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The International Camellia Society

Pre Congress Tour 2014

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PRE-CONGRESS TOUR – Thursday to Monday, 6 to 10 March

Four nights in Porto, four days visiting some of the most outstanding camellia gardens of Northern Portugal: Porto and nearby Vila Nova de Gaia, Penafiel, Celorico de Basto, Santo Tirso, Guimarães and Monção.

Includes 4 nights hotel & breakfast; 4 lunches and 2 dinners; comfortable coaching throughout and all admission costs.



In addition to ancient, magnificent-sized camellia trees, unique camellia topiary and superb 19th century variety collections in historic quintas, this tour is also an opportunity to admire Porto and Guimarães UNESCO World Heritage city centres, and enjoy the unique landscape, architecture, wines and gastronomy of Northern Portugal.

Thursday, 6 March – Registration at the hotel and informal welcome dinner.

Friday, 7 March – Visit to the Botanical Garden of Porto, with more than 500 metres of high camellia hedges, and then, across the river Douro, in Vila Nova the Gaia, to Casa de Campo Belo, with its famous ancient camellia trees and a stunning view of Porto and the river. A short drive will take delegates to Quinta de Santo Inácio de Fiães, an 18th century manor house whose gardens are a “camellia paradise” with over 1,500 camellias exclusively from the 19th century. NEW...Click Here to preview a list of varieties at this garden

Saturday, 8 March – The day will start at Quinta da Aveleda, famous worldwide not only for its prized wines but also for the magnificent Romantic-style gardens. The following stop is Casa do Campo, in Celorico de Basto, a celebrated exquisite camellia topiary garden. On the way back, delegates are invited to admire the impressive collection created by the late Eng. José Gil, first Director of ICS-Portugal, at Casa do Casal in Santo Tirso, whose highlight are two superb yellow C. chrysantha.

Sunday, 9 March – The whole day is spent in Porto, beginning at Quinta de Villar d’Allen, with its historic garden in Romantic taste and wonderful ancient camellia collection. The exhibition “Camellias in Art”, especially designed for this occasion, will be on display at Museu Soares dos Reis, a neo-Palladian building featuring an intimate camellia courtyard garden. Delegates will then be given the option of visiting three fine camellia gardens nearby – Palácio de Cristal, Quinta da Macieirinha and Casa Tait – or enjoying some free time. Porto´s World Heritage city centre with its vibrant Ribeira quarter is a good suggestion. The farewell dinner will take place in a delightful setting.

Monday, 10 March – After a final stop in Porto for the unique gardens of Serralves Park, the group departs to Guimarães to visit the Camélias Flavius Nursery, which houses a rich collection of camellia varieties, followed by a glimpse of Guimarães World Heritage city centre and Palácio de Vila Flor, whose terraced gardens feature superb listed camellia trees. A visit to the gardens of Palácio da Brejoeira, in Monção, and a tasting of its famous Alvarinho Verde wine, will conclude the Pre-Congress Tour. A short drive will then take delegates to their hotel in Pontevedra.


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