On a sunny Friday afternoon, when suddenly we were allowed to leave our county again, we decided to visit a hidden and less-known gem of Tarragona province: Parc Samà. Funny enough and surprisingly as well, this park is known neither among locals nor among tourists. We also found it by coincidence when we were looking for more options on what to do in the proximity that we haven’t seen yet. Believe me, after being locked in your municipality (Roda de Bera – with 5 thousand inhabitants) for months and later to your county (Camp de Tarragona – with an area of 2703 km²) for altogether more than a year, in the end, you will know each sightseeing point by heart, each corner, even each tree by name… So when randomly we were checking Google Maps and noticed that there is a green park area, which is actually the first botanical garden of Spain, close to Cambrils, we didn’t get why we never heard of this place, why it’s not advertised better? So if you are like us, never heard of this place, here is your chance to get inspired, let’s review & visit Parc Sama virtually!
About the park
The park was created and promoted by Salvador Samà i Torrens (1861-1933), Marquis of Marianao, heir to a Catalan family established in Cuba. The project was entrusted to Josep Fontserè, author of the Parque de la Ciudadela de Barcelona and with Antoni Gaudí as assistant. The planting of the park began in 1881. Later, the Marquis of Marianao had several rooms and cages built to house the different animals brought from all over the world for his private zoo, located around the botanical enclosure and in the same style as the rest of the park. It is an important example of romantic gardening from the 19th century that tries to reproduce the exotic and characteristic atmosphere of colonial Cuba.
Nowadays the park is open to the public and it is a perfect destination for families, kids, couples. We can say the park is mainly romantic and poetic, more or less dense and wild, formed mostly by open spaces and important botanical species. It is clearly an eclectic garden that combines styles such as Italian Renaissance or English Romanticism, including a palace, a lake, exotic palm trees, banana trees and reeds, artificial decorative elements, waterfalls, forest & lovely animals.
“Parc Samà is a roundtrip, a journey of emigration and return. Dreaming of America, coming back, and leaving a legacy. Other trees, other birds, others costumes and colors, other arts… Adventure, culture, and wealth. Parc Samà is the history and the story of the Marquisate of Marianao.” – as stated on the park’s website.
Peacocks, birds, turtles, deers, insects…
In the case of Parc Samà, and following the idea of the founder of the park Salvador Samà i Torrens to recreate a garden that will transport the visitor to colonial Cuba, the park housed different collections of animals among which the birds brought from Central America.
The garden of today wants to recover this dimension, focusing on the fondness of its founder in the collection of ornamental birds coming from the new world but adapting this concept to the 21st century, where animal welfare is the absolute priority. The animal collections that Parc Samà houses are designed to serve as a classroom for education and conservation, where visitors can admire, enjoy and understand the wonderful world of birds, wild animals, or even insects.
How to get there
- From Barcelona: 131 km on AP-7
- From Tarragona: 25 km on A-7
- From Reus: 10 km on T-314
- From Cambrils: 6 km on T-314
The latest prices you can find on their website and we also copied here for you. The entrance is relatively expensive but indeed the park provides you with an unusual atmosphere and experience that is rare to find elsewhere in the surroundings or on the Catalan coast.
Where to stay nearby
In Montbrió del Camp (3 km from Parc Sama), check our favorite hotel and appartman options. If you click on the links, you can book the places directly with our affiliate discount prices.
In Cambrils (8 km from Parc Sama), check our favorite options. If you click on the links, you can book the places directly with our affiliate discount prices.
For more hidden gems in the area, check out our Catalan travel series.