But I’ve been holding back a secret from: the Cíes have a little sister called Ons Island. This slender island is situated just to the north of the Cíes and is a natural breakwater that protects the ría or estuary from the worst blows of the Atlantic.
|The whole beach to ourselves|
It was the end of May, and because we were all fellow language assistants teaching English in Spain, our teaching contracts for the school year were drawing to a close. We celebrated (and mourned) the end of the year with a picnic feast of empanada de bacalao con pasas (cod-and-raisin meat pie) and intensely-flavorful picota cherries harvested from the Jerte Valley in south-central Spain.
|Colorful countryside hórreo|
|The main beach|
But often the Cíes can be overwhelming: the main beach can be mobbed with sunbathers, the hiking trails can be surprisingly formidable, especially if you don’t realize how dehydrated you might be, and the seagulls can be relentless (to be fair, it is a bird sanctuary).
Ons Island offers a secluded alternative to the Cíes. While it’s flatter and less forested, it’s a quieter and more laid-back kind of place with several smaller beaches distributed along the eastern edge of the island. If you’re looking for a place to truly disconnect, book the next ferry to Ons!
How to get there
|At the ferry harbor, looking out toward the Cíes Islands|
Have you ever set foot on any of Galicia’s stunning Atlantic islands? Share your experience below in the comments!
For more pictures, check out my album on Flickr.