The Faro Mountain route in the Cíes Islands offers one of the most spectacular views of the Vigo estuary. This is one of the longest routes on the islands and the most popular. Once in Cíes, you can begin the route at the information booth on the left path (which will take you to O Faro Island) and then cross the dam that connects the two islands. From there, if you look at the lake and the water visibility allows it, you’ll see a great variety of fish, shellfish and algae.
Once on the island of O Faro, you’ll pass by the campsite and the Nature Interpretation Centre, where you can learn about the park’s natural and cultural value. Approximately 300 yards from there, near Nosa Señora Beach, is the island’s main intersection. Take the road on the right and begin the zig-zag climb to the lighthouse; on the way you can contemplate the third island of the archipelago, San Martiño.
Half way up the Faro mountain route, to the right, you’ll find the curious Pedra da Campá, pierced by the salt-laden Atlantic winds. Approximately 100 yards ahead is the bird observatory, where you can contemplate the thousands of yellow-footed seagulls nesting in the cliffs and even groups of cormorants who choose the areas closest to the sea to build their nests. You can also enjoy breathtaking views of the lake and Rodas Beach.
Back on the main road, continue the climb to the highest point of the mountain. The lighthouse is at the very top, as well as the most emblematic viewpoint in the Cíes Islands. From there, you’ll have a panoramic view of the whole archipelago: the three islands, their cliffs, beaches and the entire Vigo estuary.
This path links with the A Porta Lighthouse Route. As you descend, approximately 200 yards before the junction that leads to the bird observatory, you’ll find a detour to the right; take it to get to the second lighthouse.
The upper part of the island hardly has any trees or shade, so in summer it’s advisable to use sun protection.
Distance: 4.3 miles.
Duration time: Two and a half hours.
Type of route: Not circular.