16 May 2019 540
Sofia Vasconcelos From Madeira to Mars
#experiences #nature #tips

6 Gardens and “Quintas“ to visit in Madeira

"(...) Madeira is a garden, there is no equal in the world (...)", thus translates the popular song "Bailinho da Madeira" !! If in doubt, wander through the following gardens and "quintas” (ancient madeiran manour houses) : 

Funchal Municipal Garden

It is one of the oldest gardens in Funchal. It displays plants from various parts of the world, namely from Africa, India or Madagascar, among others indigenous to Madeira. It has a small pond with swans, a café with a terrace and an auditorium for events (with occasional music concerts). Scattered in the garden, there are several benches, which allow us to escape the buzz of the city. Admire colourful and exotic flowers under the canopy of centuries-old trees.

Free entrance
Address: R. Ivens 11, Funchal

Santa Luzia Garden

It was once the Hinton Mill (Sugar Cane Factory, founded by William Hinton in 1856) - today it is the beautiful Santa Luzia Garden. It has the peculiarity of having a "levada” and "poios" or terraces, characteristic of the Island. It has an extensive lawn, a café with a terrace, an amphitheatre, a play-ground and even a pond where you can hear frogs. It is surrounded by majestic trees like jacarandas, Tipuana and Til trees. In the garden centre lays a huge tower - Torreão Tower, part of the old factory. It is a meeting place for locals and visitors, especially at the weekend, with some flea markets, music concerts and outdoor film festivals.

Free entrance
Address: Rua do Til (northwest entrance), Funchal

Botanical Garden

Madeira’s biodiversity attracted the interest of renowned researchers such as Hans Sloane, Richard Thomas Lowe and Thomas Wernon Wollaston. Madeira is also mentioned in Charles Darwin's famous book, 'The Origin of Species'. 

In 1960, the Botanical Garden of Madeira was created, dedicated to the research and conservation of the Madeiran flora. It was founded by the Agronomist Rui Vieira and has thousands of imported and indigenous species, in an area of about 5 hectares !! It is worth visiting its Museum, with several embalmed animals, insects and butterflies. Discover endemic species, aromatic plants, choreographed gardens, herbarium, cicas, palms, camellias, bromelias, roses, aquatic plants, cactus among many other species - we suggest dedicating a few hours to this spot. This garden is easily accessed by cable car, nearby the hotel Porto Santa Maria. It has several viewpoints of Funchal, ponds and a lovely café with a terrace.

Entry: Payable
Address: Caminho do Meio, Bom Sucesso, Funchal

Quinta do Santo da Serra

A 5-minute walk from the PortoBay Serra Golf hotel takes you to Quinta do Santo da Serra. Formerly owned by the Blandy family, today it is a public leisure area, which attracts many visitors and nature lovers. It is a place of choice for picnics, especially on Sunday - flea market day.

Its extensive lawns, leafy trees (such as beech, mahogany, oaks, eucalyptus) and flowers like African lilies, azaleas and camellias, offer it an irresistible charm. In this place, there are some farm animals, a mini-golf course and a belvedere with beautiful views, onto the southeast tip of the island.

Free entrance
Address: ER 207, 497, Santo António da Serra, Santa Cruz

Quinta das Cruzes

Quinta das Cruzes is located in Funchal, in the historic area of São Pedro. It has a garden with a beautiful collection of orchids, beautiful camphor trees and eucalyptus, as well as several relics, among which a Manueline window. It is an exclusive place, almost like a private garden, very cosy. Visit the Chapel of Nossa Senhora da Piedade and listen to music played by the orchestraphone. In the Quinta das Cruzes Museum, you can admire countless works of art, pieces of furniture and porcelain objects.

Entrance to the garden: Free, however, admission to the museum is payable.
Address: Calçada do Pico 1, Funchal.

Quinta Vigia

Quinta Vigia is about 1.3 km from The Cliff Bay hotel. In the past, it was called Quinta das Angústias and was the residence of distinguished personalities, such as Queen Adelaide of England or Empress D. Amelia. It is currently the official residence of the President of the Regional Government of Madeira and its gardens overlooking the bay of Funchal are lovely. Take the opportunity to visit the Chapel of Angustias and the Dona Guiomar Viewpoint and get lost in its flowery gardens, ponds and sculptures. Enjoy seeing up close some indigenous species to Madeira, such as barbusanos, dragon trees and geraniums.

Entry: Payable
Address: Av. Do Infante 1, Funchal
Madeira has many more gardens of singular beauty and diversity, some of which are inserted in the famous Madeiran Quintas - live this experience !!
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