Sunday, 2 January 2011

Cíes Islands, Spain

One more Galician card...

The Cíes Islands are an archipelago off the coast of Pontevedra in Galicia, in the mouth of the Ría de Vigo. They belong to the parish of San Francisco de Afora, in the municipality of Vigo. They were declared a Nature Reserve in 1980 and are included in the Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park (Parque Nacional Marítimo-Terrestre das Illas Atlánticas de Galicia) created in 2002. In the year 2007, the British newspaper The Guardian chose the beach of Rodas, in the island of Monteagudo, as the "most beautiful beach of the world".

The Cíes consist of three islands, Monteagudo ("Sharp Mount" or North Island), do Faro ("Lighthouse Island", or Isla do Medio, "Middle Island") and San Martiño ("Saint Martin" or South Island).

Due to the high natural value of this area and to the deterioration it was suffering by human activity, it was declared a Nature Reserve in 1980. The level of legal protection varied until November 21, 2000, when the Galician Parliament unanimously agreed to apply for the status of National Park to the central Government. The Spanish Congress of Deputies signed a definite agreement in June 2002, creating the National Land-Marine Park of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia, formed by a number of archipelagos, islands and cays, namely the Cíes, Ons, Sálvora, Noro, Vionta, Cortegada and the Malveiras.

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