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Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park, Spain

The islands of sea birds

Situated in the province of Pontevedra, the Islas Atlánticas National Park includes the Cíes islands and the islands of Ons, Cortegada and Sálvora, all of them in the Rías Baixas estuaries.
The park covers four clusters of rocky islands, with cliffs on the western side, facing the Atlantic ocean, and beautiful beaches and dunes on the eastern side, facing the estuaries. The most important and spectacular colonies of sea birds on the Spanish coast live on these islands, and many other underwater animal species can also be seen.

Type of area

Parque Nacional


Area: 8.480 Hectares
Location: It is made up of the islands of Ons (in the municipality of Bueu), Sálvora (in Ribeira), Cíes (in Vigo) and Cortegada (in Vilagarcía). All the islands are situated in Pontevedra (Galicia), in north-western Spain.

Information for visits: The islands in the National Park are only accessible by sea - there is transport for passengers at certain times during the year, with prior authorisation. Several shipping companies offer regular services at Easter, weekends in May and during the summer, to visit the Cíes and Ons islands. The boarding areas for the Cíes islands are in Vigo, Baiona and Cangas de Morrazo. The boarding areas for the island of Ons are in Bueu, Marín, Sanxenxo and Portonovo.
There is a campsite and controlled camping area.

More access information.

Environmental information: This land and sea-based ecosystem stands out because the largest colonies of yellow-legged gulls in Spain live here, with 35,000 breeding pairs, and European shags, with more than 1,000 pairs. In the park there is also great biodiversity under the sea. As well as a wide variety of fish, molluscs and crustaceans, there are kelp forests and several species of dolphins. From a botanical point of view, more than 200 types of seaweed and 400 species of land plants have been identified. Another interesting fact is that the island of Cortegada has the largest laurel forest in Europe.

Cultural information: The park is situated in the heart of the Rías Baixas estuaries, where there are also tourist towns such as Pontevedra, Baiona, Vigo, O Grove, Sanxenxo and Vilagarcía de Arousa. In the Cíes islands you can visit a Pre-Roman settlement. In Islas Atlánticas there are interesting archaeological sites. The oldest ones can be seen in the forts of Cíes and Ons, dating back to the Palaeolithic and Neolithic eras. There are also remains from the Middle Ages, such as the Monastery of San Estevo and a hermitage in the Cíes islands, a human-shaped tomb in Ons, and ruins of a 14th century chapel in Cortegada. And on each one of the four archipelagos there is at least one chapel, altar or church.

Credit by : http://www.spain.info/en/disfruta/en_la_naturaleza/espacios-naturales/parque_nacional_de_las_islas_atlanticas.html
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