Enjoy the rich collection of more than 2,000 plants at the Madeira Botanical Garden. Set on a hillside overlooking Funchal, this beautifully landscaped garden offers dramatic views of the mountains to the north and the ocean to the south.
The garden is located on the grounds of Quinta do Bom Sucesso, a private 19th-century country estate once owned by a wealthy Scottish family. The property was purchased by the government in the mid-20th century and reopened as a public garden. Now plants from all over the world fill the space. Visit the site to see indigenous plant species, many of which have become quite rare in the wild.
Follow the pathways leading through a series of terraced gardens and stop to admire the views. Be sure to take a few photos of the striking checkerboard-patterned flowerbeds.
Throughout the park, you’ll notice that many plants are labeled with their scientific names, common names and places of origin. Madeira’s sub-tropical climate allows plants from a variety of different regions to flourish. Expect to see everything from orchids and palm trees to magnolias and cedars. Look for fruit trees, such as mango, banana, avocado and papaya, as well as yam, sweet potato, sugar cane and other typical Madeiran produce.
Wander through the indigenous and endemic area of the garden, where you can see more than 100 plants native to Madeira and other Atlantic islands. Don’t miss the succulent section, featuring a number of desert plants originating in South America.
Save time for Loiro Park, a unique aviary that imitates the natural habitat of several species, including rare and exotic birds. See the birds flying freely and look for diverse species from across the globe, including cockatoos, dwarf parrots and Australian parakeets.
The Madeira Botanical Garden is located about 3 miles (5 kilometres) above Funchal’s city centre. Reach the garden by bus or a scenic cable-car ride. The admission fee includes access to the gardens, the bird park and any temporary exhibits.