The Camellia Route: “Pazos” and Gardens full with history

It is unknown whether Marco Polo brought camellias as a souvenir from China. If he did so, he unknowingly pioneered the first pilgrim camellia that found a home in the aristocratic gardens of the Galician “Pazos”.

The English and Dutch were applied to study with enthusiasm the properties of the leaves, and in the mean time the discarded flowers arrived in their ships to London and Lisbon. And from there, renamed as camellias in honor of a Jesuit missionary, arrived to Galicia.

Centuries later the only route in Europe dedicated to discover the more than 8,000 varieties of camellias, housed in streets and squares of the towns of Galicia, was created. A journey from garden to garden, from pazo to pazo, that gives light to the landscape and soul of Galicia.

Our proposal takes us through this evocative journey from northern to southern Galicia through manors and gardens where the varieties of Camellia reign in their entire splendor. As examples, the “Camellia reticulata” found in the impressive Pazo de Oca, is perhaps the oldest in Europe. Or the Camellias at Pazo de la Saleta, brought by an Englishman in 1968 and that perfectly adapted to the environment.

Finally, at Pazo del Sar, we will enjoy a nineteenth century French garden in perfect condition. The old vineyards surrounded by more than 50 species of fruit trees bring us back lost flavors.

Pazos and landscapes in an elegant decadence, authentic bothanical gardens created with care and wisdom that will discover you their beauty secrets.

Garden tours in Spain

Pazo del Sar, La Coruña, Galicia

A personal view on incentive travel

All kind of literature has been written around incentives. In my point of view, monetary bonuses come and go while experience incentive travel programs are there to stay in the memory of your stakeholders. They are much more than simple rewards for top clients and performers. They are a benefit to the company that helps to promote revenue growth, customer acquisition, and employee and client retention.

Both in individual or group rewards, immersing into the local culture turns it from a trip into a journey of experience.  The local component adds authenticity, interest and most importantly emotion. It is this emotional element that makes the trip endure long.

My first example of such a reward is an eye-opening trip through The Culture of Wine along the Duero River: Ribera del Duero, Rueda, Toro, Porto are the regions to discover. It is a journey through Spain and Portugal, an interesting way of getting to know two cultures around wine, with a common denominator, the Douro River, combining the best wine and food activities with other more active proposals.

Another option is a singular Galician Route from North to South. A journey of great authenticity to learn about the wealth of this region that will take us to the Rias Altas and the Rias Baixas. An opportunity to discover a thousand year old light houses, glance at some of the highest cliffs in Europe, taste Albariño in world-known wineries, sail the Miño river on a private boat in the Ribeira Sacra or in a classic sail boat around the clear waters of the Cíes Islands.

The key is to design a trip to enjoy, to feel and to share with the most valued clients or employees.

Incentive Travel Spain

Ribeira Sacra, Galicia