Coelleira Island (Isla Conejera in Spanish), is located in front of the Ría de O Barqueiro and Vicedo, in Lugo, Galicia. It is one of the largest Galician Cantabrian islands.

Coelleira Island has about twenty-six hectares, and one of its characteristics is its trapezoidal shape that stretches over a thousand meters. At its eighty meters high, Coelleira Island Galicia has a lighthouse and a barren land.

Ruins of the Coelleira Island Monastery

Coelleira Island housed in the ninth century the Monastery of Benedictine Monks, which was destroyed by attacks during the Norman raids. It is known that it was governed by the Order of Saint Benedict, although – in reality – the most relevant news come from the year 1420, date that alludes to the membership of the Monks of Saint Augustine. Previously, they were known as the Monastery of San Miguel de la Celleira (5th century) and it seems that the monks used to go to Viveiro to say mass in handcrafted boats made of thick leather.

Monastery annexed to the Cathedral of Mondoñedo

Within the history of Coelleira Island, and as we have already mentioned, different situations occur; both in the ownership of the monastery, as well as the use of the island. After the community of Monks of St. Augustine, in 1534 both the monastery and the island are annexed to the Cathedral of Mondoñedo, which is the basilica of the Virgin of the Assumption, or «cathedral kneeling» nickname that alludes to the low height of the temple. It is one of the seats of the diocese of Mondoñedo-Ferrol.

The monastery of Isla de Coelleira was demolished in 1595.

The Templars

As has been documented, the monastery of Coelleira Island was also a stronghold of the Knights Templar, who carried out arduous tasks of protection and defense of the roads for the protection of pilgrims on their way to the holy places in Galicia.

The Basque Navigators

In the 17th century, Basque whalers used Coelleira Island as a watchtower for fishing the giant cetaceans.

The Spanish Navy

From the 19th century onwards, Coelleira Island was in the hands of the Spanish Navy, which proceeded to install a lighthouse as a fundamental part of the navigation routes that pass through this area without rest.

Cabaliño, Percebosa and Carabelas Islets

Coelleira Island is surrounded by three islets called Cabaliño, Percebosa and Carabelas.


Coelleira Island is one of the main points of interest for ornithology lovers. There are more than 20 species of birds and more than a thousand registered nests. There are cormorants, sea crows, seagulls, guillemots, etc.. In addition to the migratory passage of birds that come from Norway and head to Africa.

The underwater paradise of Coelleira

Coelleira Island is home to a wonderful seabed where it is perfectly possible to find treasures linked to its history and to the navigation that for centuries has bordered it. The steamship «Lascona» of Swedish origin, which was sunk in 1940, just after the civil war. Also Illa Coelleira shelters in its seabed numerous rocks and stones – it is presumed – coming from the walls of the old monastery. The marine fauna of Coelleira Island is huge, spider crabs, octopuses that reside by the thousands.

Being a paradise for scuba diving lovers, it could not miss a wreck (from an old fishing boat) that the center of underwater activities of Viveiro anchored at a depth of just over twenty meters, creating a marine biotope.

Climatology of Coelleira

The average annual temperature on Coelleira Island is about 16ªC. It accumulates an annual rainfall of between 800mm and 1,100mm.

How to get to Coelleira Island

In Coelleira Island you can dock at the Portiño (southwest) from where you can see a visible path that reaches the lighthouse.

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