Funchal is the main city of the amazing Madeira island and there are many things to discover and you can find many places to go do outdoor activities or to stay in, and in this article, you’ll discover some of the best Funchal botanical gardens.
What is a Botanical garden?
If you’re wondering what a botanical garden is then, a botanical garden is a type of garden dedicated to the collection, cultivation, preservation and display of an especially wide range of plants, which are normally labelled with their botanical names. They may sometimes contain specialist plant collections such as cacti and other succulent plants, herb gardens, some plants from particular parts of the world, and so on. They may even be greenhouses, shade houses, again with special collections such as tropical plants, alpine plants, or other exotic plants. Normally they are at least partly open to the public, and some may even offer guided tours, educational displays, art exhibitions, book rooms, open-air theatrical and musical performances, and other things.
Botanical gardens are very often run by universities or other scientific research organizations, and normally they have been associated with herbaria and research programmes in plant taxonomy or some other aspect of botanical science. In principle, their main role is to maintain documented collections of living plants for the purposes of scientific research, conservation, display, and education of the younger generations, although this will depend on the number of resources available and the special interests pursued at each particular garden. The staff will mostly include botanists as well as gardeners.
Look at our opinion on the best Funchal Botanical Gardens.
1. Jardim Botânico da Madeira
The Madeira Botanical Garden, located in Funchal, boasts more than 2000 exotic plants from all over the world. The desire to provide Madeira with a Botanical Garden dates back to the 17th century, an ambition that came to fruition in 1960.
The Botanical Garden, with an area of over 35,000 m2, is equipped with more than 2,000 exotic plants from all continents, with some botanical species on the verge of extinction. This fantastic garden is made up of several ornamental trees and shrubs, an area with orchids, lawns, viewpoints and an amphitheatre for recreational activities.
2. Monte Palace Garden
The Monte Palace Madeira garden occupies an area of 70,000 m2 and houses an abundant collection of exotic plants from the four corners of the world, along with swans and ducks that populate the central lagoon, peacocks and chickens that roam freely in the remaining areas of the Garden. In the central pond of the garden, the visitor can also admire the beauty and majesty of the swans. As a natural habitat, these graceful animals prefer relatively shallow lakes and ponds. Although they can currently be admired in Gardens around the world, black swans come from Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand and wild (white) swans originate from Iceland and Scandinavia.
The Monte Palace Madeira Museum is an exhibition space with three galleries. Two are covered with sculpture and the other houses a collection of minerals from the four corners of the world. There is an exhibition entitled “African Passion” which shows part of a collection of many contemporary sculptures from Zimbabwe between 1966 and 1969. More than 1000 sculptures are on display on two floors of the Museum, one corresponding to an individual presentation of the artists and the other to the recreation of the environment in which these pieces were originally created and exhibited.
3. Jardim de São Martinho
Municipal green space with an area of approximately 4740 m2, structured in thematic zones, composed of different types of vegetation. It has a children’s playground.
Below Igreja de São Martinho, you will discover the lovely Jardim de São Martinho, an artificially created set of gardens with thousands of exotic plants from around the world, tumbling down a terraced hillside to a children’s playground. The pathways zigzag through the palms, bursts of blossom as lizards scuttle away underfoot.
4. Jardim Municipal do Funchal
Jardim Municipal do Funchal also known to many as Jardim Dona Amélia, in honour of the former Queen of Portugal. The Municipal Garden of Funchal has a privileged location in the centre of the city: it is located to the north of Avenida Arriaga, where the Convent of São Francisco once stood, of which the Pedra de Armas still remains, on display on one of the lawns. It is also one of the most famous Funchal botanical gardens.
Here you can find flora from Madeira and from many other parts of the world. The garden has a lake and a stream with fish and birds, as well as some works of art and an auditorium where various cultural activities take place. This garden dates from 1880.
5. Garden Quinta Magnólia
The Quinta Magnolia Garden has countless species of trees and plants from around the world. The space is equipped with a children’s park and tennis courts. This garden is located in the Quinta with the same name, and is situated in the Lido tourist area. The space occupied by the place is an area of about 35,000 m2.
This garden was subject to requalification regarding the outdoor and landscaped spaces, along with the main building and the sports grounds, namely the tennis courts, the squash court and maintenance circuit, with the creation of three Padel courts, and to top it all there was the creation/requalification of support spaces to the several envisaged activities. Therefore, the Quinta Magnolia now offers new facets, such as, an attractive playground for the kids and a new restaurant/bar service.
The main building of the Quinta integrates a temporary exhibitions room, and an open space to the public from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am. to 12.30am. and 2pm. to 5.30pm.
Conclusion of the article
I hope that with this article you now know which Funchal botanical gardens to visit. Just so you know that wherever you go on this island there will always be something you can do, whether it is visiting a museum, having a walk on the trails or even going to the beach, so check this article about activities in Funchal.
If your coming to Madeira and don’t want to visit it you will need a car so why don’t you check out our vehicles here at 7M Rent a car, you can check out a wide number of vehicles and one of them will be the perfect choice for you. And to help you know where to go we have this article about driving on the island the Top 5 secret places you should visit!