During your time in Galicia, if you are lucky enough to get nice weather, going to the Islas Cies is an essential stop. These islands are a protected marine-terrestrial park, and the definition of unspoiled paradise. (Hey, there’s a reason why the Romans called it the islands of the gods.) As you may have heard, The Guardian even named it the best beach in the world a few years back. So, here is everything you need to know as you set off for a day in paradiso!
Yeah, my elbows are double jointed.
1. Book ahead
These islands are part of a protected wildlife park and there are only so many ferry tickets sold each day. We went with the company Mar de Ons, who also has ferries traveling to other nearby islands that you could perhaps venture to later in the day. They recommend booking at least a week in advance so you aren’t left without a spot. Tickets are 10 euros roundtrip.
Thailand? Indonesia? NOPE. That’s Spain, baby, for ten euros roundtrip.
2. Don’t worry about the weather
Galicia is famous for their rainy and dreary climate, and many times it cannot be predicted. Don’t be like me. It isn’t worth worrying about what the weather will be like. We were lucky to have an absolutely gorgeous day at the beginning of July, but had we gone a day before or after and it could have been totally different. The islands have beautiful hiking trails and restaurants with beer, so you’ll be able to stay busy anyway.
But let’s be honest…we all like a sunny day.
3. Be prepared.
There is no reason to worry about the weather, but you should be prepared for it. Here is a list of items you may consider bringing along on your trip:
- a picnic–there are three restaurants sprinkled on the island but most times they are in high demand. Skip bringing drinks as they are reasonably priced on the island and heavy to carry. Also, there’s no better view than front row on the best beach in the world.
- suitable walking shoes–this ideally means a kind of comfortable sandal for hiking as well as beach walking, something like Keens, (can’t believe I just condoned wearing Keens). No one likes sandy socks.
- a beach umbrella–of course this depends on weather but there isn’t much shade at most of the beaches, you’ll be thankful for a little respite. Obviously don’t skimp on the SPF, either.
- change of clothes– wet swimsuit, never fun.
- poncho–hideous, but small and compact and will save you in a bind.
- seasickness pills–the ride isn’t too choppy but depending on the day you might want to bring these along.
- beach blanket–no, NOT a towel. I’m talking about one of those things you see people selling that usually have some kind of sweet design on them. You’ll thank me later.
Just nearly managed to hide how badly I was sweating.
4. Enjoy ALL of the island
The beaches are beautiful, (and not only the famous Playa de Rodas), but one regret I have is not allocating enough time to enjoy the hiking trails. There are a few different ones and you can choose them according to time, difficulty, and scenery.
5. Contemplate a longer stay…or don’t.
There is a campground on the islands if you are interested in staying a bit longer, but do make reservations ahead of time. It isn’t the best campground as far as campgrounds go, but the facilities are great, there is a restaurant, and even organized activities every day.
If you think that you’ll have had enough of one island by the time lunch time rolls around, consider making reservations to go to from Cies to Cangas as well.
*Casual, candid off-the-shoulder look.
Have you ever been to the Cies Islands? What did you think? Tell me all about it below!!
*Not casual nor candid at all.
Enjoy the video edit!