Your tour begins with a stop at the historic Castle of Santa Cruz. The Castle was built right on the shore by orders of Captain General D. Diego das Mariñas in 1594, in order to defend the bay of La Coruña. It was to defend the entry to the Ría de A Coruña. In 1640 the defensive system was completed by pieces of artillery.
Afterwards, you will enjoy a scenic drive to Betanzos, the former Roman town that emerged from the ancient settlement of Castro de Untia. This unspoiled, traditional town contains wonderful examples of medieval architecture, with various houses still bearing coats of arms. The quaint fishing quarter also adds to the charm and ambiance of this popular location. Once a flourishing port, it now lies some distance from the sea. The town, like many in Galicia, is cut into a slope and has a number of different built up tiers as it rises above its estuarial rivers, the Mandeo and Mendo.
You will next make your way to the 18th century Pazo de Mariñán. Located on the banks of the Betanzos and Mandeo rivers, it is perhaps one of the best Pazos in Galicia and Spain. Retracing the historical events that occurred at this location have helped to identify the Pazo's most famous owner, the influential Gómez Pérez das Marinas. Living here during the 15th century, he is remembered as the invincible defender of the city of La Coruña against the attacks from the Count of Benavente. As soon as you enter the grounds, you will discover unique gardens that include giant shade-creating banana trees, walnut trees from India and huge eucalyptus trees, all of which stand in greeting as you make your way inside. The path that leads up to the Pazo is a paved road, bordered by two rows of trees. This spectacular arrangement of trees becomes visible shortly after passing a Piceas planted on the left side of the path, and on the right side, a colorful row of Camellias. Further along the path you will discover the Pazo´s Chapel, which was originally built by Costanza das Marinas in the 15th century in honor of Saint Roque. The Italian influence in the garden is evidenced in the stairway that is connected to the terrace. From the terrace, you will be treated to a spectacular view of the sea and the main garden, which is an architectural jewel. The stairways also lead to the owner's once private gardens, which are decorated with fountains, busts and statues of the Count of Mos.
At the conclusion of your visit to the Pazo de Mariñán and gardens, you will rejoin your coach and make your way back to the pier. Your return has you driving along the picturesque Antabro Gulf, passing by Meirás and Sada.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 1 3/4 hours of moderate walking and stairs to negotiate. The tour is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Weather appropriate clothing; flat, comfortable walking shoes, a hat and sunglasses are recommended. The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary.