Ons Islands (Isla de Ons) - Galicia
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Directions to Ons Islands (Isla de Ons)
The Ons Islands (Islas de Ons) are of international conservation importance and have National Park status in Spain. They are one of the most important nature conservation and wildlife sites in Spain. But outside Galicia and Spain few people have much awareness about their existance and significance.
The Ons Islands cover an area of about 470 hectares and along with the Cies Islands are part of the Atlantic Islands National Park and they lie in the province of Pontevedra close to the Port of Bueu. There are actually 10 beaches almost all virgin. Half are on the eastern side of the island of Ons, and from north to south are Melide (the largest and nudist), das Dornas (for the northern dock), Area dos Cans (the most central and busy), Canexol (close to the fort and the cemetery) and Pereiró (the southern most). On the west-facing Atlantic are the rocky beaches of Fontiñas and Liñeiro, to the south is Fedorento Beach, and the northern most island of the archipelago is the the Beach of Onza South and Onza North.
Although facing the wild,open Atlantic Ocean they are close to Pontevedra estuary and enjoy a unique Mediterranean style climate.The islands really have it all : great summer weather, pristine protected habitat, an outstanding landscape/visual beauty,footpaths for walking and cycling, outstanding viewpoints, bird watching, rare wildlife, diving and lots more - a true paradise. There is a nice walks golden sandy beaches, granite outcrops and cool sea breezes even in summer. Some interesting facts are that the islands are habitated since the Bronze age although the population is only 78 and you can camp for free.
This archipelago consists of the Island of Ons (414 ha) and several islets, such as Onza, Centolo or Freitosa. The Ons Islands measures 5.9 km long by 1.3 km wide, has a gentle profile (the maximum height is at Ons Lighthouse which is 128 m) and the Islands comprise of 4 km of land. The boat lands at a dock next to das Dornas beach.
Melide Beach which is located to the north of the island is considered the most beautiful of the archipelago. Immersed in a tropical paradise, it has magnificent views of Pontevedra estuary. It is a nudist beach which is sheltered from the wind and is straight with fine white sand and calm, clear waters, but cold. It is away from the main centre of population and tourist activity but is also accessible by private boat, for which permission must be sought.
There are a number of interesting walks around the Islands which are well sign-posted and which offer panoramic,exhilarating views. There are 3 popular routes :
1. Lighthouse Route (Faro de Ons)
This route which is about 30 minutes in duration close to where the boat lands take us through the interior of the island between typical houses of marine architecture, horreos of different types, small farm holdings and countryside.The walk finishes at the doors of the lighhouse Faro. It´s not possible to enter the interior without permission, but from its surroundings we will be able to observe it and to contemplate beautiful views,the ocean, and the peninsular of Salnes. On the return and only 100 metres from the Faro,you can also take a detour to the left that will take us on an easy walk, until we reach Melide Beach.
This walk of about 1.5 hours in duration takes us from the wharf to left of the Church and after an attractive stroll of 2 km, you arrive at Melide Beach that is considered to be the most idyllic on the island. The clear waters invite you to bathe and in its clean sands are ideal for nudists. You can then head to 'Cova da Vella' beach with numerous plagued legend caves; 'Alto do Centulo' where we will be able to contemplate Yellow footed Seagulls, beautiful views of O Grove, La Toja,impressive sunsets etc. You can also follow the track that borders the coast and which takes you to the Lighthouse (Faro de Ons).
This walk of 2 hours in duration takes us to the Area dos Cans beach where you can see a stone grave 'Laxe do Crego'. Then we head to Canexol Beach where you pass an Old School Building and two horreos. There is also a knoll of archaeological importance. Further along the coast you will find at Pereiro Beach the free campsite. At Fedorentos there is a spectacular Viewpoint where you can enjoy incredible views of a number of estuaries. Then on to 'Buraco do Infierno ' which is a large, coastal slit where you can see comarants too.
Check out on the walks the following features: the cliffs,beaches,yellow-footed seagulls,common shag and ocellated lizard. Please respect the basic regulations of the environment so keep only to the paths and don't leave any waste etc. For details of how to get there by boat visit Nabia Naviera website (Piratas de Nabia). Boats run everday from 1 June to 30 September and there is also a regular service at easter time.
Departures from Bueu:
11:00 - 16:00
Departures from Ons:
11:45 - 19:30
You can also visit the Islands all year using official approved,private operated boats.
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