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The Sisargas Islands: a beautiful paradise

The Sisargas Islands are a small archipelago located in front of Malpica de Bergantiños, on the Costa da Morte; they are, therefore, in the autonomous community of Galicia, Spain. The residents of Malpica always called this place “the island”, although in reality There are three independent islets: Grande, Chica and Malante..

These islands are mostly steep in nature, so we can find numerous cliffs there, especially in Sisarga Grande. It is also important to mention that, due to the windy currents, the vegetation is scarce, but it does bird species, marine species and some endemic flowers abound.

Get to know this fantastic natural paradise in Malpica, an ideal destination for the summer. Sunbathing, walking or discovering the secrets that the sea hides through diving are some of the favorite activities in the Sisargas Islands.

Keys about the Sisargas Islands

It is believed that about 10,000 years ago, the Sisargas Islands were attached to the mainland forming a continuum with the Beo peninsula, due to the drop in sea level. Currently, we can see three islets with a fascinating nature.

If you decide to visit them, keep in mind that it is necessary to hire a private boat service, since there is no public transport to get you there. Take an adventure to these well-kept islands and discover a fantastic place.

Big Sisarge

La Sisarga Grande is the best known and most visited island in the archipelago. It has an area of ​​one square kilometer and a maximum height of 102 meters above sea level.

It is characterized by cliffs, caves and cut walls in the northern part. In the southern part, the cliffs are lower and steeper, so the relief is smoother.

Malante Island

Located to the east of Sisarga Grande and separated from it by the Estadiga Canal, it is over 50 meters above sea level. It is similar to its neighbor Sisarga Grande, since the north is steeper and the south presents a smoother relief.

Sisarga Girl

It is located south of Malante Island and separated from it by the Esteirón Channel. It has a maximum height of 30 meters above sea level and is the smallest of the three.

The cliffs are few, the slopes less pronounced and the relief softer. Its training is one of the oldest in Galicia, so it is estimated that it must be between 570 and 510 million years old.

One of the oldest lighthouses on the Costa da Morte

In Sisarga Grande we can see a small jetty next to a beach, from where a path of about two kilometers that leads to the lighthouse. It is the first on the Costa da Morte —or the last, if you go north—.

It was built in 1853, which makes it one of the oldest on the Costa da Morte, along with that of Fisterra. Several renovations were made, one of the most important in 1912. Since 2002, the system has been automated and at night three flashes of white light can be seen every 15 seconds.

Also there we can find the so-called Faro Vello that worked between 1912 and 1915, built with the purpose of replacing the original during its remodeling period. It was much smaller and, with the inauguration of the remodeled original lighthouse, it fell into disuse and abandoned.

As an interesting fact, we tell you that you can travel the Route of the Lighthouses of the Costa da Morte that goes from Malpica to Fisterra in a tour of eight stages. The experience is fascinating, and includes a beautiful landscape between dunes, beaches, cliffs and lighthouses.

The ornithological importance of the Sisargas Islands

The Sisargas Islands are a natural paradise for anyone, but you have no idea how much it is for birds. Well it turns out they are an important refuge for seabirds —some of them in danger of extinction—, and a transit area for migratory birds.

Its main function is to be a colony for the Dusky Gull (Larus fucus)the three-toed gull (Rissa tridactyla)the yellow-legged gull (Larus cachinnans) and the common guillemot (Uria alge).

Due to its great importance in the protection of these birds, the Sisargas Islands were declared a Special Protection Area for Birds —ZEPA— within the SCI Costa da Morte – Rede Natura 2000.

Is there anything to see in the Sisargas Islands? Of course!

When it comes to small places, sometimes it is difficult to imagine that they have something very interesting to see or imagine what things can be done there. However, every site, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, has something to tell and something to show, and the Sisargas Islands are no exception.

Its main attraction lies in the charm of its natural beauty, represented in cliffs, beaches or dunes. Its beauty appears when observing the birds migrating and taking refuge and also lies in the contemplation of the lighthouses. Finally, don’t forget diving, as it is an emblematic destination on the Atlantic Europe route for this sport.

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