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GUIDE to visit the ISLAND OF ONS ❤️

Ons Island is the older sister of the Atlantic Islands Natural Park.A wild island, much more unknown than the Cíes Islands and with a few stretches of beaches that are well worth a good walk calmly.This article will serve as your guide to visit Ons Islandmaking the most of your time.I will tell you about the best hiking trails on Ons Island, how to request permissionto access this protected island, how to book a magical night in this paradise, the best restaurants in the Ons Island and much more.

Did you know that Ons Island is the only inhabited island of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia?This protected park is made up of four islands: the Cíes Islands archipelago, the Ons archipelago, the Sálvora archipelago and the Cortegada Island.Of all of them, the only inhabited one is Ons.It has a registered population of 63 neighborsand about 100 houses throughout the island.As you can see, depopulation has also reached the island.

In addition to large sandbanks with crystal-clear water, rugged cliffs, and a few beautiful hiking trails, the island, like the rest of the Atlantic Islands, has a unique ecosystem of flora and fauna.It has unique sea beds of protected species.It is also a perfect place for bird watching and diving.In short, to enter into deep contact with nature.Environments like this so isolated and in the middle of the sea there are few.It is a true marvel.So activate your five senses well because this paradise is to be enjoyed to the fullest.

I’m not going to talk any more and I’ll get to the point, I’m sure you’re impatient to discover all the secrets that are waiting for you during your visit. aOns Island.

Welcome to the most complete guide to visit Ons Island by Imans de Viaje

Where is Ons Island?

Ons Island is in Pontevedra, in the heart of the Rias Baixas.The island belongs to the municipality of Bueu, just in front of the Ría de Pontevedra, just 9 kilometers from the Galician coast.

When we speak of the Island of Ons, we refer to the largest island of the Ons Archipelago, but the archipelago is also made up of Onza Island (which can only be visited by private boat) and seven more small islets.

How to visit Ons Island?

The only way to get to Ons is by boat.There are several shipping companies authorized to the Island of Onsand with different ports of departure.The boats for Ons Island leave from Sanxenxo, Portonovo and Bueu.On exceptional occasions there are tickets to Ons Island from Vigo, but it is not usually frequent (take a look at herein case you have luck and there is availability).The closest boat access from Vigo to Ons Island is from Bueu.And if you come from Pontevedra, A Coruña or Santiago, the best access is from Portonovo or Sanxenxo (these two towns are very close to each other, 6 kilometers from each other).

These are the different companies and boats to go to Ons Island:

  • Cruceros do Ulla: boats depart from Portonovo .
  • Boat to Ons Island with Rías Baixas Cruises: depart from Sanxenxo and Portonovo.
  • Pirates of Nabia: It has departures from Bueu and Portonovo.A kind of two islands in one.
  • Mar de Ons: it has departures from Bueu, Portonovo and Sanxenxo.

I recommend that you consult the web pages of each of them to find times and frequencies.Depending on the time you go (whether it’s the middle of summer or it’s mid-season) there are different frequencies.The price of the boat is 15 euros per person for the round trip.8 euros children from 4 to 12 years old and children under 3 years old go free.From Vigo it is a bit more expensive 19.50 adults round trip.Children from 5 to 12 years old 5 euros and children under 5 years free.

The boat to Ons Islandonly works on Easter, on long weekend on May 1, the weekends of June, sometimes on the long weekend of October 12, and daily from the end of June to the end of September.It all depends on the weather.I recommend you book the boat well in advance (a few days before the trip to Ons Island) especially if you go in summer as there is a lot of demand and it is likely that you will run out of space.

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The }The journey by boat to Ons Island is approximately 40 minutes, depending on the boat.We went in September and we left from Portonovo and it was the same boat that also left from Sanxenxo.

isla de ons mar de ons
The tonality of the island’s water is amazing in color.

Ons Island authorization, book in advance!

This is a protected national park and, therefore, a permit is required to go to Ons Island.Access is controlled and the capacity of Ons Island is limited to 1,300 peopleper day maximum.To process the reservation you have several options, buy the boat ticket that also includes the reservation for Ons Island or request permission from the Xunta de Galicia and then buy the ticket.

