of each one.


It would be impossible to list magnificent beaches that can be enjoyed in this world. Reviewing our trips a bit, the ones that come to mind come to mind Blue Lagoon (Bahamas) at trip to Florida in 1991, or any of the Cayo Largo Beaches of the trip to Cuba in 2008

... or without a doubt, those of the Deer Island at 2007 trip to Mauritius, or why not? the Neko Harbor beaches at trip to Antarctica 2009 (haha, this is a joke ...)

And we could go on ... but which one is the best of them all?

The best beach in the world is one that meets the characteristics that one asks for, and like any ranking, there will be hundreds of thousands of different classifications that will depend on the day we saw it, the weather, the moment of our life, what it represented, the company and many things further from its fine white sands or crystalline waters.

Rhodes Beach has only one "small defect", its waters. And not for not being crystalline or intense blue colors and absolute clarity ...

… But because they are located on the coldest Galician coasts of the Atlantic, and that everyone forgives me but… !! They are cold !! You have to put a lot of courage to bathe here, especially for those who "grow older" (haha), although "some" have already found our own "trick": ENTER PLAYING THE PADDLES OR AS A FIRE TEST BEFORE YOUR COUPLE, hahahaha

A strong point that makes the Cies Islands an even more special place is that the daily influx is limited to no more than 2,200 people controlled, since they have to leave the same day (with the exception of those who sleep at the campsite, which they have to ask for a camper card)

Returning a summer ago (from where we have inserted a photo to complete the story), we would not fail to make an almost essential route for anyone visiting this archipelago, the route of the Alto del Principe.

We begin to walk under the trees that shade the road. On one side, while we climb, we leave the dunes of Mucieiro and another beautiful beach. We continue ascending between eucalyptus and other native flora until we reach an area eroded by wind and saltpeter. We are in the High of the Prince where have we reached in approximately 45 minutes.

We are facing one of the best panoramas from which we can observe the steep vertical cliffs of the western part of the island, where the strong waves of the Atlantic breaks, contrasting with the area of ​​the lake and the Playa de Rodas.

Although we have already commented on aspects of flora, if this Nature Reserve stands out for something, it is because of its fauna. In Cíes, underwater fishing has been banned since 1992 as well as considered within the ZEPA (Special Bird Protection Zone) since 1988.

This is because here we can find a huge diversity of marine fauna (barnacles, mussels, starfish, knives, spider crabs, oxen and lobsters, dolphins, rice and even some kind of whale. Also all kinds of birds, from cormorants, araos, gannets and shearwaters to the multitude of Yellow-legged Gulls, being the Cies, its largest refuge in the world with about 22,000 copies.

It's time to head back to the pier. Our shipping company leaves at 19:30 and does not go directly to Vigo, but instead stops at Cangas (sometimes it is). After 1 hour of crossing, pick up the car from the parking lot (€ 15) and 1 hour and a half more until A Coruña, we enter the house after 22'00 at night, not without remembering what a local legend says: "God rested in the Cíes Islands on the seventh day after creating the world".


- If you can choose from where to board and prioritize on the economic issue, try leave from Cangas where you will find free parking (In Vigo it is VERY difficult and the parking will be around € 15 per day)

- In the Cíes the roads are of sand and stones, comfortable to ride with flip flops but not barefoot or with carts for children.

- In addition to the routes of the story, it is highly recommended the Mount Faro Route (2'30 hours i / v), Porta Lighthouse Route (2 hours i / v) and Monteagudo Route (2 hours i / v)

A highly recommended getaway, even for travelers who pass through the area, staying to sleep in the city of Vigo, one of the liveliest for both dinner and party throughout Galicia.

It's time to rest, but the question remains in the air (and in the comments WE WILL WET US)


Ruth, Juve, Paula, Isaac, Javi and Noelia, from Cíes Islands (Galicia)

EXPENSES OF THE DAY: € 70 (every two people including tolls, parking and ferry)