Monte Palace Gardens in Funchal, Madeira Monte Palace Gardens in Funchal, Madeira

Monte Palace Gardens in Funchal, Madeira

Perched high on Funchal’s green mountainside lies a breathtaking oasis with lush, vibrant greenery and a captivating blend of Asian and African influences — welcome to the Monte Palace Gardens! This large paradise stretches out over multiple levels with vibrant flowers, peaceful water features, and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. Here’s all you need to know about visiting Monte Palace Tropical Garden in Funchal, Madeira.

The Monte Palace Tropical Garden in Funchal

Monte Palace Gardens, nestled in the village of Monte on Funchal’s lush mountainside, is a tropical paradise with a fascinating blend of different influences. We found it one of the most beautiful gardens we’ve ever seen and one of the best things to do in Madeira.

Japanese temple monte palace gardens Madeira Portugal

With lush, green plants and vibrantly-colored flowers perched between Japanese and Mediterranean structures, it’s truly an oasis.

Path monte palace gardens Madeira Portugal

Established in the 18th century by English consul Alfredo Guilherme Rodrigues, the estate was later transformed into the Monte Palace Hotel. Later on, the garden’s rich history was combined with José Berardo’s vision, who turned it into a public botanical garden back in the 1980s. 

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Monte Palace Gardens in Funchal, Madeira

Now, the area spans about 70,000 square meters and is filled to the brim with diverse plants, beautiful artwork, buildings of different origins, and tranquil water features. You can easily spend a few hours walking around, spotting birds (including flamingos!), and soaking up the peaceful atmosphere and incredible sights over Funchal and its bay. 

Hotel monte palace gardens Madeira Portugal

Ceramic Tiles

As you wander through the lush garden, you’ll quickly notice many beautiful ceramic tiles on display along the paths. This large collection of tile panels was acquired by art collector José Berardo and is considered one of the most important collections in Portugal

Door Ceramic Tiles monte palace gardens

On route, you’ll spot Hispano-Moorish tiles, some of which date back to the 15th and 16th centuries! Many were originally part of the decoration in palaces, churches, chapels, and residences all over the country. Therefore, this is a beautiful and impressive look into Portuguese history. 

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Did you know? The word ‘azulejo’ stems from the Arabic ‘al-zulayj’, which means ‘small polished stone’. These beautiful square ceramic pieces are a continuation of the slabs used to cover the outside of mosques, which were left to the Iberian people after the Arab conquest.

monte palace gardens covered path plants

Monte Palace Madeira Museum

In the tropical gardens, you’ll also find the Monte Palace Madeira Museum, a stunningly colorful building that houses an African sculpture collection. Additionally, on the lower floor, you’ll find a collection of beautiful minerals gathered from all over the world. There are over a thousand to look at, with most coming from Brazil, Portugal, South Africa, Zambia, Peru, Argentina, and North America.

viewpoint monte palace gardens lake

Cafes and Restaurants

After wandering around the property, pop into one of the cafes or restaurants that lie in and around the greenery. Some of the options include:

  • Greenhouse Coffee Roaster
  • Pátio das Babosas
  • Local Shop (cafe)
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Tickets & Opening Times

The Monte Palace Tropical Garden is open year-round from 9.30 AM to 6 PM (except Christmas Day), and the museum from 10 AM to 4.30 PM. Entrance to the property costs 15 EUR per person, and children under 15 years old go in for free.

Detail peackock monte palace gardens Madeira Portugal

Spend a few hours looking at all the water features and different birds while strolling across the tiled paths. We recommend going as early as possible (9 AM) to avoid the crowds. Tip: It’s worth combining your trip with other beautiful gardens in the area, like the Botanical Gardens.

Botanical Gardens Madeira Portugal

How to Get to the Monte Palace Tropical Garden

The Monte Palace Tropical Garden lies on top of a hill above Funchal Bay, about 1000m above sea level. From here, you have incredible views over the entire city and the azure blue ocean below. To get there, you have a few options:

By Cable Car or Bus

The best way to get to the gardens is by hopping on a cable car from downtown Funchal. (Here’s the exact location). This cable car journey costs 18 EUR for a return or 12,50 EUR for one-way (per person), and takes about 15 minutes. It runs seven days a week from 9 AM to 5:45 PM, all year long.

How to get to monte palace gardens Funchal Madeira

Alternatively, instead of the cable car, get on a bus in downtown Funchal (20, 21, 22, or 48). You can easily use Google Maps to find your route. Tip: Try getting your bus tickets at a Giro machine instead of on the bus – it’s slightly cheaper that way. 

Bus Funchal Madeira Portugal

By Car

If you’d rather drive, you also have the option to rent a car. This option takes you along a scenic route through town, twisting up into the hills of Monte. It’s an easy way to get to the Monte Palace Gardens, though remember that parking is very limited (but free!).

Highway Funchal Madeira

Tip: Although you can take the cable car, bus, or car back down from Monte, it’s well worth the historical experience to hop in the traditional toboggan and slide down the streets. A ride costs 35 EUR, and a basket has room for 2-3 adults. Zigzag along Funchal’s streets while the two Carreiros dressed in white control your ride – a must on your Madeira itinerary!

Toboggan Funchal Madeira monte palace gardens

Best Time to Visit

Due to Monte’s location high up in the mountains (1000m), it’s worth checking the weather forecast before visiting. However, the gardens are beautiful year-round, with many flowers in bloom at different times. 

Best time to visit monte palace gardens

The weather is usually warmest and sunniest during the summer months, making it a great time to visit. However, the weather tends to be a bit more unpredictable the rest of the year.

We recommend leaving for the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens early, around 9 AM from Funchal. This way, you get to the gardens before the crowds (in other words, tours) arrive. It’s also much quieter if you visit on a weekday instead of on the weekend. 

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