Vigo, Spain - Cruise Port Guide - Anchors Up
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Vigo, Spain - Cruise Port Guide

Vigo, Spain - Cruise Port Guide Anchors Up

Location

Nestled on the rugged west coast of the province of Galicia, Vigo stands as Spain's busiest fishing port, boasting a deep, fjord-like harbor. The city warmly welcomes cruise ships, evident in the impressive redevelopment of the entire port area that leaves a lasting first-class impression.

Cruise ships dock at the Muelle de Transatlanticos, conveniently located in front of this fortress city. A short stroll across the palm tree-lined and bustling Avenida del Castillo waterfront promenade brings you to the heart of Vigo. The cruise terminal, situated on the first floor, offers a few small stores and a WiFi cafe for travelers' convenience. Directly across from the cruise terminal, you'll find the newly established tourist office, where ferry tickets are also available.

It's worth noting that Vigo's significance as a fishing port means seagulls are a common sight throughout the area, including the balconies of cruise ship cabins. Embrace the lively atmosphere of this maritime city, where the blend of fishing heritage and cruise ship hospitality creates a unique and memorable experience for visitors.

Watch a video tour of this port.

Port location on Google Maps

Monthly climate averages for Vigo, Spain

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Sights

Galicia, known as "The Green Spain" due to its cooler and damper climate, serves as a sought-after retreat for Spaniards escaping the intense summer heat. This region, abundant with lush countryside and renowned for its world-class seafood, attracts those seeking an authentic and unspoiled Spanish experience.

For cruisers, Vigo becomes the gateway to the "real" Spain, offering opportunities to connect with locals and explore a region relatively untouched by mass tourism. The adventure begins at the waterfront, where Old Vigo ascends tiered to the citadel of El Castro, one of the three fortresses that historically guarded the Spanish city.

A short distance south of Vigo, Samil Sands is hailed as the finest beach easily accessible from the city. This coastal haven features expansive golden sands, providing an ideal setting to bask in the sun and enjoy a refreshing dip in the sea. The estuary offers protection from the breakers, creating a tranquil environment. A stroll along the white promenade or a leisurely break at one of the many cafeterias, offering ice creams and cooling drinks, completes the seaside experience. Conveniently, the mentioned hop-on/hop-off bus has a stop at Samil Sands.

The newly established tourist office, located across from the cruise terminal, serves as a central point for information and services. It's also the place to secure ferry tickets, making it a convenient starting point for exploration in this authentic corner of Spain.

 

Tours, excursions and transportation

To explore the city of Vigo and its surroundings, there are several transportation options available from the pier head. The hop-on-hop-off bus service is a good option.

 

Alternatively you can take the bus C1, which follows a circular route through the city. The bus stop is conveniently located on the main road across from the tourist office.

Taxis are readily available just outside the port gates and operate on a metered basis. Look for the green light, indicating that the taxi is available to pick up passengers. A taxi ride to the town typically costs around 5 euros. For those interested in a round trip to Santiago de Compostela, the fare is approximately 100 euros.

For a scenic and relaxing experience, consider taking the ferry to the quaint town of Gangas across the bay from Vigo. The ferry departs every 15 minutes and takes about 15 minutes for a round trip. The ferry terminal is conveniently located 100 meters from the dock. Please note that tickets for the ferry are only available at the office, not on the ferry itself.

If you're interested in exploring the surrounding countryside, some ships may offer mountain biking and hiking excursions. For a nature escape, the Cíes Islands, declared a Nature Reserve in 1980, are a picturesque archipelago on the coast of Pontevedra in Galicia. The islands are part of the National Land-Marine Park of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia. In 2007, The Guardian ranked the beach of Monteagudo island as No. 1 among the Top 10 beaches in the world. The ticket office for the ferry to both Gangas and Cíes Islands is located in a nondescript building around the harbor, to the right as you walk away from the ship.

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Nearby destinations

The renowned shrine of Santiago de Compostela, once Christianity's third most significant pilgrimage site, lies nearly 60 miles north of Vigo. In medieval times, it held a position of prominence comparable to Jerusalem and Rome. For those with limited time, the charming fishing village of Bayona, just 12 miles away, offers attractions such as a 12th-century church and a 16th-century castle, now transformed into a hotel.

If you're interested in reaching Santiago de Compostela, the Vigo train station is conveniently located and can be reached by a 10-minute taxi ride from the port. You can check the train schedules for your convenience.

For a delightful maritime escape, regular boats operate to Islas Cíes during Easter Week and the summer season, running from mid-June to mid-September. The departure point is the Estación Marítima in the port area. Explore the cultural and historical richness of Santiago de Compostela or enjoy the scenic beauty of Bayona and Islas Cíes, each offering a unique experience within reach of the port of Vigo.

 

Shopping and food

A brand new shopping mall has recently opened right next to the cruise terminal. The mall boasts spacious outdoor cafes, offering a convenient and enjoyable shopping experience.

Adjacent to the Bahia Hotel, easily visible from the cruise terminal, lies the charming old center of Vigo. This quaint area is dotted with small stores and numerous outdoor cafes, creating a cozy atmosphere. One particularly delightful section of this street is known as Oyster Alley, where you can purchase shucked oysters and savor them at any of the outdoor cafes. Additionally, the area provides free Wi-Fi for your convenience.

For wheelchair users, access to the elevated area above can be facilitated by using the elevators in the shopping mall next to the cruise terminal. Utilize the elevated walkway to reach the charming old center without having to negotiate any stairs. Whether you're in the mood for shopping, dining, or exploring the local charm, Vigo has something to offer for every cruise passenger.

 

Other information

Currency: Euro.

Emergency number: 112. The service is available in Spanish and, in some tourist areas, assistance is also provided in English, French, and German.

Language: Spanish serves as the official language across the entirety of Spain. Nevertheless, other languages coexist alongside Spanish in specific regions of the country.

 

Opening hours

In Spain, the typical business hours for shops and businesses are from Monday through Saturday, starting at 9:30 a.m. and closing at 1:30 p.m. The afternoon session resumes at 4:30 p.m. and extends until 8:00 p.m.

For larger shopping centers and department stores, operating hours are usually from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. or 10:00 p.m., with some establishments occasionally open on Sundays.

Pharmacies generally operate from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. However, in major cities, there are pharmacies that provide 24-hour service. Pharmacies follow a rotating late-hour schedule, which is published in newspapers and displayed at all pharmacies.

Museums, on the other hand, typically close on Mondays, so it's advisable to plan museum visits on other days of the week. Be sure to check the specific opening hours for any attractions you plan to visit, as there may be variations.