Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park

Galicia, Spain

Partially Family Friendly

About Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park

A park based both on land and at sea, the Atlantic Islands of Galicia is one of Spain’s newest National Parks, designated in 2002. It covers an area of 12 km2 (4.6 sq mi) of land, but much more of it is sea area, aroung 72 km2 (27.7 sq mi). It features four archipelagos - Cortegada, Sálvara, Ons and Cíes - with delicately balanced ecosystems, and public access is restricted to just two of these, Ons and Cíes.

Flora and Fauna

Only 2,000 visitors per day are allowed to visit, but this means that overcrowding is rarely a problem. Much of the land terrain is comprised of quiet, sandy beaches and sand dunes, cliffs and rocky crags, and the islands are home to a huge seabird population: over 35,000 breeding pairs of yellow-legged gulls live here, making it the largest colony in Spain.  Many other species nest on the cliffs and in trees on the islands, including birds of prey, pigeons, petrels, pelicans, doves and woodpeckers.

On land, most of the vegetation is bush, forest and cliffs. Any species growing there has to be able to withstand the harsh, dry and salty conditions, so hardy species such as sea grass and the sagebrush lily thrive. Inland, you’re more likely to find pine trees and laurel forest. 

In terms of flora, there are over 200 algae species and the same number of seaweed varieties in and around the sea-beds surrounding the islands. This creates an environment in which an extraordinary variety of fish and molluscs can breed and thrive alongside rare and beautiful shellfish, corals and anemones. For this reason, underwater fishing is prohibited in the national park.


Restrictions apply to most activities in Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park. For camping and diving, you will need to apply for a permit 15 days prior to your arrival.

Landscape Photography
Scuba Diving
Wildlife Watching
Galicia, Spain
Latitude: 42.61536, Longitude: -8.787996