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Smart offer to visit Ons Island and save paperwork

If you are not going to visit Ons Island in a dayand want to sleep there, you will have to consult the schedules of the shipping companies, although they can process the boat tickets directly at the Ons Island Camping.

playa de melide isla de ons
Melide Beach, on the Ons Island.

If you are not convinced by this option, requesting the permission from the Xunta to visit Ons Islandis completely free, but I recognize that it is more tedious.Very important: from that moment you have two exact hours to buy the ferry tickets to Ons Island from the authorized shipping companies.If more than two hours have passed since that authorization was confirmed and you have not purchased the tickets, the reservation is automatically canceled and you will have to obtain a new authorization.

As you can see, this procedure is a bit of a pain. since you have to enter the data first to request authorization from the Xunta de Galiciaand enter them again when buying the boat.That is why I recommend the first option better.

Pueblo de la isla de ons
Ons, the only inhabited island in the Atlantic Islands park.

Accommodation on Ons Island

I have good news for you, it is possible to sleep on Ons Islandand, although I still had , the experience must be simply brutal.In fact, I had booked a glamping on the island of Ons, but for various reasons I had to cancel it.

You have different options to sleep on the island:

  • The Isla de Ons Campingoffers pitches with or without a store.You get a better price if they process your boat tickets themselves.
    • The price of renting a pitch for two people taking your own tentis 21 euros per night.If you want them to process the boat for you, the price has a supplement of 24 euros more.
    • The price of renting a plot for two people and with the storeis 60 euros per night .If you decide to include the boat tickets, there is a supplement of 20 euros more (includes the two people and round trip on the boat).
    • There are also camping options for four people.You have all the information here about prices and conditions of the Ons Island Campsite.
  • Isla de Ons Glamping: If sleeping on the ground is not for you, you also have the option of sleeping in a glamping.It is a type of accommodation that allows you the same advantages of camping, but without giving up sleeping on a very soft mattress.Believe me, if you suffer from back problems (like me), your body will thank you.
    • The price of one night in glamping on Ons Islandis 90 euros for two people .15 euros more if they manage the boat for you.
    • There are also options for 4 or 5 people and extra beds for children.
  • Lodging Casa Ocuña.Being an inhabited island we also find this pension with rooms and apartments.The prices for room rentals on Ons Islandrange from 90-95 euros per night for two people.It also has apartments with capacity for 4 or 5 people from 175 euros per night.

As the island can only be visited when the good weather arrives, I recommend reserving accommodationon Isla de Onswith more than 15 days in advance, both camping, glamping or at Casa Ocuña.

Normally on weekends in high season the minimum reservation is two nights.

Faro de la Isla de Ons
Ons Island Lighthouse

What to do and what to see on the Island de Ons

This past of the island is to be enjoyed with all five senses.Of course, I warn you that the temperature of the water on the island is not cold, but frozen.You know, sincerity above all else.

  • Kick, kick, and keep kicking.There are four hiking routes on Isla de Onsthat are a true delight.In addition, they are connected to each other, so you can practically go around the island in one day.
  • The places of interest on Ons Islandthat you have to see are the Mirador Fedorentos, the Buraco do Inferno and the Mirador do Castelo.
    • Fedorentos Viewpoint: for me, the best viewpoint on Ons Island.From here you can see Onza Island and the Cíes Islands in the distance.
    • El Buraco do Inferno: This is the largest sea cave in the National Park.With a drop of 45 meters this place is full of legends.It was believed that this hole communicated with the world of the dead.When there is a storm, the sound of the sea through the hole is said to be overwhelming.
    • Ons Castle Ruins.It is an old defensive fortification from the 19th century that is currently in ruins, but it gives us a good view of the eastern part of the island.
  • If you are brave (better take a wetsuit ) doing diving in Ons Islandis a real hit.The snorkeling on the island is very good (although I admit that I haven’t been able to swim and I’m from the Bay of Biscay).
  • During the summer months there is also a guided tour of the Island of Free Onswhere they tell you a little more in depth about the history of the island and details of day-to-day life on the island.You can make a reservation directly at the Ons Island Tourist Office.This guided tour is usually at noon.
  • If you decide to stay on the island, there are also guided stargazing tours.Ons is an epic “starlight” destination.Seeing the stars from here, without light pollution and in the middle of the sea, must be a real blast.I was left with the desire and now I have long teeth.🙁
  • You know that we love to eat and the gastronomy of Onswas also going to be a mandatory stop on the island.You especially cannot leave without eating a good portion of freshly caught octopus in the Mar de Ons.
  • A cultural immersion in the town can be a perfect plan.If you like the plan, in addition to strolling through the houses of the town and the church, I suggest you visit the ethnographic exhibition in the old school.
  • mirador do fedorentos el mejor mirador de la isla de ons
    Mirador do Fedorentos, the best viewpoint on the island.

