Visiting the Atlantic Islands National Park is a true immersion in nature. And what better than to explore the famous Cíes hiking trails to discover gorgeous views, find hidden beaches, learn about the local flora and fauna or be thrilled by the immensity of the Atlantic from one of its lighthouses.
10 essential outdoor plans
Discovering the Cíes Islands on foot
Urban sports in O´Marisquiño
August is the month for urban sports in Vigo. O'Marisquiño Festival organizes the most spectacular competitions in different areas: skateboarding, BMX, MTB, parkour and trials invade the centre of Vigo accompanied by music, street art, parties and lots of attitude. International champions show their tricks on the ramps installed in the Yacht Club and the Old Town is turned into a real obstacle race... don’t leave your bike or your skateboard at home.
Running the Vig-Bay
The Vig-Bay is perfect for a bit of sports in Vigo: a popular half-marathon that takes place between Samil Beach in Vigo and the town of Baiona in March. The day of the race, traffic is cut so that runners can complete its 13 miles parallel to the coastline. The atmosphere is excellent and a reflection of how popular running in Vigo is, bringing together approximately 4,500 participants in its latest edition.
Learn to sail in Vigo
Vigo's relationship with the sea is unique: you can reach the city by boat, board a cruise ship in Vigo, rent a boat with or without a skipper... but, did you know that you can also learn to sail in Vigo? Many nautical service companies offer “sea baptisms” and Vigo's yacht clubs organise courses for all ages in different modalities. There’s no excuse not to enjoy the sea in Vigo.
A walk along the Lagares River
Vigo’s natural surroundings allow for countless hiking trails. One of the loveliest is the one running along the Lagares River, down to the beaches of Vigo and reaching Bouzas (the Senda Azul) in just over 5 miles. A two hour walk among trees that leads to the sea, along a path of low difficulty that’s easy even if you’re in Vigo with children. Or you can choose to walk it in several stretches, as it crosses different urban areas.
Visit the only zoo in Galicia
A visit to the Vigozoo is an essential experience for children in Vigo... and also for adults! Tigers, grizzly bears, wolves, reptiles... but it’s much more than an exhibit space. Vigozoo offers a variety of activities to help children and adults learn from nature, and it develops research programmes and for the recovery of endangered species.
Climbing Alba Mountain
All of Vigo’s forest parks are worth visiting, but the reward for reaching the top of the Alba Mountain in Valadares is a spectacular view over the Vigo estuary. You can also walk up to the Cepudo viewpoint, in the same Alba-Cepudo Mountain forest park. And if you enjoy hiking, there’s a well signposted mountain route in Vigo you can follow to explore the area: over 10 miles² of mountain with a spectacular array of native species.
Diving in the estuary
Do you like diving? The Vigo estuary hides treasures of the past in its waters... as well as a rich ecosystem. If you want to explore the submerged side of the city, don’t miss the opportunity of diving in Vigo: be guided by the estuary’s seabed and discover its underwater fauna, or search for shipwrecks, like the legendary Rande galleons.
Samil, Vigo’s family beach
Vigo has beaches for everyone, but if you’re travelling to Vigo with children, Samil Beach is a real must. More than a mile long, it’s equipped with all the necessary facilities for children to spend an unforgettable day by the sea: swimming pools, a water slide, skating rinks, basketball courts, green areas for a picnic or a snack, cafes and lifesaving posts. You can also walk up the coast from Samil to Bouzas, or towards the Lagares River... just seeing the sunset over the Cíes Islands makes it worthwhile.
Visit Rodas Beach, “the best beach in the world”
If your idea of travelling is to immerse yourself in the wildest nature, you can’t miss a visit to Rodas beach in the Cíes Islands, the best beach in the Atlantic Islands National Park. It’s only accessible by boat, making the journey to the mouth of the Vigo estuary a truly wonderful experience. A beach over a mile in size, surrounded by protected seabeds and in a unique setting, but with all the necessary facilities.