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Exploring Cies Isles

Day Two


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The exploring begins

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Arriving on Cies isles and seeing how clean the turquoise sea water was and the bright sand under the rays of the sun, we couldn’t wait to take a stroll along the main beach by the ferry dock. Rodas beach is a very beautiful long crescent of very fine powdery white sand that with every step we were taken the sand it was flying away and it was very difficult for us to walk on it so we went back and walked on the path on the first section.

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We have chosen to visit the island of Monteagudo which are two islands in one and are linked by Rodas beach and there's a small strait with a natural lagoon.thumb_IMG_8147.jpg]large_IMG_8153.jpgIMG_8062.jpgIMG_8064.jpg

When we have disembark and walked on the small wooden bridge we have arrived at a small wooden hut that it was used as the tourist office and the staff there were very helpful while giving out maps of the island in different languages.

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With the map in our hand we headed for the cafe/ bar area so we could decide which hike we were going to take so we could see as much as possible on the island. Over cool drinks we have decided to do the longest trail to Monte Faro which is just over 7km return trip but with spectacular views over the Atlantic, and the rest of the islands.

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The Monte Faro Trail

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Starting from the small hut of the tourist office we have turned left towards the shaded area of the campside and walked past that we came to the restaurant, rest rooms and supermarket. After we had a nice cold drink we have headed for our trek through the forest under the shade of the pine trees giving us protection at the same time.
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After 1.2 km from Rodas beach we did come across another tourist information centre which it was closed by the building it happened to be an old artillery storage from the 19th century which it was built on the remains of Stan Esteban monastery from the 11th century and inside you can see the remaining foundations and a man shape tomb of one of the monks that who lived there.

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The hike to Monte Faro it was medium but after we came out of the shaded area it was more difficult as we had the sun direct above us but as we were stopping to take photos and having a rest at the same time. The eastern side of the islands are the best ones as there are protecting from the Atlantic winds and they have the best beaches and are covered by woods. IMG_8160.jpgIMG_8158.jpgIMG_8094.jpg

After a long walk we came out of the shaded areas and the coolness of the forest and out to the bright sun and you need to take precautions as the sun is very strong. Make sure that you have enough water especially in the summer and you do need to take water with you before you arrive at the island as water is not easily available, suncream and definitely sunglasses. Walking on the eastern side of the Faro island and as we have started ascending towards Mount Faro we got to admire a panoramic view of San Martino island and the Faro de Porta.

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San Martino Island

Ascending the long route to Mount Faro it wasn't an easy task but it was worth the trek to see the beauty of the island from both sides. The splendid Rodas beach with its lagoon but also the rough and vertical cliffs and marvelous landscapes.
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When we have reached Mount Faro it was time to take a good rest and admire the views before the descend.To be able see the views from both sides of the island and to see the differences it was worth every effort and struggle we came across to reach the lighthouse.

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Descending from the Mount Faro we had a choice of two different routes which one of them it was the route to Faro de Porta and the over to Tafoni a rock erosion from the winds and the bird observatory and we have chosen the later as we have seen the Faro de Porta from above. large_IMG_8134.jpgIMG_8142.jpgIMG_8138.jpglarge_IMG_8157.jpg

The islands are very popular with the main colonies of habitats and birds and one being the yellow legged gull which it can swim under water but we didn't come across any. But we did come across couple of seagulls which are very common on the islesIMG_8058.jpg

After we have taken and finished our walk it was time for a very deserved meal at the restaurant overlooking Margaridas Cove. For our lunch we have chosen fresh fish with salad and it was the perfect meal on such occasion.
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We were sad leaving the island and making our way back to Vigo but we have taken our good memories from the island.
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Posted by Galaxy31 23:55 Archived in Spain Tagged landscapes beaches wildlife camping cies Comments (2)

Day Out at Cies Isles

Day Two


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The main reason to visit Vigo in the first place it was for us to take a trip and explore Cies Isles known locally as the Galician Caribbean and we could see why it was that with their clear blue sea water and a very fine white sand.
The Cies isles consist of a chain of three islands and they form part of Atlantic islands of Galicia National Park and they have very strict restrictions on them. The islands are the peaks of the coastal mountains that now 85% is underwater. Is also believed that Francis Drake used it as a base to lay siege to Vigo.

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The islands which are protected since 1980 are vehicle free but also there is not any hotels on the islands but we did come across a very organised camp site by the seashore which you can rent a tent for 2 people as little as 49 euros a night. What a splendid idea to spend a night sleeping under the stars, listening to the waves and the birds. There is also another campsite attached to the main one which you can take your own tent and is much cheaper. The facilities they have on the island for the use of visitors and the campers are the best I have seen. Showers, toilets, washing machines outside showers, shop, bar cafe and two restaurants

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As only 2200 visitors per day are allowed on the islands restrictions on yachts visiting the islands apply and they only and best way to get there is to take a ferry from the marina of Vigo. As we were travelling in September we were able to get tickets without any problem which we have purchased the night before to save us time, but if you are travelling during the peak season the boats do fill up quick and they do stop issuing more tickets so is advisable to book on line.

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Getting to the Islands

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We have chosen Mar de Ons ferry company to travel with as it was cheaper at around 25 euros return for two persons but they also had more routes to choose from and as we had our tickets from the day before we have headed straight to the marina which we have queued for about 20 minutes before we boarded our ferry. Being a standard ferry with two decks one upstairs but with limited seating area but with great views and one on the lower deck which we have opted to take as it was early in the morning and it was a bit cold at that time of the day.

