Strolling among gardens: discover the route of the camellias (part 4)

4) The Pazo de Rubianes and other destinations in southern Galicia

Camellias continue to grow in the south of Galicia in public gardens and up to twelve private manor houses, which complete part of our floral heritage of up to 8000 varieties of camellias.

In the Rías Bajas the camellias have a mild and humid climate where they can grow and surprise us with their extraordinary beauty.

One of the most important destinations is the Pazo de Rubianes, preserved in perfect condition for more than five centuries of history. In its 65 hectares of land it houses a large garden, an orchard, a landscaped forest and albariño vineyards.

More than a hundred floral species adorn this garden, but the camellia has been the emblem of the Rubianes pazo since the beginning of the 19th century. Not in vain are preserved here more than 4500 specimens of this flower and all kinds of botanical species that will leave us amazed with its beauty.

The landscaping of the pazo began at the end of the 17th century in the area closest to the pazo and the so-called “pond of the frogs”. In the 18th century the most important works continued. New crops were introduced: magnolias, calocedros, ash trees, camphor trees, araucarias, oaks, cork oaks… especially the eucalyptus trees, brought by the bishop of Tui in 1820 and which today are among the largest in Europe.

The passion for gardening has been passed down from father to son, making Pazo de Rubianes a unique natural environment.

We already told you that in the pazo there are 800 different varieties of camellias, but did you know that from these camellias is extracted the oil with which the nuns of the monastery of Armenteira make their handmade soaps? It is undoubtedly a nice souvenir that we can take from this place.

The other reason why Pazo de Rubianes is known for its vineyards. The first wineries date back to the 15th century. Thanks to its granitic and shallow soil, arranged on medium slopes facing southwest, this place is exceptional for the cultivation of Albariño. We recommend you to enjoy this wine accompanied by the exquisite seafood of our estuaries.

If we want to continue descending, we will find the pazos of Quinteiro da Cruz and A Saleta, where we will be surrounded by magical environments with more than 2000 different varieties of camellias.

The estate of A Saleta, in the municipality of Meis, consists of five hectares of land surrounded by oaks, cork oaks, eucalyptus trees and an English-style garden designed by the landscape designer Brenda Colvin.

Upon entering, we will see a manor house with a chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Saleta. Inside it preserves an altarpiece and a polychrome vault. On the outside, we will see a typical Galician hórreo and an octagonal dovecote.

The most emblematic flower in A Saleta is the camellia. We can find varieties of all colors: white, red, pink, violet, marbled… they fill the garden with life until the beginning of spring.

We recommend you to take advantage of your stay in the Rías Bajas to get to know the Salnés region, its craft establishments, its most emblematic inns and monuments… Nothing better to end the day than a dinner in good company, where the seafood of the estuary and the Albariño wine are the protagonists.

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