Monte Palace Tropical Gardens


One of the highlights of any visit to Monte is a wander round the Monte Palace Tropical Gardens. This former hotel began life in the late 18th century as a private residence belonging to the British Consul Charles Murray. In the late 1980s it was purchased by local entrepreneur José Berardo, who transformed it into a weird-and-wonderful tourist attraction by filling the grounds with fountains, grottoes, follies, sculpture pieces and lots of exotic plant life.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Funchal attractions

1. Monte

0.08 MILES

High above Funchal, the villa neighbourhood of Monte is one of the most popular half-day trips from Funchal seafront. The Igreja da Nossa Senhora and the…

2. Igreja da Nossa Senhora

0.09 MILES

Some 68 stone steps climb dramatically to the doors of one of Madeira's finest churches, Monte's Igreja da Nossa Senhora. Rising in eye-balancing baroque…

3. Jardins Botânicos da Madeira


One of the island's top tourist attractions, Madeira's famous botanical gardens are a must for most visitors. Extending over 80,000 sq metres, the gardens…

4. Quinta da Boa Vista

1.57 MILES

Founded by a former Honorary British Consul Cecil Garton, this garden is the best place to experience Madeira's exquisite orchids. The orchid houses are a…

5. Jardim de Santa Luzia

1.62 MILES

Created from an old sugar works – hence the huge chimney in the middle and old bits of machinery scattered around the place – this undervisited city…

6. Museu Henrique e Francisco Franco

1.67 MILES

The works of early-20th-century Funchal sculptor Francisco Franco can be found at this small museum, which also displays works by his painter brother.

7. IBTAM Museum


IBTAM is the organisation that oversees Madeiran embroidery production – anything bearing their hologram label is guaranteed to be the genuine, locally…

8. Borges


Borges is the smallest of Funchal's Madeira wine operations and its diminutive, timber-rich tasting room feels like the furthest away from the tourist…