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As we have been approaching the islands the captain made an announcement when we did enter the protected waters of the islands and what we gave out the regulations what not to do while we were on there. The park regulations are so many but the the important ones are:

  • All rubbish needs to be taken with you when you leave the island and dispose of it when you disembark in Vigo,
  • No pets are allowed on the island except guide dogs.
  • No motor vehicles or bicycles are allowed but wheelchairs are allowed.
  • Camp outside the designated areas.
  • No fires or campfires are allowed.
  • Don't disturb, catch or kill any animals.
  • Don't destroy, cut or plant any vegetation on the islands.
  • Don't collect stones, shells or any elements of archaeological interest.
  • Scuba diving is only allowed when it has been authorised and with a permit.
  • Smoking is permitted provided that cigarette butts are not thrown on the ground.
  • Fishing, picking mussels, razor clams or anything else from the sea is forbidden.
  • No sound systems are allowed on the islands.

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Leaving Vigo

Leaving Vigo

The ferry it wasn’t full but with enough passengers for the enjoyable 45 minute trip to the isles we taken a seat and admired the views as we were leaving Vigo. With a smooth ferry ride and with an amazing views of the Cies Isles we were ready to explore Cies Isles.

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Next exploring Cies Isles

Posted by Galaxy31 15:46 Archived in Spain Tagged beaches landscape camping isles cies Comments (2)

Getting to Know Vigo


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First Day in Vigo

El Serino

El Serino

After we have checked in our hotel it was time to get a bite to eat and then to explore the city so we could get to know a bit about Vigo as we always do that when we reach a destination as long is at reasonable time. Our hotel it was up a hill in the financial district but from there we could see Principe Street which is the main pedestrian shopping street in Vigo.

Walking down Rua Urzaiz we stopped at Peregrinus restaurant which it was full of locals but also the pulpo which it was being cooked outside it has drawn us to this restaurant. Pulpo is a traditional octopus dish served with boiled potatoes and olive oil which it looked and tasted absolutely amazing. With the pulpo we have ordered a mixed salad and baby squid and again it was cooked to perfection. As the weather it was nice we have chosen to sit outside.

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From Rua Urzaiz we have walked down to Rua Colon which we have found ourselves in Alameda Park in the centre of historic Vigo. Alameda Park is the city’s smallest park but at the same time the most elegant with cafes, restaurants and bars on each side of it. Is a very long and narrow park which it runs one block from the promenade and round the large central fountain you will find stone animals sculptured by famous Spanish sculptors.
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IMG_8224.jpgWe have stopped at Sentido Contina restaurant which overlooks the Alameda Park for a drink and we were surprised by the amount of free tapas that we have received. We had olives, mixed nuts, Spanish omelette and a small salad. In Vigo in every bar we went we had free tapas which it was very unusual as in the big cities everything was charged.

Walking around Vigo you can spot many historic buildings with great architecture and unique features and each historic building has got an information board with the history of that building.

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After a good rest in the afternoon we have made our way to the Old Town to Piazza De la Costitucion for something to eat. All the bars and restaurants were busy but we have chosen Bar Primavera for our dinner as we have liked the menu and also for the vibe. We have ordered steak and chips, clams, salad and we also had a pie that it was layered with fish and vegetables which I’m wasn’t that keen on that as I have found it to be very salted for my palette. but I did liked the rest of the our meal.

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Posted by Galaxy31 05:22 Archived in Spain Tagged people food sculptures port seaside seafood Comments (5)

Three Amazing Days Exploring Vigo

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How it All Started

A destination unknown to me until early last year but glad that i have discovered it as it happened to be a great place to visit and explore. How it all started it was at the beginning of January that i'm was reading the 50 best places to visit for that year and number five on the destinations it was the Cies Islands just a 45 minute ferry ride off the city of Vigo, and as it was by the afternoon dates were set and flights were booked.

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Vigo as seen from Castillo del Castro

Leaving Heathrow airport by British Airways very early in the morning it was a bonus as we will be arriving in Vigo by lunchtime so that gave us extra time to explore this small but great city in the Provence of Pontevedra in Galicia northwest of Spain on the Atlantic Ocean. As there wasn’t any direct flights to Vigo we had to transit in Madrid and this wasn’t a problem as our next flight it was in less than two hours and I think Madrid airport is one of the best ones I had traveled through so that it wasn’t a problem. We had a very smooth and comfortable flight all the way to Madrid and the transit it run so smoothly that we didn’t even realised the time flying past us. ll the way to the marina which is the final stop.

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Madrid Airport

Arriving at Vigo airport by Iberian airlines with just over one hour flight later we were surprised to see how small the airport was but we were out of the airport in less than 45 minutes as the passport control area it was so quite. As we have made our way out of the airport we headed for the bus stop which is on the right hand side of the airport. We have picked the 9A local bus which it runs into the city every 30 minutes except on Sundays is every hour and that have taken us a few meters from our hotel for the price of 1.20 euros. Is such a great service with free wi-fi that connects the airport to the heart of the city and all the way to the marina which is the final stop.
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We have booked into Zenit Vigo hotel which it was a great place to stay with comfortable beds, clean, amazing and helpful staff with a great breakfast buffet. The location it was excellent as it was only 10 minutes walk to the shopping area and just over 15 minutes to get to the marina and the historic medieval town with all the cafes, restaurants all located in busy piazza

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The views from the roof top of our hotel

What we did like about Vigo it was how the old buildings were blending among the new ones, the architecture but also the many statues and sculptures that we came across on our walks. The marina and the green spaces around the city it was like walking from an oasis to the blue waters of the Atlantic.
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Alameda Park

Posted by Galaxy31 23:19 Archived in Spain Tagged beaches art buildings planes boats food fish sculptures port Comments (4)

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