Island camping with nothing but mountains, sea and tents

Mmmm. Let’s see. A group of uninhabited islands off the western coast of Spain, turned into a National Park in 1980 and with limited access by ferry. No roads, so no cars, camper vans or caravans. But there is a campsite. Interested? You should be.

Las Islas Cíes – Isla del Norte, Isla del Faro and Isla del Sur o de San Martín – are just off the western Galician coast, across the bay from the city of Vigo, and are only accessible by a special ferry service. This has the effect of limiting the numbers of visitors each day. To prevent keen campers from pitching up for the whole summer, stays are limited to 15 days at a time and you need to get a tarjeta de acampado (camping ticket) at the camping office at the Estación Marítima de Ría in Vigo before you head over. Once you’ve arrived, there are handy barrows to help you wheel your gear across from the jetty, and once your tent’s up and your kit stowed, you’re free to explore your surroundings, like proper Famous Fivers.

Some areas – like the cliffs – are closed off to the public and accessible only by guillemot or gull. But you’re more likely, anyway, to emerge from the campsite’s trees and head for the curving Playa de Rodas, where the locals often come to sun themselves. They like to think of this as their little slice of the Caribbean and, on a fine day, who’s to argue with them?


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