Islas Cíes, Spain: the best beach in Europe?

Is this the best beach in Europe?


Las Islas Cíes are two islands in the mouth of the Ría de Vigo in the region of Galicia, Spain’s rainy northwest.

They are considered a natural park and you can only spend the night by reservation in the campsite. Only 3 people live on the islands permanently.

The beach linking two of the islands (Playa de Rodás) was voted the best beach in the world by The Guardian in 2007.

Photo by Lucia Moretti.

One of the islands is only accessible by private boat, the other is accessible by ferry from the city of Vigo. It costs about 18 euros round trip, and takes 45 minutes. You should plan ahead and buy your tickets in advance, because there’s a limit to the number of people who can visit the island every day.

There is a supermarket, a couple of bars, and a visitor center on the island, in addition to the campsite.

Truly a beautiful place… and possibly the best beach in Europe – or at least in Spain. (I’m not big into beaches, but you know. There are lists.)

For more Spanish beauty, try Santander, Cantabria, or Valle de Lozoya. I also like the city of Cuenca a lot.


Mr Chorizo.

P.S. I’m up in Catalonia now. So check out Barcelona like a local or Villafranca de Penedès wine country. Have fun!


How did I end up in Spain? Why am I still here almost 20 years later? Excellent questions. With no good answer... Anyway, at some point I became a blogger, bestselling author and contributor to Lonely Planet. So there's that. Drop me a line, I'm happy to hear from you.

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