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Galicia's best beaches: Las Islas Cies and more...

Most people instinctively associate Spain's coastline with the Mediterranean – unaware of the stunning stretch of coastline where the Atlantic meets Galicia. Just north of Portugal, these beaches range from peaceful and deserted, to rugged and wild.  

With pristine sands, turquoise waters and scented pine tree backdrops as standard, it's no surprise that these beaches are rated as some of the best in Spain.  

The Cies Islands are Galicia's star attraction and only a short boat ride from the medieval town of Baiona. Located within an uninhabited natural park, they are only accessible during the summer months.  

The islands, with their immaculate, exotic looking beaches, are akin to Britain's Scilly Isles. Incidentally, so is the sea temperature – but what the Galicia lacks in warm waters, it makes up for in other ways.    

Other beaches in the region score high in the beauty stakes, the spectacular cliffs along the Costa da Morte and the Corrubedo dunes being key players. Venture inland to discover the old-world charm of the towns of Lugo and Pontevedra and you will have seen the very best of Galicia.

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San Martiño beach is a highlight of the Cies Islands and can only be accessed by boat / © Galicia Tourism Board 

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A swirl of colours converge as the river das Mestas meets the sea / © Galicia Tourism Board 

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Scenery at the As Catedrais beach provides the perfect photo opportunity / © Galicia Tourism Board 

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Galician beaches are rarely busy but wildlife often visits the Rodas beach on the Islas Cies / © Galicia Tourism Board 

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Carnota beach stretches for over five miles, making it Galicia's longest beach. Don't miss the sunsets / © Galicia Tourism Board 

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The Morrazo peninsula is worth a visit / © Galicia Tourism Board 

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Quiet Villarube beach lies where two of the region's rivers merge / © Galicia Tourism Board 

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Morouzo beach looks out to San Vicente Island - which can be reached on foot during low tides / © Galicia Tourism Board 

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The enchanting Ons Islands form part of The Atlantic Islands National Park / © Galicia Tourism Board 

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Galicia's beaches are amongst the best in Spain / © Galicia Tourism Board 

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Arealonga beach is steeped in history. It boasts an impressive archaelogical site / © Galicia Tourism Board 

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The Esteiro river meets the Atlantic, creating a white sand haven / © Galicia Tourism Board 

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The Rodas beach, on the Cies Islands, frequently features on lists of top beaches worldwide / © Galicia Tourism Board 

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More photo opportunities abound at San Roman beach. It often features in films and TV programmes / © Galicia Tourism Board 

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The Campelo beach, with its strong winds and currents, is a surfer's paradise /  © Galicia Tourism Board