Islas Cíes, Galicia: Spain’s treasured islands

They’re home to one of Spain’s finest beaches, but have no cars, no hotels and visitor numbers are strictly limited

As with all the best adventures, we never actually intended to go to the Islas Cíes. The beaches of northern Galicia were our destination. Well, they were until my wife clicked her weather app and saw blanket rain for a week. Suddenly we weren’t going north after all.

Travelling up from Portugal, we had got as far as the industrial port city of Vigo, which has a sunnier climate than northern Galicia. Without delay, we hit the internet in search of a plan B. One option kept popping up: the Islas Cíes (Illas Cíes in Galician) off the west coast. The images looked amazing: crystalline waters, tree-lined coasts, forest-covered mountains and white beaches.

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