The camellias in the Pazo of Santa Cruz de Ribadulla, gently wrapped in the cellophane-mist...
The route of the camellia
Camellias: accommodation in… Paradores
From Santiago de Compostela to Cambados, we’ll stroll through their pazos’ most amazing gardens. We’ll discover the different species they shelter and all the curiosities hidden in these magical spaces.
Start: Santiago de Compostela
Here, the camellia is known as the “winter flower” or “flower of Galicia”. Although the species is originally from China and Japan – where it is considered the most beautiful flower in the world – 300 years ago it settled quite comfortably into the aristocratic gardens of Galicia’s pazos. Our proposed route takes you on a tour of these spectacular settings, where the camellia dresses up stone and where, together, they create captivating spaces.
More information... - Hostal dos Reis Católicos. Teléfono 981 582 200 - Pazo de San Lourenzo. www.pazodesanlorenzo.com - Pazo de Santa Cruz de Ribadulla. Teléfono 981 512 011 - Pazo de Oca. Teléfono 986 587 435 - Pazo de Rubiáns. www.pazoderubianes.com - A Saleta estate. Teléfono: 986 872 323 - Pazo de Bazán State-Owned Hotel. Tel_ 986 542 250 - Palacio de Fefiñanes Winery. www.fefinanes.com
Hostal dos Reis Católicos was a hospital for pilgrims
This proposed route begins in Santiago de Compostela, where we suggest that you arrive in the afternoon and enjoy a relaxed stroll through its Old Town, a World Heritage Site since 1985. The city offers a wide range of accommodation, but its most emblematic is the Hostal dos Reis Católicos, an old pilgrims’ hospital which has been a state-owned hotel since 1954.
The hostel’s privileged location in the Praza do Obradoiro, square, next to the cathedral, is admired by visitors. Right before its door – finely decorated in the plateresco style – we can identify the Catholic Monarchs, Isabel and Fernando, enclosed in both medallions; the nude figures of Adam and Eve, and the twelve apostles lined up on its frieze. Above these latter are the Virgin Mary, Jesus, St. John the Evangelist and the Apostle James with scallop shell and walking stick. Looking further above, we’ll see the cornice decorated with grotesque and obscene gargoyles.
You may visit the inside of the building without being a guest if accompanied by a tour guide. This allows us to explore its four interior courtyards and a beautiful Gothic chapel, declared a Historic Artistic Monument in 1912.
From the cathedral to tapas at Rúa do Franco and A Raíña
You’ll be impressed by the wealth of art treasures in the cathedralsuch as the Pórtico da Gloria, a Romanesque masterpiece. We suggest you spend the rest of your afternoon exploring the cobblestone streets of the Old Town, mingling with the mass of pilgrims, university students, visitors and Compostela’s locals that reflect the genuine character of this city. You’ll find plenty of monuments and churches to visit, as well as numerous museums and galleries.
And when it’s time for a drink or dinner, there are all kinds of places suited to the most varied tastes: restaurants, seafood restaurants, tapas bars, wine bars, ham restaurants, traditional eating spots and grills, bars and taverns. A very Compostelan custom is to enjoy tapas and sharing-sized portions, especially when strolling the picturesque Rúa do Franco and A Raíña.