Summer or winter, Vigo’s Beaches are one of the main touristic attractions at the city’s estuary (Ría de Vigo). The waters of the Atlantic ocean are ideal to enjoy water sports: transparent waters and fine white sand with many areas protected by the natural barrier of the Cíes Islands.
We know that every traveler prefers a different type of beach. Luckily, Vigo offers many options, from family-bound beaches to quiet coves and nudist spots. AND one of the most beautiful beaches in Spain and in the world according to The Guardian and El Pais.
Rodas, Samil… read our tips and find your perfect beach in Vigo
Beaches with Blue Flag
The Foundation for Environmental Education recognizes each year the water quality, environmental management, safety and services of different beaches across Europe with the Blue Flag.
They are the best beaches if you are looking for sustainability, accessibility and services (ice cream stalls, showers and changing rooms, and lifeguards and first aid.)
Vigo has 9 blue flagged beaches. There are small virgin coves, like Tombo do Gato in the neighborhood of Alcabre, Os Muiños de Fortiñón, in Saiáns. Or the beach O Canto da Area in the small fishing village of Canido.
The best-known blue flag beaches are Rodas and Figueiras at Cies Islands. Rodas is a sandy beautiful one with crystal clear water on a completely unspoiled area surrounded by a pine forest. Figueiras is a smaller version to it but just as beautiful.
Other options are O Vao, Fontaiña and La Sirenita beaches in Coruxo and Toralla neighbourhoods. And A Punta da Guia in Teis, near the old navy facilities of ETEA.
Beaches at small “fishing towns” inside Vigo
Vigo has grown from a small fortified village to a city with an industrial port that surrounds most of the Ría de Vigo. Throughout the years it has absorbed many little fishing villages surrounding. One example is the neighborhood of El Berbés, where the boats used to be tied directly to the arcades of the fishermen houses.
Today, between the Ria of Vigo and the houses there are only industrial buildings. But there are still two amazing spots that keep the looks and traditions of the fishing villages:
The neighborhood of Bouzas was independent until 1904. Strolling through the area, you will discover a small village with small fishermen’s houses, the old Town Hall and the Church of “San Miguel de Bouzas”. The beach here is also connected with the beaches of Alcabre and Samil through a wooden path with beautiful views over the Ría of Vigo and Cíes Islands.
Canido is a small fishing village whose beach is favorite for the fans of water sports and inshore fishing. It’s located a few kilometers from the center of Vigo and its beach has the form of a shell.
Nudist Beaches in Vigo
Nudists also have plenty of options in the coast of Vigo. One of the most famous ones is Figueiras, also known as Germans Beach, at the Cíes Islands (we told you about it above, as it also has a blue flag.)
Some other options are Furna Cove and Canto da Area beach, near the lighthouse and the fishing village of Estai Cape. Also Cala del Faro at the base of A Guía Mountain. And O Baluarte and Fontaiña beaches or Praia Fortiñón at the suburb of Saians.
Just beware that some of these beaches are for both nudist and textile visitors.
Beaches inside a Natural Park: Cíes Islands
Cíes Islands are “the” touristic attraction of Vigo for most visitors. While it’s not the only thing here, “The Islands of the Gods” have some of the most amazing beaches not only in Vigo, but worldwide.
Cies are located inside a protected nature park in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and serve as the gateway to the Vigo estuary from the open seas (Ships have been taking shelter here from the bad weather since the time of pirate Sir Francis Drake, and even before.)
We already told you about Rodas and Figueiras beaches. There are also many small coves all around the islands. And, besides the beaches, the islands offers some nice hiking routes and is a great place for birdwatching and disconnecting.
The flip side is that ships to Cies are only available during high season and water sports can only be practiced with permission from the authorities of the National Park.
A city beach: Samil
“Beaches are not only for the summer” that might be what they thought when they designed Samil beach. While the main attraction is its +1 kilometre of fine-grain sand, between Vao Beach and the natural cove “O Cocho das Dornas”, the many services and activities at the area make it the favorite beach for most Galician and Portuguese visitors who come here all year long.
During the day, it is a good option for families with children, who will enjoy the public swimming pools and sports facilities, like the rolling rink and the skate park. Also, the Verbum museum is a good option for those traveling with children to Vigo.
And for the adults, Samil is also a great place for night leisure. Enjoying the views over Cíes Islands and Toralla at sunset with a glass of wine is the best way end a great day enjoying Vigo and its surrounding area.
Some extra info
Vigo is on a steep slope but you can connect many of these spots by bus (with the exception of Cíes Islands). The other option is to use a car, which will also be helpful to explore the small villages and interesting sites nearby (Cangas, Baiona, Mondariz…) or visit Pontevedra.
There are several private parkings available around town and many public parking areas (pay, but weekends are free.)
How to get there
By train: Renfe operates direct trains from A Coruña, Santiago de Compostela and even Madrid and Barcelona on a daily basis. Connecting trains with Portugal (via Porto) are also available
By plane: Vigo has its own airport (VGO), next are: Santiago de Compostela (SCQ 101km) and Porto (OPO 150km)
Camino de Santiago: via the Portuguese Way.