    Hiking routes on Ons Island

    You cannot fully enjoy the island without doing one (or several) of the four hiking trails on the Island of Ons.I’m going to tell you about the four routes in detail and then I’ll tell you about the potpourri we did.

    • South Route, the green route: it the most popular route on the island.From where the ferry leaves you, you have to continue along the path to the left from Area dos Cans Beach, passing through the town of Ons to the Red Cross post.From there you take the path that passes by the Canexoi beach, and then continue ascending for a while until you reach the impressive Fedorentos Viewpoint(very top).Then you continue to the Buraco do Inferno, to continue descending the Caniveliñas Coveand its heart-stopping cliffs to the same starting point.
      • Length: 6.2 kilometers .
      • Duration: 2 and a half hours.
      • Difficulty: easy.
      • Unevenness: 100 meters.
      • Top places: Arena dos Cans beach, Canexol Beach, Fedorentos Viewpoint and Buraco do Inferno.
    • Lighthouse Route, Yellow Route: Starting from the same place on the Red Cross in the center of town you turn right along the lighthouse path .But if you only go to the lighthouse, it’s only a kilometer away from the town (one way).
    • Duration of the circular route: 1 hour and a quarter.If you only go to the lighthouse, it takes 15 more minutes.
    • Unevenness: 125 meters until you reach the lighthouse.Although I warn you that for me the lighthouse did not seem to be the most beautiful on the island. longest of all.The complete route starts from the town taking the path to the right to continue to Melide Beach, continue to Punta Centolo and link up with the Ons Lighthouse, Punta Liñeiros and the Ensenada de Caniveliñas.
      • Length of the complete route: 8.1 kilometers.
      • Duration: 3 hours.
      • Difficulty: medium.
      • Travel magnets option: We only did part of this route .Linking from the Ons Lighthouse to the Melide Beach it is about 2 kilometers.About 23 minutes on foot (one way).
    • Ruta del Castillo, red route: it is another of the most frequented, it will stop in the ruined castle on the island.The route is circular, starting from the Ons tourist information point, taking the path to the right.
      • Length of the circular route: 1.1 kilometers.
      • Duration: 40 minutes.
      • Difficulty: very low.
      • Travel magnets option: We, who were returning from Melide Beach to the Port along the blue route, turned aside to see the Castelo viewpoint and returned directly along the route red to the port.
    rutas de senderismo en la isla de ons
    Hiking routes on Ons Island

    En In our case, the route we did on Ons Island one day was the following.We start with the southern route passing through the beaches until we reach the Fedorentos Viewpoint, continue along the Buraco do Infernoand complete the entire green route until we return to the town to eat (6.2 kilometers, 2 hours and a half or three).Once our batteries were recharged, we went to the Ons Lighthouse(1.1 km, 15 minutes) to then connect with the blue route to Melide beach (2 kilometers, 23 more minutes).We spent a long time on the beach and on the way back we turned off to go to the Mirador do Castelobefore returning to the ferry (30 minutes, about 2 kilometers).The truth is that this route is the one I recommend because you see the most beautiful places on the island without killing yourself (well, we did kill each other 🙂 ).In total it was about 11 kilometers.If you don’t want to walk so much, I suggest you don’t go up to the lighthouse.What you have to do, yes or yes, is the entire southern route and Melide Beach.

    All the routes and shortcuts are perfectly signposted on the island.There’s no way to get lost.You can even download a pdfhere.

    isla de ons buraco do inferno
    The Buraco do Inferno and its legend that communicates with the world of the dead .

    Beaches on Isla de Ons

    Let’s go to the trouble with the beaches on Isla de Ons.For me the best beach on the Island of Ons .It is accessed by walking along the blue route, the north.Formerly this beach was nudist.For this reason, to this day you will still see people in bolingas.

