Cruise Port Atlas | Vigo, Spain Day Trips | Attractions

Vigo, Spain Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Vigo: Windstar, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea, Celebrity, Cunard, Holland America, Princess, Costa, Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean

Key Attractions: El Castro, Vigo Zoo, Old City, Samil Beach, O Vao Beach, Canido Beach, Monumental Sculptures, Ceis Islands, Pontevedra, San Juan Monastery at Poio, Tui, Valenca (Portugal), Santiago de Compostela

Vigo Attractions

Port to El Castro - 4 KM, 10 minutes
Port to Verbum - 7 KM, 12 minutes
Port to Zoo - 8 KM, 15 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Vigo is a fairly large city but because its central historic district is compact, it has a welcoming atmosphere. The most iconic attraction is El Castro, the ancient Celtic fortress overlooking the city from the Charlie Rivel Park. The most famous shopping street is the rustic Rua dos Cesteiros, a narrow alley where only baskets and other woven products are sold. If you like fresh oysters, an early morning visit to A Pedra market (walking distance from the ship) is a must. The most intriguing museum in the city is the Museum of Words (Verbum) near Samil Beach. It is interactive and will appeal to the child in all of us. Also popular are the Galician Culture Museum and the Museum of Modern Art (MARCO), both in walking distance of the port. Vigo has an excellent Zoo about 8 kilometers from the port and situated on a large hill to the east of the city.

                 

   

Photo of El Castro by Pablofcn

Cies Islands

Port to Cies Islands by Ferry - 16 KM, 45 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The small archipelago that protects the estuary from the oceanic currents is a National Park of rare natural beauty. To protect the ecosystem visitors are limited by the number of ferries that arrive each day. On their ocean-side the islands have steep cliffs, while on the land-facing side there are lovely sugar-sand beaches. The favorite activities are sun bathing, swimming and hiking. There is a bar and restaurant, but most people carry food with them and picnic. There are some archaeological sites and a lighthouse.

           

   

Photo of Ceis Islands

Vigo Beaches

Port to Samil Beach - 7 KM, 12 minutes
Port to O Vao and Canido Beaches - 9 KM, 20 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Vigo is a beach destination and offers a wide variety of nearby beaches most of which are west and southwest of the city. The largest and most popular of Vigo's beaches is Samil Beach which is over 1 km long and attracts large, enthusiastic crowds. There are a few closer urban beaches such as Muino Point and Fontes beach. Blue flag status has been awarded to two beaches: O Vao, a wide and long beach with nice facilities and a bridge to the small island of Toralla, and Canida Beach.

        

   

Photo of Samil Beach during Air Festival by HombreDHojalata

Vigo's Monumental Sculptures

Port to Sculptures - within about 6 KM of the Port
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Vigo is a city where you are surrounded by art. Within the city are 14 monumental sculptures, 9 of which are from the last quarter century and the remainder since the end of the 19th century. Primarily situated in city squares and traffic circles, these sculptures represent different aspect of Vigo's culture and maritime past. The most famous are "Atlantic Gateway" in the Plaza de America; "El Sireno" in Puerto del Sol, as a symbol of the city's close relationship with the sea; and "Los Caballos" in Plaza de Espana, portraying horses that used to roam the Castro Park. Though several of the sculptures are in the historic center, the best way to see a larger number is by taking a bus tour of the city.

     

   

Photo of Los Caballos by Dantadd

Nearby Cities and Towns

Port to Tui - 36 KM, 30 minutes
Port to Valenca, Portugal - 38 KM, 35 minutes
Port to Pontevedra - 27 KM, 25 minutes
Port to San Juan Monastery - 36 KM, 40 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

If you want to visit Portugal while you are in Vigo, your best option is the small city of Valenca just across the Mino (Minho) River from the Galician town of Tui. Tui is built on a hill with great views of the area and a historic Romanesque and Gothic Cathedral. Valenca offers a scenic hilltop fortress from the late middle ages and lots of small shops that offer lower prices than on the Spanish side of the border. North of Vigo is the lovely small Galician city of Pontevedra (Old Bridge), considered by some the most typically Galician of all cities. It offers scenic historic squares and lovely cafes and shops. Nearby is the popular San Juan Monastery of Poio.

        

   

Photo of Pontevedra's Firewood Square by Luis Miguel Bugallo Sanchez

Santiago de Compostela

Port to Santiago de Compostela - 88 KM, 60 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Santiago de Compostela was a city born of the tradition in that the remains of the Apostle James are buried where the city's cathedral now stands. Pilgrims from all over Christendom have traveled to this site for centuries, making it a tourism destination long before tourism was as common as it is today. The old center of town is filled with historic buildings, including Raxio's Palace and a hostel for medieval-era pilgrims. The cathedral is depicted on several Spanish Euro coins. This church was constructed and reconstructed repeatedly over the centuries so that its architecture is a blend of many different styles including its famous baroque Western facade, its Romanesque interior and Northern Facade. The entire old town is inviting and ready to seduce you with its old world charm. If you happen to stay overnight, the nightlife is very vibrant.

                    

   

Photo of Cathedral at Santiago de Compostela by Yearofthedragon

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible