Madeira Botanical Garden – Funchal, Portugal - Atlas Obscura

Madeira Botanical Garden

A lush oasis full of vibrant plants and striking geometric displays. 


Trees, bushes, and flowers fill this verdant space and the sweet scents of their blossoms waft through the air. Colorful flowers and well-cut trees catch the eye, making wandering around this botanic garden a fantastic aesthetic experience.

The whole island of Madeira is a rich, luscious oasis of greenery speckled with gorgeous gardens. But it wasn’t until the 1960s that the islanders were able to realize their dream of creating one big botanical garden. The Madeira Botanical Garden opened on what was previously a private estate and now houses more than 2,000 magnificent plants.

The garden is divided into several distinct areas. Part of the garden is reserved for indigenous and endemic plants, while another part of it is reserved for succulents and big cacti. You can also find a section of agricultural and aromatic plants and trees complete with juicy fruits and beautiful blossoms, as well as a topiary section filled with differently shaped trees.

What is perhaps the most iconic slice of this garden is the section to this garden is the section of colorful and patterned flower beds. These meticulously crafted displays create a visually striking mix of geometry and an aromatically pleasing medley of aromas. The planted patterns changed as the plants age and need to be replaced.

The garden also has a small natural history museum, where you can find a collection of fossils and old taxidermy specimens, as well as a bird park full of beautiful, exotic birds.

Know Before You Go

One option to get to the botanic garden from downtown Funchal is to take one cableway ride to Monte, and another from Monte to the garden. (In Monte, there is also another exquisite garden around Monte Palace.) If you drive to the garden yourself, be prepared for a steep incline, winding roads, and limited parking options on the street. There is a parking area for visitors at the cableway station and at the garden's entrance. 

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