  • Area dos Cans Beach.It is one of the most frequented since it is right next to where the ferry leaves you.Just getting off the ferry looking at the island, it is on your left.
  • Canexoi Beach.It is very close to Playa de Area Dos Cans, it is also quite long and with a little less influx than the previous one.It’s a great option on the island if you don’t want to walk a lot.
  • Playa das Domas.It is a small cove on the right side of the port of Ons, just where the ferry leaves you.Given its proximity, it is also one of the most frequented, being small it is usually more crowded.
  • Pereiro Beach on Ons Island.Of all the beaches on Isla de Ons, it was the only one I did not visit.It is very small and is below the town of Pereiro, deviating a bit from the southern route.We’ll leave it pending for when we return.
  • Playa area dos cans mejores playas de la isla de ons
    Area dos Cans beach, one of the best beaches on Ons Island.

    Restaurants on Ons Island

    In addition to going to Ons Island to kick around, unwind and relax on one of its beaches, you should go to Ons to eat.And to eat well.It is true that you can also eat a sandwich on Ons Island for a price of 4 euros.And if it is octopus sandwich 11 euros.🙂

    Of all the restaurants in Ons we decided on a classic: Casa Checho.A restaurant with a terrace overlooking the sea that was opened by the emeritus king and it is rumored that he liked to come here a lot.We could not give in to the temptation of a rich portion of octopus.The price of the portion did not seem expensive to me (22 euros) and it was very beautiful and rich.

    donde comer en la isla de ons casa checho
    Octopus at Casa Checho, one of the best options to eat on the Island de Ons.

    Isla de Ons or Cíes Islands

    Comparisons are odious.We know this, but it is inevitable to compare Ons Island and the Cíes Islands.Which one did we like the most?Well, we both visited on separate trips.Which, by the way, I was grateful for, otherwise the comparisons would be even more exhausting.

    The beaches of the Cíes Islandsseemed more spectacular than the beaches of Ons.As for the hiking trails and the island itself, the Cíes Islands have more vegetation and more spectacular viewpoints, although Ons also has several top viewpoints.

    In short, I liked them plus the Cíes Islandsfor their environment, more natural and more virgin, without houses or restaurants.Which do you like more the Cíes Islandsor the Ons Island?I’d love to hear your opinion.

    playa de dos area dos cans isla de ons
    Area dos Cans beach, right next to the port.

    Tips for visiting Ons Island

    • As you can see, you can visit Ons Island in one dayperfectly, although the experience of sleeping on the island must be the most.To make the most of the day, I recommend you take the first boat to the island and return on the last one.
    • There are no litter bins on the island.You have to bring all the waste you generate back to the peninsula, so take a reusable cloth bag or a backpack to store everything.Don’t be a pig.
    • Take good shoes to explore the island.A pair of trainers will suffice, as well as a hat (there are hardly any places of shade throughout the route) and, of course, water.
    • Arrive at the port at least 30 minutes in advance.It is better to be quietly having breakfast there than to miss the boat.In addition, you have to go through the ship’s ticket office to validate the tickets.They will ask you for both the authorization and the ferry tickets.
    • Before reserving the boat and requesting the permit, I recommend checking the weather on Ons Islandas there may be forced cancellations older.

    I leave you with more photos of Isla de Onsso you can see that I’m not lying when I tell you that this place deserves a good visit.

    playas de melide isla de ons
    Melide Beach.
    Acantilados isla de ons
    Cliffs in Ons, in the background the Cíes Islands.
    Mirador do castelo isla de ons
    Mirador do Castelo.

    If you have any more questions, you can write to me in the comments of this article.

    I leave you a map of Ons Islandso that you can locate yourself better.

    • In orangethey are marked the beaches.
    • In purplethe iconic places of the island.
    • In redwhere the ferry leaves you.
    • In bluethe accommodation on the island.
    • In greenthe restaurant where we ate.

    Don’t miss more articles published about Galicia:

    Frequently asked questions about how to visit Ons Island

    I leave you, as a summary, different questions that you usually have to visit Ons Island .

    How to get to Ons Island?

    The only way is by boat from Portonovo, Sanxenxo and Bueu.The island was inhabited by 530 people in 1953.

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