Monte Palace Tropical Garden includes exotic plant life, interesting styles of art, and unlimited history and culture. Here’s all the info for visiting.
The Monte Palace Tropical Garden is located in the town of Monte, and there are 3 ways to get there:
The least favoured option is to walk.
Monte Palace Tropical Garden sits at 1,025m above sea level. So the journey from Funchal is around 4km to the top.
Due to it being an uphill walk it would take around 1 hour and 30 minutes and in the Madeira sun it’s not ideal.
However if you’re feeling fit and up for a hike then this is the free option.
By Cable Car:
The most common way to get to the top is via Funchal cable car.
From rustic red roofs, to flourishing nature, the cable car journey starts at the old part of Funchal and transcends up into the small suburb of Monte.
The Funchal cable car experience costs €11 per adult one way, and is the perfect way to see Madeira from above.
As soon as you step off the cable car, the Monte Palace Tropical Garden is right in front of you.
If you have a fear of heights, or just do not fancy the cable car trip, you can get a private tour to the top.
We can recommend the Madeira Private Half-Day Guided Gardens Tour, which includes hotel pickup and drop-off, a local guide, and entrance fees to both the Botanical Garden and Monte Palace Garden.
For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
Monte Palace Tropical Garden Entrance Fee
Children (up to 15 years): Free when accompanied by an adult.
If you plan on going to the gardens by Funchal cable car, you can buy a combination ticket for the cable car + the garden.
These are sold at the Funchal cable car ticket booth.
Garden Visiting Hours: 9.30am – 6pm
Museum Visiting Hours: 10am – 4.30pm
The Monte Palace Tropical Garden is open everyday except the 25th of December.
Guided tours to the museum are free, but must be booked in advance. They are also only available to groups.
The inside of the Monte Palace building is not visitable.
Monte Palace Tropical Garden was put together by José Berardo and has been open to the public since 1991.
The gardens occupy an area of 70,000 square metres and are home to a huge collections of exotic plants coming from all over the world. About 100,000 plant species to be almost exact.
Not forgetting the swans, ducks and Koi fish that populate the central lake. There are also peacocks and chickens that walk free in the main areas of Monte Gardens.
The plant collections include azaleas, heathers, different trees, and a wide variety of ferns. The garden also features a collection of Encephalartos’ which, because of their age, are considered living fossils.
Monte Palace Tropical Garden is certainly the most wonderful and varied garden on the island.
It is the perfect place for an unforgettable day and a great opportunity to learn about interesting cultures, arts and plant life from all over the world.
A large section of the garden is inspired by Japanese and Chinese gardening style.
In these oriental gardens you’ll find lots of small ponds, a large Koi carp lake, pagodas and buddhist statues and decorations.
Monte Palace Tropical Garden is built on the slope of the mountain, so there are quite a few stairs and steep pathways leading around it.
Remember to take plenty of water and wear comfortable shoes if you’re planning on exploring the whole complex.
The height differences may tire you out but they are what make the garden very beautiful!
Have A Break During Your Stroll Through The Gardens
There are no shortage of benches and sitting areas in the gardens. So you’ll find plenty of places where you can stop and have a rest while enjoying great views over the garden itself, or Funchal and the ocean.
In addition, the garden has The Greenhouse Coffee Roaster, a cafe that is located in the upper part of the gardens. From here, you can look over the entire garden and happily order some refreshments on a hot day at a reasonable price.
Monte Palace Tiles
One of the most interesting characteristics of the Monte Palace Tropical Garden is the large collection of tile panels placed along the walkways and amongst the vegetation.
The tiles exhibited are representative of many different eras, coming from palaces, churches, chapels and residences in various localities in Portugal.
They stand for various social, cultural and religious events that were remarkable at they’re time.
They are are not only very important to Portuguese History, but one of the most important tile collections in the country.
Monte Palace Museum
On site, there is also the Monte Palace Museum.
The Monte Palace Museum is located in the northern part of the garden and consists of three floors, one for the exhibition, ‘Mother Nature’s Secrets’, displaying minerals and semi-precious stones gathered from the four corners of the world.
Then, the other two floors are home to a collection of contemporary Zimbabwe stone sculptures entitled ‘African Passion’.
The collection of contemporary Zimbabwean sculptures are from the period 1966 to 1969. More than a 1000 sculptures are distributed on two floors of the museum.
Then the lower floor, proudly exhibits one of the finest private collections of minerals, predominately from Brazil, Portugal, South Africa, Zambia, Peru, Argentina and North America.
There’s no better way to get down from the town of Monte than to take the traditional Madeira toboggan ride.
The Funchal toboggan is one of Madeira’s most famous attractions!
Dating back to the 1850s, this Madeira sled ride was the primary means of downhill public transportation in Funchal.
Made from wicker and wood, these two seated sleds cruise down the narrow streets of Monte all the way back down to Funchal.
The two kilometre journey takes roughly 10 minutes down a curvy road, and you can expect to reach speeds up to 30mph!
When you reach the finishing point, there is a Toboggan cafe where you can stop and grab a refreshing Poncha and a bite to eat.
The toboggan ride doesn’t take you all the way to Funchal. You’ll have to walk the rest of the way and that is a 20 to 30-minute walk on a steep downhill.
There will be taxi’s waiting at the finishing point, but negotiate you fare before riding, they are pretty expensive!
An alternative would be to catch the bus back into town.
While you’re in Monte town, it’s also worth stopping to visit The Quinta Jardins do Imperator, the beautiful church as well as take in the stunning views over Funchal bay.
Where To Stay In Madeira
Luxury – The Vine Hotel
Recently awarded as Europe’s Leading Design Hotel, the luxurious Vine Hotel is located in Funchal.
It offers a fusion restaurant with stunning views, a Wine Therapy Spa, access to the fitness centre and a rooftop infinity pool.
Each room features an LCD TV with in-room movies, free WiFi and a laptop-size safe.
The roof terrace sports a heated infinity pool, massage facilities as well as a 20 yard hot tub, with views of Fort São João and the mountains.
Mid-Budget – Hotel Baia Azul
The newly renovated 4-star Hotel Baía Azul is ideally situated a 4-minute walk from Funchal’s beachfront.
It offers 3 swimming pools, 3 restaurants, a Spa and a sun deck overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the gardens.
The hotel has a total of 215 bedrooms with sea-inspired decor. All rooms come with an en suite bathroom, bath amenities and a hairdryer.
Not only that, but a flat-screen cable TV, a minibar, a kettle and a safe deposit box too.
Free WiFi access is provided in all rooms and common areas.
Budget – Funchal Apartments – City View
Funchal Apartments – City View is venue is set in Se district, around a 10 minute walk from Funchal center, and features a terrace with the cathedral view.
The property includes free WiFi, plus express check-in and check-out.
There is also a shared kitchen, ATM and currency exchange for guests.
All rooms include a wardrobe, a desk and a shared bathroom.
For more places to stay in Madeira, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.