Going to the Cíes Islands on a sailing boat, when the trip is as spectacular as the destination (with video)

We are of the opinion that travel is an intrinsic part of the destination, which can improve or worsen our experience in it. And we have proven this when we have gone sailing from Vigo to the Cíes Islands, as you will see in the video at the end of the article, because to rent a boat to go to the Cíes Islands is to enjoy both the trip and the destination.

The Cíes Islands are a small paradise in itself, an archipelago of three islands at the entrance to the Ría de Vigo, its last natural wall before the Atlantic Ocean. They are part of the Islas Atlánticas National Park, together with the islands of Ons, Sálvora and Cortegada.

And yet, they could perfectly (or almost) be islands anchored in some tropical sea, although I do not recommend that the colder ones set foot in the water.

Recommended reading

Don’t miss our article with the best tips for visiting the Cíes Islands, including recommendations on what to take, when to go and, of course, how to get the limited daily tickets. You can read it by clicking here.

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But the Cíes Islands have nine beaches of quasi-Caribbean aesthetics just a few metres from the perfectly northern mountain slopes. That contrast, that mountain and sea a few meters away, are part of its charm.

Reaching these wide beaches of fine sand, suitable for all types of users, and exploring the mountains, lighthouses and viewpoints that populate them in just over 7 km in length is only possible in one way, by sea.

In summer and Easter, there are several companies that offer public transport from Vigo to Monteagudo (North Island) and Faro (middle island), both linked by that tongue of sand that is the famous Roda beach. To the south island, San Martín, this service is not provided.

Access to the Cíes Islands is limited to 2,000 people per day, by applying online to the government of the Community and, if obtained, then buying a ticket for the boat.

This is the interior of the sailboat, one of those rented with a skipper to visit the Cíes Islands

These conditions, in order to protect the environment and not subject it to the consequences of uncontrolled access by tourists, mean that it is usual to ask for permission to visit the Cíes Islands weeks or months in advance when what you want is to visit them in the best season, in summer.

However, it is possible to go all year round to the Cíes Islands in a private sailboat, an experience for couples or groups of friends that we recommend after having tried it with the Sailway company, and to which we hope this video does justice

As you have seen in the video, if you choose to rent a sailboat to go to the Cíes Islands, the travel experience is a nice walk of several hours, getting you close to the mussels rafts and the sand coast of the Barra to Nerga beaches, before disembarking in the Cíes Islands to explore them at your own pace.

If you want to know more details about what it’s like to go to the Cíes Islands on a sailing boat, don’t miss our detailed experience in this article.

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