Gardens of Madeira

Blick auf einen Garten in Funchal auf der Insel Madeira, Portugal
Duration: 7 nights
Interests: Garden Tours
from £1,225pp without flights FLIGHTS AVAILABLE

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 PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

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.

Hotel Galosol - Madeira

A short bus ride from Funchal, and occupying an enviable position on the southeast coast, the clifftop 4-star Hotel Galosol offers fine views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Ilhas Desertas and the rocky Madeiran shore. The hotel is located within the resort of Caniço de Baixo, a residential area with shops and a few local restaurants. The hotel has an impressive range of facilities including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, gym and wellness centre. 


The hotel has 123 spacious en-suite bedrooms.

These air conditioned rooms are bright and offer modern, comfortable beds. The warm Mediterranean colours and decoration create a cosy atmosphere. The balcony comes with table and chairs - a great place to sit and gaze at the view. 

Satellite TV with English channels is standard, as is the radio channel. Rooms also contain a minibar and safe (small charge). The spacious bathrooms/WC are equipped with a large mirror, vanity mirror, hairdryer, bidet and have either a bath tub or a large shower.


Guests have free use of Onda Revital Club, offering fitness classes, weekly morning jogging and yoga. The Wellness Centre has an indoor pool, saunas and Jacuzzi. There are outdoor and indoor pools.

There is a weekly entertainment programme including some live music. The bar and coffee shop overlook the sea. As well as the main restaurant there are several bars on site.

Wi-Fi is free throughout the public areas of the hotel.

Food & Drink

Our Holidays in Madeira are on a Half Board basis and include breakfast and evening meal.


The buffet breakfast, served from 7.30am until 10am includes a variety of breads, jams, spreads, yogurt, cheese, fresh vegetables, muesli-bar, cereals, soft-boiled eggs, freshly cooked scrambled or fried eggs, omelettes and fresh fruit salad. There may also be some seasonal fruit such as bananas, passion fruit, papaya, melon and orange.

Lunch (payable locally)

You may be able to purchase a picnic lunch from the hotel. Alternatively it is possible to buy ingredients from local shops or on some days to eat at one of the local cafés; your leaders will advise you of the options.

Evening meal

This meal is buffet style and available from 6.30pm until 9pm. The hotel prides itself on serving fresh, locally sourced produce and offers daily meat, fish and vegetarian selections, plus plenty of salads. For dessert there are fruit pastries, delicious cakes and other fresh cream desserts. Tea and coffee is served after the meal.


The hotel has a well-stocked bar serving beer, wine and spirits.

Your Evenings

Each evening your leaders will tell you about the the next day's activities and answer any questions you may have. During the evening you may like to join in an optional organised activity, such as a quiz, or chat in the bar overlooking the sea.

Portugal - Madeira - Hotel Galosol - Hotel Galosol - Reception Lounge.jpg

Getting to Hotel Galosol - Madeira

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

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £30 per person.

These departure dates can be booked with flights or as land only holiday options. All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised flight prices are based on UK flights departing from London. Regional departures and/or connections to London, if available, can be requested. Cabin upgrades may also be available on request.

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
02 May - 09 May 2022
7 2020 Itinerary £1,425 Available Trip Notes Book Now
Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
02 May - 09 May 2022
7 2020 Itinerary £1,225 Available Trip Notes Book Now

Important Information

  • Sea view: £19 per room per night.
  • Single room: From £245 (complete holiday)
  • With flight holidays: Flights from London Gatwick to Funchai included
  • Regional flight available from Manchester & Birmingham from £70pp. Other UK regional connecting flights available on request
  • Our airport taxi service operates at this resort – price per taxi: From £26 one way.
  • Independent travellers can join our transfer from Funchal Airport: From £14.50pp one way Guided walking and £31.50 Gardens Tours.
7 nights
Garden Tours

7 nights from £1,225pp
without flights

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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