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Ways to Experience Madeira Botanical Garden
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All reviews cable car worth a visit nice garden plants and trees beautiful flowers entrance fee couple of hours monte palace water features stunning views cactus paths madeira species gardeners taxi bloom
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Reviewed 11 October 2013

Before anyone sets foot in Madera for the first time, most people know of Madeira cake, Madeira wine and its Botanical Gardens. As my better half is the keen gardener in our house a visit to the Botanical Gardens had been taken for granted from the moment we booked our week’s holiday to the beautiful island of Madeira during September 2013.

Everyone who had been to Madeira in the past informed us the way to get to the Botanical Gardens is by a ride in the cable car, which we had also looked forward to. A local bus service will also get you there too and is considerably cheaper than the cable car – but what the heck, we were on holiday and the ride in the cable car was part of the fun. What we did not realise was you have to use two cable cars to get there.

We purchased our Botanical Garden tickets and cable car rides in the cable car booking office in Funchal and off we went. At the top we saw the entrance to the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens and thought that was where we were going, not realising there was a short walk down a pathway to the next cable car, which then goes partly downhill to the Botanical Gardens. After a bit of confusion we finally found our way to the other cable car and finally arrived in the Botanical Gardens.

One of the first things you realise is this place is most definitely not for the infirm or those a bit wobbly on their feet, and you can forget about these gardens being wheelchair friendly – there is no way a wheel chair could get around much of this place. The paths are steep and made up of very bumpy cobbles, even the sure footed need to take care in many parts of the gardens and as I had twisted my ankle just over a week earlier I had to get around very carefully indeed.

That said, the views from these gardens are really worth the trip and for the flowers and plants for keen gardeners, such as my missus, which makes a visit to this place a must. As you go around the gardens there are also places where you can take a break and have a drink or a snack, after all, when you are on holiday what’s the rush, it is nice to take your time which means you also see more - and there is plenty to see.

The one thing we did not care for in the Botanical Gardens was the aviary, which is situated at the very bottom of the gardens. Sadly, theses were not good and the birds in them all looked unhappy, in fact someone had put graffiti on several signs around the aviary saying: “Free the birds”. I don’t agree with making a mess of the place with graffiti, but I certainly agreed with the sentiment after seeing those sorry looking birds.

On our return to our Hotel, the Savoy Gardens, the hotel’s head waiter asked us at dinner if we had enjoyed our day, we informed we had enjoyed our visit to the Botanical Gardens and he agreed they are beautiful, then made the comment that the very best time to visit them is in the spring. What better excuse is there for another visit next May. Hopefully by then the aviary will have gone and the birds sent to a better home.

Date of experience: September 2013
1  Thank Derek B
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 11 October 2013

We visited on a sunny February day when there were fewer tourists about which made it an even better experience. The gardens are on two or three bus routes from Funchal so are easily accessible. The bus ride alone was worth the small fare - you will get a feel of the local atmosphere of living on Maderia. The gardens have some wonderful plants and trees all seen with a back drop overlooking the Funchal and beyond.

Date of experience: February 2013
Thank THEVIKING100
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 10 October 2013

Great gardens, tropical plants of every variety, the colours are fantastic and the view amazing. Well worth the trip. Allow a whole day for the gardens and the cable car

Date of experience: October 2013
Thank mary w
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 10 October 2013

Terrain is not friendly for disabled or unfit persons, very steep and slippery when wet. Do go if you can manage it, get the round trip on the cable car from Funchal marina. I would have given it 5 stars had I gone earlier in the year since many plants were not in bloom.

Date of experience: September 2013
Thank JohnB187047
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 10 October 2013

Security guards on the gate may put you off trying to visit but generally the gardens are open to the public on weekdays and Saturdays depending upon what is going on in the Governors office. Beautiful gardens with caged peacocks and macaws that love to be fed and are very vocal. Great view over the harbour as well

Date of experience: October 2013
1  Thank Michael L
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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