The Botanical Gardens in Madeira are some of the most popular tourist attractions on the island. The beautiful gardens which only can be reached by cable car have a collection of 2500 exotic plants from all continents in five different areas. The views from the Botanical Gardens are marvellous overlooking Funchal and the Atlantic Ocean. You can either choose to go up to Monte with the cable car from Funchal, or go by car or bus to the cable car station and get on the cable car to the Botanical Gardens from there. It is certainly worth it to include a visit to this beautiful estate.
The gardens date from 1881 and was originally a private park from the Reid family. Read in this blog post everything you need to know about the Botanical Gardens Funchal. The best time to go, opening times, entrance fee and what to expect at the Botanical Gardens Madeira.
How to get to the Botanical Gardens Madeira
The Botanical Gardens Madeira are located in Monte, above Funchal. The address is Caminho do Meio, Bom Sucesso, Funchal. There are a few options to get to the Botanical Gardens Madeira. You can go all the way by cable car from Funchal city. This will take about 30 minutes and you can enjoy the views along the way while going up. You can book your Cable Car tickets here.
Ticket & cable car over Funchal city
But you can also get to the cable car station in Monte by rental car or bus so you skip the cable car over Funchal city. At the cable car station in Monte you can buy a ticket for the cable car to and entrance fee for the Botanical Gardens.
Cable car to the Botanical Gardens Madeira
Taking the cable car up to the Botanical Gardens is a fun extra experience and well organised. Scan your ticket and you can walk through the entrance gates. The cabin has room for 4 people and you have floor to ceiling windows for a fantastic view in the valley. The cable car route is 1600 meters long and the altitude varies between 10 and 100 meters. Once arrived at the Botanical Gardens you will walk straight along some souvenir shop to the entrance.
Cable car through the valley towards the Botanical Gardens Madeira
Entrance fee and opening times Botanical Gardens Madeira
The openings times of the Botanical Gardens Madeira vary per season so it’s good to know that per April and October the opening times change. See the opening times below.
From October 1 to April 29 the opening time are from 9 AM to 5 PM (last entry at 4.30 PM)
From April 30 to September 30 the opening times are from 9 AM to 7 PM (last entry at 7.30 PM)
The entrance fee to the Botanical Gardens Madeira is €6 but you have to buy a ticket for the cable car as well. As said before you can add the cable car from Funchal to Monte with it for a beautiful view over the city. You can also choose to take both the cable cars up and a bus down. All the options can be found on the website of the Teleferico Jardim Botanico.
Best time to visit the Botanical Gardens Madeira
Madeira is also known as the ‘flower island’ and you can clearly see that it lives up to this name! There are many beautiful wild flowers along the roads and levadas, but of course there is a best season to see the most flowers in bloom on Madeira island. The best months to go to the Botanical Gardens Madeira are from April to August with the flowers at their best in the earlier months mentioned. On this website you can see exactly in which months you can expect which flowers to bloom in the Botanical Gardens Madeira.
What to expect at the Botanical Gardens Madeira
The Madeira Botanical Garden covers an area of 80,000 m2 and is home to a wide variety of plants and flowers. The estate where the Botanical Gardens are located is on the Bom Sucesso Estate which dates from 1881 and was a former private park of the Reid family who created it. Nowadays the park, in Portuguese Jardim Botânico, is owned by the Regional Government of Madeira and is apart from a beautiful place of leisure also a Science and Culture Centre.
The five different areas of the Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden is divided in five main area with all the different origins. Below a short summary of which plants you can expect in each area. Of course you will get a map with your ticket to find your way through the gardens.
Indigenous and endemic plants. In this area you can see plants which are only from Madeira and other Atlantic islands, such as the Azores, Canaries and Cape Verde. The 100 indigenous plants range from the typical vegetation found on the slopes of Madeira to those typical of mid-altitude vegetation and trees found in Madeira’s natural forest, the ‘Laurissilva’ forest.
The tree garden. Here you find plants from the Himalaya and tropics.
Succulents. Most of these plants are coming from South America.
Tropical and sub tropical trees. Here you can find several tropical and subtropical fruit trees such as mango, papaya and avocado. But also coffee trees, sugar cane and popular medicine plants.
Loiro park. This area has a collection of some of the most exotic and rare birds.
In addition to all these things, the Botanical Garden also has a Natural History museum. If you’re interested there are private tours available with English speaking guides. You can expect to walk for about 1,5 to 2 hours through the Botanical Garden. Depending on your pace of course, and how many breaks you take etc.
If you’re a big plant and garden lover, you can also check out the Monte Palace Garden which is located next to the cable car station in Monte. Here you can find other species and a different set up in the garden itself. This is also a bigger garden than the Botanical Gardens!
Which one is better; Botanical Gardens or Monte Palace Garden?
We’ve been to both gardens and I have to say straight to the point that I liked the Monte Palace Garden more. The main reason is because we didn’t see much flowers in bloom when we visited the Botanical Gardens, and we liked the set up of the Monte Palace Garden more. There you have a beautiful lake, a man made waterfall and more. The Botanical Garden is more a collection of special plants and trees without too much varied flowers and others attractions.
