Gardens of Madeira

Blick auf einen Garten in Funchal auf der Insel Madeira, Portugal
Duration: 7 nights
Interests: Garden Tours

Madeira’s fertile volcanic soil and mild climate provide the perfect growing conditions for all manner of exotic tropical and sub-tropical plants – no surprise then that is has long been known as the ‘garden isle’. Ever since the island was first settled in 1419, Madeirans have been taking advantage of the favourable growing conditions to create beautiful gardens packed with both indigenous and imported species. Colourful flowers such as Hibiscus and Bougainvillea flower almost year-round here. In spring Funchal is punctuated by a sea of colour as the trees bloom – blue from Jacaranda and red-orange from African Tulip Trees. Our guided tour will focus on visiting the island’s most eye-catching gardens and also take in a little of the wonderful flora which thrives in the wild. Highlights include the long-established Palheiro Gardens, the multi-level Monte Palace Gardens, the orchids of the Quinta da Boa Vista Gardens and the various zones of the Funchal Botanical Gardens. Please note – the terrain is very varied in Madeira; several of the gardens are on sloping hillsides.

Holiday Highlights

  • Admire the vast range of colours at the Monte Palace Gardens against the striking backdrop of Funchal Bay
  • The flora of 'Quinta Jardins do Lago' is such a rich and diverse collection that it can rival any good botanical gardens
  • Visit gardens in other parts of the island, taking in stunning views along the way
  • Enjoy a mix of larger public gardens as well as smaller gardens

What’s included

  • Half-Board en-suite accommodation
  • The services of an experienced HF Holidays’ leader
  • Full day excursions with all entrance fees and essential transport
  • 'With flight’ holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDF’s for each holiday, please click the button below to find the right trip notes for your departure date.

You will be met at Madeira Airport and taken to your hotel, located near Funchal, the island's capital. There will be time to settle in and meet your Tour Manager and fellow guests before dinner.

Today we will visit some of the public gardens and parks in Funchal, Madeira’s vibrant capital which is renowned for its flower markets. First up are the delightful Municipal Gardens – 8,300 square metres which are home to carefully laid out beds full of flowers, foliage plants and trees. Many are indigenous to Madeira but there are also exotic species from all over the world. The 36,000 square metre Santa Catarina Park is one of the largest parks in Funchal and is home to tree species from around the world. Its well-kept flowerbeds surround an extensive lawn with views out over the Bay of Funchal. There is a small lake complete with fountains where swans and ducks have made a home. The gardens of Quinta Vigia surround a large villa which is now the official residence of the President of the Regional Government. The gardens blend massive trees with indigenous flora as well as some introduced species and overlook the Funchal’s port. 

Today we’ll discover two superb gardens: the Funchal Botanic Gardens and the Quinta Jardins do Lago. The Botanic Gardens are noted for their collections of native flora and display of cultivated plants which have been introduced over the centuries. In the afternoon, it’s time to visit the splendid gardens of Quinta Jardins do Lago, which feature more than 500 different plants, unique in their variety and natural beauty.

Today’s the day to be an orchid lover! The first garden of the day, Quinta da Boa Vista, specialises in orchids and is home to a number of rare and endangered species. The afternoon takes us on a wider tour of the island to explore several unique areas which contribute to the patchwork of this diverse island. Starting in the centre of the island at Encumeada, we will take a short walk, weather permitting, ending with a visit to Sao Vicente on the north coast.

Each week there is a free day where there is no organised excursion. This is an ideal opportunity for you to relax, enjoy the hotel facilities or explore the area independently. Some options for your free day may include:

Hotel: Have a relaxing day enjoying the facilities of the hotel or book an activity with Loko Loko Adventure Activity Centre where our guests receive a 10% discount. This can be a tour of the island by bus, jeep, boat or segway. Other options include horse riding or bike hire.

Funchal: Take the local bus into Funchal and explore some of its other attractions. Visit the famous Blandy’s Winery – home of Madeira wine, absorb the colours and scents of the large flower markets, do a spot of shopping or visit one of the city’s museums or the Story of Madeira Exhibition.


In the morning, a drive inland brings us to Ribeiro Frio, where there is a garden full of native plants waiting. Weather permitting we'll take a short stroll along a levada to see a variety of plants in the wild. In the afternoon we'll travel to Monte, now virtually a suburb of Funchal to visit the old Municipal Gardens and the Monte Palace Gardens. You may wish to visit the sculpture and mineral displays here alongside the beautifully-restored gardens.

In the morning we'll visit Quinta do Palheiro Ferreiro, a.k.a. Blandy's, one of the finest private gardens on the island. Set on a hillside with magnificent views, the gardens contain many mature trees, exotic shrubs and flowers. In the afternoon we'll return to Funchal to enjoy the colours and scents of the annual month-long spring Flower Festival which usually starts two weeks after Easter. Please note: for departures which do not coincide with the festival we will instead visit some more spectacular gardens in the afternoon instead. 


Depart after a leisurely breakfast.

Four View Oasis Hotel

The 4* Four View Oasis Hotel  is Located 2 minutes walk from the beach, and is surrounded by gardens overlooking Ilhas Desertas and the Ponta de S. Lourenca. It’s a beautful base to explore the Gardens of Madeira. The Hotel facilities include an outdoor pool and terrace bar, Indoor pool and wellness centre. WiFi is available in all public areas and is free of charge. 

Four View Madeira 2.jpg

Getting to Four View Oasis Hotel

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Essential Information

Guests should bring stout, comfortable footwear for rough, wet or uneven terrain in gardens.

Jim Hart

Jim Hart has been travelling for many years, across four continents so far. He leads European Special Interest and Guided Walking holidays. When not leading Jim is usually busy researching new tours, with a keen eye to create interesting holidays. He is looking forward to sharing his interests with HF guests.

Tracy Foster

Chelsea gold medal winning garden designer Tracy Foster began gardening when she was just seven years old – claiming a little section of her parents’ garden. Since then she has turned her childhood love into a highly successful and fulfilling career working as a full time garden designer since 2002, creating beautiful gardens and sharing her enthusiasm for gardens and wildlife.

She holds a degree in Plant Biology from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and a Diploma in Garden Design from the Institute of Garden Design. Tracy finds time to give talks, write articles and books, provide mentoring, work as a specialist botanical tour guide and run courses and workshops in garden design.

During her career she has won numerous awards for her RHS show gardens including four Gold medals and Two People’s Choice Awards. Favourite projects include being commissioned to design a garden for ‘Hedgehog Street’ which has been installed at the RHS gardens at Harlow Carr in Yorkshire, and producing a huge coastal garden complete with cliffs and waves at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Guest Reviews

7 nights
Garden Tours

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020 3974 8865

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