Here you are in our fifth article on Madeira. If you missed the start, no worries, just click on the links below:

Read the first article on Madeira
Read the second article on Madeira
Read the third article on Madeira
Read the fourth article on Madeira





The Panoramic Cable Car is a cool way to get around Funchal, from the ocean side up to the Botanical Garden and Monte Tropical Garden. The landscapes are vertiginous, suspended like a speck of dust above the sometimes very deep slopes.


You have to walk a little between the different stations, that of the Botanical Garden and that of the tropical garden. The agapanthus accompany us again this time.






The tropical garden of the Palace of Monte comes in several themes, crosses several continents and is approached from above. The Museum offers, on two floors, an "African passion" collection of more than 1000 Zimbabwean sculptures from the 70s. It welcomes us with its orange ochre. Time stops, bathes us in an atmosphere from elsewhere.


As soon as we cross the spatio-temporal door, we are guided along a path like that of the cross, but this one tells us the story of the garden.


Downward views make us want to continue. We cut through the tropical vegetation and have fun with some childish hide-and-seek.






Very quickly, we teleport to an oriental garden, inspired by China and Japan. Bridges, gates, red barriers play with lush vegetation and accompany us at a leisurely pace.



The red thread takes us through water points,


and invites us into secret lodges with strong symbols.


Inspired by the fabulous Terracotta Army of Qin Shi Huang discovered in 1974 in his mausoleum in northern China, there is a double line of very colorful soldiers, perched on a platform, looking far away. Even if we are far from the thousands of statues dating back 2,200 years, these remain nevertheless impressive.



A little further on, there is a succession of paintings inspired by travel and the discovery of new continents. All square, they fit into forward or backward volumes in a random way.





At the heart of the vegetation, the gaze draws us towards an escape.


Azulejos set the scene for us. There will be water. We discover here a large collection of these Portuguese earthenware dating from the 15th to the 19th century. They were collected by José Berardo and constitute the 2nd largest collection of its kind.


But, let's follow Ness, who has fun with a leaf that she imagines to conquer new lands like the boats of yesteryear. Her improvised ship descends the waves of a levada, sometimes a little wild.



There is still time to take a curious look in this romantic cave.


We discover the basin of the successive balconies, as in the theater, in as many framed windows on fabulous shows.



Thus we observe niches with inspired sculptures, framed with moldings and ivy, follies.


The Monte Palace was erected in 1897 by one of the prosperous families of Funchal, the Guilherme Rodrigues, taking inspiration from the palaces on the banks of the Rhine. The location was ideal, far from the hustle and bustle of the city, with a breathtaking view of the ocean and cradled in a green setting with infinite natural riches.


It was a century later, around 1987, that José Berardo acquired the property and set up the museum, the open-air collections and created these romantic settings. He undertakes to develop the place as a playful route. It was possible to spray yourself thanks to the water cannons and the jets installed on the various terraces. The games took place in these romantic settings with Italian inspirations.


In the basin, there is a bit of Japan, just to make a link between the different atmospheres. The sacred koi approach in search of a small silver coin.


From the terrace of the house, you can still see shards of ocean.


Monte, José Berardo has installed an impressive number of plants from all over the world, from the cycads of Africa to the heathers of Scotland and the azaleas of Bruges.



Did you like this article ? Discover our other articles on Madeira by clicking on the links below:

Read the first article on Madeira
Read the second article on Madeira
Read the third article on Madeira
Read the fourth article on Madeira


See you next week, February 11, to discover the arboretum park of fabulous hotels.

Barry Hutton 4 January 2024

Need to shop