- Comfortable executive coaching with an experienced driver
- Stays in hotels of standing, including three historic 5* hotels
- Escorted throughout by Gavin Bade
- 7 breakfasts; 3 dinners and 2 lunches (wine, tea, coffee and table water included with lunch and dinner)
- 5 wine tastings
- Entrance Fees for the gardens.
- 24-hour emergency service
The northwestern corner of Iberia is unique – retaining remnants of its Celt-Iberian origins, a wild, rugged coastland and a moist, granitic soil, you won’t be surprised that it’s a perfect place for a garden tour! Our odyssey begins and ends in celebrated Porto, where our hotel has an enviable location in the UNESCO Ribeira area.
The cultural identities of northern Portugal, of Porto, the provinces of Minho and that of Galicia – the most westerly part of the Kingdom of Spain – meld harmoniously into each other, indeed the language of Galicia, ‘Galego’ was known as ‘Galician Portuguese’ until the 19th Century.
Our tour blends horticultural interest with the architecture, landscapes, wines, cuisine and ‘hotels of standing’ of the region, packaged into a busy schedule in order to showcase the very best of all aspects.
Galicia is home to the ‘Camellia Route’, and our visit is timed to coincide with camellia season. Some of the oldest and most stately examples of this ‘living fossil’ are to be found here. Brought to Europe first by the Portuguese as a direct result of their being the first Europeans to contact the orient, the tree speaks therefore of the golden age of the two Iberian kingdoms, of the fabled ‘Age of Discoveries’, references to which are scattered throughout our tour.
DAY 1: 7.3.20 – PORTO – Arrival, Vilar d’Allen garden and dinner.
- We meet in the hotel reception in the early afternoon following lunch and transfer by taxi/minibus to the nearby private garden of Vilar d’Allen for a guided tour with the owner/s. Your participation in this visit will depend on your arrival time at the hotel.
- This evening we meet in hotel reception and stroll to enjoy a welcome meal on the opposite side of the river – an opportunity to get to know the rest of the group against the backdrop of the UNESCO Ribeira area of Porto.
- Overnight at the Pestana Vintage Hotel, Porto. Please note that pre-tour nights are available at a supplement and are subject to availability.
Day 2: 8.3.20 – PORTO / BRAGA / PONTE DE LIMA
- Following breakfast we depart Porto and head north.
- Our first visit is to the Bom Jesus do Monte, on the outskirts of Braga.
- Following our visit here, we continue to the baroque gardens and palace of Biscainhos, near Braga for a guided tour.
- We then take lunch in the historic centre of Braga at leisure.
- Following our visit to Braga, we continue to Ponte de Lima for a short visit to see the famous Roman bridge and continue to the residence of the Paço de Calheiros for a visit to the house, gardens and for a wine tasting of the famous Alvarinho wine.
- Following our visit here, we continue to our welcoming hotel – Hotel Minho – and dinner at leisure.
Day 3: 9.3.20 – SOUTOMAIOR / COMBARRO / A SALETA / CAMBADOS – BREAKFAST INCLUDED
- Following breakfast we travel to the Castelo de Soutomaior, for the beautiful camellia avenue, park and a visit to the castle.
- Following our visit here, we continue to Combarro for a coffee and light lunch stop (not included) and time to visit the ‘horreos’ that this fisherfolk’s town is celebrated for.
- We continue to the private garden of A Saleta for a guided tour with the owner.
- Following our visit here, we continue to the Parador de Cambados. Dinner this evening is at leisure.
Day 4: 10.3.20 – CAMBADOS / VILAGARCIA DE AROUSA / CAMBADOS – BREAKFAST AND DINNER INCLUDED
- This morning we walk the short journey to Pazo de Fefiñáns in Cambados for a guided tour of the house, gardens and tasting of the estate wine.
- We leave time for an early light lunch at leisure in Cambados.
- Following this we continue to Pazo de Rubianes for a guided visit to the gardens and to the house and a further wine tasting.
- Later this afternoon, we return to our welcoming hotel in Cambados for an included dinner.
DAY 5: 11.3.20 – A ESTRADA / RIVADULLA / PADRÓN / SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA – BREAKFAST INCLUDED
- Following breakfast this morning, we depart for A Estrada and a visit to the estate and gardens at Pazo de Oca.
- From here we continue to Pazo de Santa Cruz de Rivadulla, with its remarkable camellia collection, ancient olive avenue and watery dell.
- We continue to Padrón for some free time for lunch and later for a short visit to the botanic garden there.
- Later we continue to our wonderful historic hotel in the spectacular main square of Santiago de Compostela. Dinner tonight is at leisure.
DAY 6: 12.3.20 – SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA / ROIS / VIGO – BREAKFAST AND LUNCH INCLUDED
- Following breakfast, we check out of the hotel and store our baggage. This morning, we make a guided visit to the Pazo of San Lorenzo de Trasouto on the edge of Santiago and continue to the Alameda for beautiful views and to stroll amongst the formal gardens. We descend back to the hotel for a group lunch and farewell to Santiago.
- This afternoon we make a visit to Pazo de Faramello, where we enjoy a guided visit of the gardens and house with the owner, a descendant of Italian nobility.
- After our visit here, we continue to our 5* Pazo de los Escudos hotel near Vigo for an evening and dinner at leisure.
DAY 7: 13.3.20 – VIGO / CELORICO DO BASTO / AMARANTE / PENAFIEL / PORTO – BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER INCLUDED
- Following breakfast this morning, we check out of the hotel and head back across the border into Portugal.
- Our first visit are the house and gardens of Casa do Campo.
- Following our visit here, we continue to Amarante, to walk the bridge of St. Gonçalo and to take a lovely lunch in the 5* Casa da Calçada.
- Our final visit today is to the estate at Aveleda, where we visit the extensive gardens and enjoy a final wine tasting.
- Following our visit here, we continue to Porto where we check back into the Pestana Vintage Hotel, for an included farewell dinner at the hotel this evening.
DAY 8: 14.3.20 – Departures – BREAKFAST INCLUDED
- Following breakfast, we check out of the hotel and commence our homeward or onward journeys, or perhaps stay on in the hotel to enjoy Porto for a little longer. Please note that post-tour nights at the Pestana Vintage Hotel are available at a supplement and are subject to availability.
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