I hope you will have a good idea on what to expect at the Botanical Gardens Madeira, and I do really think that it’s worth it to visit the gardens. See for yourself which garden you will enjoy more!
Monte Palace Garden
Best tours to Botanical Gardens Madeira
If you want to explore the Botanical Gardens Madeira in a fun way then you can book a tour that not only includes a visit to the gardens but also shows you the beauty of Funchal. All of these tours include transport with hotel pick up and drop off and a certified guide. You can reserve now and pay later, with cancellation up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund.
- Botanical Gardens in a Tukxi Tour. Enjoy the panoramic views over Funchal while driving up the hills of Funchal in a cool Tukxi to the famous Botanical Garden of Madeira.
- Customized tour around Funchal. Select the places you like to visit in and around Funchal with your guide and enjoy the views along the way while driving up to the Botanical Gardens.
Best Madeira island tours
If you want to explore the best of Madeira with a guide then here some great tours I recommend. During these tours you will pass by some of the best viewpoints which I share in this complete guide. All of these tours include transport with hotel pick up and drop off, certified guides and sometimes the entrance fees if applicable. You can reserve now and pay later, with cancellation up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund.
- Customized 6 hour Madeira tour. On this six-hour tour you can choose the different areas you want to visit on Madeira island. Pick the landmarks and iconic places to make your own itinerary with the help of your local guide/driver.
- West Madeira private tour. Starting in the fishing town of Câmara de Lobos you will drive via Cabo Girao, the highest cape in Europe, to the beautiful view of Serra d’Agua valley. From there you will head to São Vicente to explore the Laurisilva forest. Continuing north, you will visit Porto Moniz, known for its natural lava pools where you can swim. As last stop you will visit the famous rocks at Ribeira da Janela.
- East Madeira tour. Visit Pico do Arieiro viewpoint, make pictures at the Santana houses and the beautiful viewpoints at Porto da Cruz to finish the day at the impressive volcanic landscape of Ponta de São Lourenço.
- Canyoning adventure with transfer from Funchal. Get the thrill of canyoneering and explore Madeira’s untouched nature. follow a river as you walk, rappel, slide and jump through hidden waterfalls with streams that cross endemic forests. A super fun and adventurous day!
- Ponta de São Lourenço hike with pick up in Funchal. Explore the most eastern tail of Madeira island with its unique volcanic rock formations to understand how the island was created.
- Funchal 48-hour hop-on hop off bus tour. Explore the lush landscape of Madeira and the sights of Funchal at your own pace with a 2 or 5 day ticket for the hop-on, hop-off bus.
- Tuk-Tuk tour to Monte Tropical Garden with Toboggan ride from Funchal. Explore Funchal Old Town with a Tuk Tuk before making your way to the mountains to the stunning Monte Tropical Garden. There you will explore over 70,000 square meters of exotic plants. At the end of the tour you will enjoy the thrilling ride down the hill with a Toboggan ride.
- Funchal Old Town walking tour. Learn about the history of Funchal and Madeira on a guided walk through the city’s medieval center. Visit the farmer’s market, the Campo Almirante Reis. The Fortress of St. James, and a number of other sites as your guide provides commentary.
- Dolphin & Whale watching Luxury Catamaran Cruise from Funchal. Enjoy the views of Funchal from a luxury catamaran. Look out for whales and dolphins in their natural habitat as your relax on board and explore the underwater world with a snorkel.
- Scuba diving Madeira. Explore the underwater world of Madeira island. A theory lesson and practice in swimming pool is included. This before you will dive about 12 meters for 45 meters in the Atlantic Ocean.
- Sunset tour from Funchal by Catamaran. Watch the sunset off the coast of Madeira on a 3-hour evening catamaran cruise from Funchal and spot dolphins (guaranteed, or you get a 2nd trip for free).
General travel must haves for Madeira
Have you thought about how to get around in Madeira? A car is the easiest way to drive around the island.
- Book your rental car here and compare the providers to get the best deal.
- Book your scooter or motorbike here to get around in Madeira. Most of the scooters you can drive with driving license (A1/A2/A) from 18 years old, or from 25 years old with a car (B) license. The motorbikes have a minimum age of 20 or 21 with A (moto) license.
Do you prefer a private driver for the day and the freedom to create your own itinerary?
Did you already book your accommodation?
- Check out this great tool to compare prices of hotels on different platforms from around the world and book your favorite hotel
Are you insured during your travels?
- Buy your travel insurance here. Safetywing not only includes coverage for travel delay, lost checked luggage, emergency response, natural disasters and personal liability. But also covers all your medical expenses for hospitalisation.
More Madeira travel inspiration
I hope you enjoyed this full guide about the Botanical Gardens Madeira.
For more Madeira travel inspiration and the must visit destinations, head over to our other blog posts about Madeira island.