Madeira Gardens

Madeira Gardens are fabulous and exotic, with lots of plants that grow out in the open. Normally that would only be found in hot-houses in other parts of the world but Madeira’s sub-tropical like climate, warm and moist, together with the fact that the soil is a rich volcanic base, makes for perfect growing conditions for native as well as foreign additions alike. Plants from all corners of the earth can be found here, thus madeira gardens can be found in bloom right throughout the year. Funchal is a gardeners paradise, full of gardens with a diversity of plants and flow of colour everywhere. Nearly everywhere you go, whether its in the streets in town, the hotels, the houses, the larger estates or the parks, you will find a large selection of sub-tropical plants growing in beautifully designed gardens. Below are some of the bigger more popular gardens in madeira that one can visit when visiting Funchal.

Monte Palace Tropical Garden

This historical madeira garden that has its origins back to the 18th century, can be found on the sloping land of the Monte. This 70 000 m² garden is a perfect example of the luxuriant mixture of tropical and indigenous plants. The garden is also famous for having the largest collection of cycads in the world, with every variety possible, some 60 out of 72 species, mostly from South Africa. There is about 100 000 different species of plants here with a section that is reserved for the local species from the Laurislva forest, with some nearly extinct species known as the Mocanu. This madeira garden is set around fountains and lakes filled with koi fish and also has an art museum with a very interesting collection.

Open daily from 9h30 to 18h00 everyday. The entrance fee is €10 per person and children under 15 are free. There are several ways of getting to these gardens. The most popular are by cable car which can be found on the east side of Funchal where the “Old Town” is. One can purchase a return ticket together with an entrance ticket to the garden for €22. There is a local bus service from Funchal that goes on a regular basis. The route numbers 20, 21 and 22 will get you there. Also from the Lido area you can take the number 48 bus, but be warned that this is quite a lengthy drive.


Madeira Botanical Garden

This 35 000 m² property surrounded by fantastic views of mountains in the north and the ocean in the south, belonged to the Reid’s family, was created in 1960. also known as Quinta do Bom Successo, is situated about 3 kilometers from the center of Funchal City. One of its main purposes was the conservation of indigenous Madeiran plants, some of which are very rare and extinct in the wild. The garden reveals to the visitor a mix of harmonious shapes and contrasting colors of 2500 exotic plants. The garden is divided into five sections exhibiting local as well as foreign plants. One of those parts is devoted to exotic birds. The “Parrot Park” has a collection of about 300 exotic birds including Dwarf Parrots and Macaws.

Open daily from 9h30 to 18h00 everyday.The entrance fee is €3 per person, children under 4 are free, and children 4 – 12 years of age pay half price. To get there, one can take the cable car from Monte which will cost €7.75 including entrance ticket. By bus from Funchal, route n.º 29 and 30, leaving from Rua Artur S. Pinga. Route n.º 31, leaving from Marina (Avenida do Mar).


Orchid Garden

About 200m down the road from the Botanical Gardens one will find the Jardim Orquidea which is nursery dedicated to creation and research of a wide variety of orchids from all over the world. In an orchid breeding laboratory, over 7500 varieties of orchids are grown under supervisory conditions and then transfered to the garden and greenhouses. There are lovely views of Funcial from the terrace where one can enjoy a refreshment from their coffee shop.

Open Monday to Sunday from 9h00 to 18h00, including public holidays except for Christmas Day. One can get there by bus from Funchal, route n.º 29 and 30, leaving from Rua Artur S. Pinga. Route n.º 31, leaving from Marina (Avenida do Mar).


Palheiro Gardens

The Palheiro gardens, situated in the hills, about 15 minutes drive, to the east of Funchal at an altitude of about 500 meters above sea level, is considered by many to be the crowning glory of Madeira Gardens. Considered as a Mecca to Camellia lovers, the garden has over ten thousand species of every shape, color and size. The garden is also known as the Blandys Garden named after John Blandy who bought the estate from Carvalhal family back in 1885. This unique garden has a diversity of trees, such as the,Oak, Beech, Chestnut, Cedar, Silver and Waratah, growing alongside Eucalyptus and Araucaria pines.

Open Monday to Friday from 9h00 to 16h30. The entrance fee is €9 per person, and children under 12 pay €4. To get there, one can take the bus from Funchal, route n.º 37 and 36A, leaving from Rua Artur S. Pinga.


Santa Catarina Park

Santa Catarina Park is a public park located between Avenida do Infante and Avenida Sá Carneiro and covers an area of around 36,000 square meters. With a fantastic view of Funchal and its marina, the park is filled with tourists and their cameras.One can stroll along the pathways or huge lawns surrounded by flower beds, admiring numerous trees, shrubs and plant species from all over the world. Visitors can also find ornamental birds in big cages, a bar and playground for the children. Within the park is the Chapel of Santa Catarina, as well as a lake with an island for birds to nest.


Municipal Garden

The Municipal Garden, also known as Dona Amélia Garden, covers an area of 8,300 m2. St. Francis Convent once occupied this site and a stone bearing its coat of arms is on show on one of the lawns.

The garden has some beautiful specimens from Madeira and the rest of the world, all of which are marked. Located in the center of Funchal city opposite the Municipal Theatre, this park is now a leisure area for locals and visitors alike. A small pond featuring ducks and black or white swans, a café and an amphitheater where often entertaining and cultural events take place here.