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I’m on a boat! – Cíes Islands near Vigo in Spain

Imagine following scenario: “You just returned from a two hours walk on a deserted island and you are now sitting on a sailing boat with some fun people in the bay of one of the best beaches in the world and about to eat a platter of delicious sea food.”

Doesn’t that sound good? It was pretty good!

Sailing in the sun at the end of October in Spain

At the end of October I visited Vigo, a city with a population of about 300.000 people in Galicia (northern Spain) not far from the Portuguese border. I was there to talk at a conference about tourism 2.0. and the day earlier we visited one of the best beaches in the world according to The Guardian.

Islas Cies Vigo

To our luck, the weather was pretty good on that day and we left the harbor of Vigo after a good breakfast in our hotel. Our skipper Ruben wasn’t making a lot of conversation with us in English, but good that I can speak Spanish!

On the way to Islas Cíes we passed the many breeding stations, where locals breed the biggest mussels in the area. Pretty impressive seeing all these fishing boats loading hundreds of kilos of mussels on their boats.

Since the wind wasn’t strong enough, we used the engine to bring us to the island. The ride took about 1,5 hours with calm waters.

Castaway – Alone on a deserted island with the best beach in the world

Besides a little fisher boat with two men who were sorting out the 50 kilos of octopus they fished during the morning the island was empty. No single soul was walking around on this little island. And once we started walking around even the fishermen left. Now the 6 of us were the only ones there and we only had one destination: The highest point of the island!

Pedra Da Campá Cies Islas

It sounds like an awful hike when you say I walked to the highest point of the island, but to be honest it was very easy and only took an hour to get up there at a very slow speed. It was totally worth the effort, since you can see the whole island and even up to Vigo from the point. If you look to the east, you will see only water. After Islas Cíes the next land would be America.

After an “exhausting” walk (it wasn’t really exhausting, I’m just really lazy sometimes), we walked all the way back to the beach, where we boarded our boat. We sailed to the middle of the bay, casted our anchor and prepared the lunch. Well, Ruben prepared the lunch while we were gone hiking, so he just served it to us… and boy, was it good!

approaching storm on cies islands in spain

We had empanada de Atún, which is something like a tuna cake and super delicious as a starter, followed by Jamón Assado and a huge seafood platter, which we couldn’t really finish. All this we enjoyed with a couple of glasses of good white wine!

Cole from Fourjandals seems to be happy about the seafood platter

Stormy way back but so much fun!

While we were out there, savoring all the food, the clouds approached quickly and the wind picked up, perfect weather for setting sail and sailing back into the harbor of Vigo. We all exchanged ourselves with more or less steering the boat. Daniel was doing a great job and you could see that it wasn’t the first time he was doing it. When it was Karen’s turn, I think we all had more fun watching her steering the boat than she had!

Nevertheless, we made it back safely into the harbor and except Daniel, we all had a sunburn from that beautiful day out by the sea. Never thought that it could be that beautiful end of October in northern Spain!

Love this picture of myself relaxing after my roaming plan ran out of data. Thanks to Karen from Europe A La Carte

Have you ever been on a sailing trip before? What was your best sailing trip so far? We are looking forward to your opinion in the comments below!

Disclaimer: I was invited on this trip by the Tourism Authority of Vigo. However, they never asked for a positive review. All photos, comments and thoughts are my own… 

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17 comments on “I’m on a boat! – Cíes Islands near Vigo in Spain

  1. Stephanie - The Travel Chica on

    When I was a kid, my family sailed from Punta Gorda, Florida to Key West. I don’t remember much except how cool it was to be on wave runners following the boat and seeing manatees for the first time. The next time around, I’d be more into relaxing, enjoying some good seafood, and some cold beers.

  2. Alex on

    I’ve always wanted to go sailing on a little boat like this through the Caribbean or through the Greek isles… there’s something wonderful about being by the sea!

  3. Abby on

    I couldn’t think of anything I’d love to say more right now than “I’m on a boat.” Sailing is so nice, if slow. This trip really does look like a dream.

  4. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas on

    I work in Galicia every summer, and on a whim took the train from Coruña down to Vigo and hopped ship to camp on the islands…with no tent! In true form, the Gallegos stepped up and the owners of the campsite offered their son’s digs. Beautiful place for a sunset!