035 - Cies Islands - Galicia/Spain

There are so many beautiful lighthouses all along the North-Western coast of Spain. If there is a top three, one of them has to be the main lighthouse on this island -> let’s discover!

Click here to see the map!

035.1 The only way to get to Cies Islands is by boat, from the ports of Vigo (037) or Baiona (033). The bad news is that on this island there is a maximum tourist capacity, so in summer time, you might want to book in advance both the go and return trips, in detail - day and exact hour… Now to be honest I don’t know what happens if once on the island, you might want to return faster or later. 

035.2 If you get sea sick or you don’t know if you might get or not, then is better to use one of these bigger boats that leave from Vigo. Anyway, during this trip, the boats don’t really go out in the open, like for example, when visiting the Ons Islands with departure from Vigo (future article). So I am confident that taking a smaller boat can be just as pleasant (maybe not film a lot, or don’t use a VR headset and you will be just fine :) 

035.3 We arrive to Cies Islands quite fast (and in four total trips, I wasn’t lucky to see any dolphins 😢) so now we can get to the cantina to buy some snacks, water and coffee! 

035.4 The Cies Island is divided into two regions, held together by this patch of sand - Rodas Beach. Now there is also a bridge for those who did not pack slippers 😎 and most people will follow that exact path anyway (is also marked on the tourist map. 

035.5 When we arrived on the island, we took our time to wait for the hundreds of tourists to rush towards the lighthouse or the beach. Why? So that when we go, is more “quiet” and thus maybe we see - a crab 🦀. This was taken on the bridge that links the two areas of Cies Island so yeah I think is better to take the path of the bridge but try not to be the first to arrive there, rather aim to be one of the last. 

035.6 Lago dos nenos (Children’s lake) is the perfect place to take photos of fish or some interesting shaped stones. Who said only clouds can take fantasy forms? This one looks like a bird right?

035.7 Speaking of fantasy shapes, doesn’t this look like the head of the flying dog/dragon from NeverEndingStory named Falkor? 

035.8 We finally arrive at the camping site. Staying here is great in more than one way (plus they have real toilets/showers and some have even big tents). Personally, what I love here is the fact that there are no bears - no big wild animal + the sky at night can be very clear (there is still some light pollution, but not that much). The place is also very quiet with only the wind blowing as background noise.

035.9 The Cies Islands (the main island) has a mostly rocky/mountain geography so when is sunny it is easy to see lizards. However, again, try not to stay glued to the hundreds of tourists going towards the Lighthouse Mountain as “wildlife” is easier to spot when the “dust settles”. 

035.10 I promise this is the last lizard I show: Jewelled lizard - specific to the Iberic Peninsula -> quite large in comparison to Common Wall lizard (seen previously), this one is the easiest to identify… once is gone 😅 Usually they make quite a lot of noise when they see people passing; they rush to the nearest hole in the most non stealthy way.

035.11 The trip to the main lighthouse translates into following a path that is mostly ascending with the view obstructed by trees. However as we go higher, we can peek over the trees and admire the clear blue water (how easy would it be to see a dolphin in this clear water?).

035.12 The Lighthouse Mountain. When I saw it, I knew I will make it in 3D and then feature it in an article. In fact, this and Sintra (all those articles) were the reason behind me wanting to make a 3D work for all articles. I think I like this place soo much because of the serpent like path that ascends to the top, and also because it looks like the famous Great Wall in China. 

035.13 This picture is made from the top of Montefaro peak, where the lighthouse sits, and we are at 176 meters above the sea level. However, the highest point -> 186m is at the very opposite side of the island, the peak on the far left side of this image. 

035.14 Now if you want a closer look at what exactly is painting the island’s rocks in orange - here is a detailed shot with this beautiful little bird: Northern Wheatear

035.15 From up here we can see very well the second island. If you come from Baiona (033) the boat will pass next to Monteferro - Nigran (034) (visible peak on the far left of this image) and then it will get close to this island as well. In fact on this island there are houses, but again, I don’t know how to get on it but clearly there is a way. As I said in the previous articles (Nigran and Baiona), in Galicia not that much is exposed to all tourists. Much is still left to be enjoyed only by locals and their families. 

035.16 It is interesting how the east side of each island is mostly covered with trees (and it is also more gentle in it’s slopes) while the western side it is very rocky, almost devoid of vegetation and very steep. 

035.17 There are plenty rock formations on this island that have interesting shapes so make sure you get a tourist map because they are represented in it. This is Pedra da Campa.

035.18 We climbed down the mountain, went back to the beach that seems to be a natural bridge and from there we went on (north), into another forest.

035.19 Walking in the forest does help in hot summer days, although is not that hot in the costal Galicia, the Ocean does help a lot. 

035.20 This is one magnificent photo to be made on the Northen side of the Cies Islands - looking south at the Lighthouse Mountain on a clear day. 

035.21 In the same area there is even a plateau that looks like there was a lake or something and then got super arid and clean (devoid of plants or anything much really).

035.22 Like with all great things, this trip also had to end so we took our place on a return boat and watched the island get smaller and smaller behind us. 

Cies Island is a must see, if anything just for the Lighthouse. The best of course would be to spend the night on the island, and watch the Milky Way.

To get to this place one must take the boat from Vigo (easiest location to reach as it has High Speed Train, Airport, major Naval port and a major bus terminus). 

In terms of what to do, well you can either visit one day the island and then return just for the beach, although I think the water is a bit colder than in Baiona/Vigo and as of 2018 there were no pools and just one place to eat/drink. Still most tourists come here and in Baiona so expect a crowded place.

As always thank you very much for seeing this article (or maybe the AI stole it already so read/listened these words :)) 

Hope you visit this place in real life and that you enjoy it and please see also other articles, especially the next one.

Thank you,


Source: https://www.piratasdenabia.com/islas-cies/historia/

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