Botanical Gardens, Madeira
Botanical Gardens in Madeira The Botanical Gardens (Jardim Botanico) is located on a hillside over looking Funchal.
Jardim Botanico's most famous feature is it's carpet bedding or choreographed garden. An amazing display of multicoloured plants arranged into diamonds, squares, lines and lettering.
There is a lot to do and see at the gardens with admission including entry a substantial collection of captive birds.
My suggestion for a full day out is to take a taxi or bus up to the gardens, the road is too steep to walk up from Funchal town centre. Take time to enjoy the gardens, stop off at the cafe, visit the birds and make sure you view the special display of palms. Then, follow the signs for the cable car. This is a separate cable car to the main one from the Old Town of Funchal. It will take you up to Monte, over spectacular drops, where you then can either take the main cable car back to Funchal or brave the wicker basket ride half way back to town.
The national flower of Madeira (first right) is often called the 'Bird of Paradise' because it resembles the plumage of said bird. However, it is also called the Crane Flower and/or Geel Piesang. You don't have to be a keen gardener to enjoy the Botanical Gardens but if you are a flower lover budget at least a couple of hours to enjoy the varieties. The only down side is that the species are names in Portuguese or Latin!
The range of birds on display is quite impressive and includes several Peacocks that roam the grounds. Elsewhere in the gardens there is a mock traditional Madeira house (similar to those shown in Santana) and an impressive array of cacti and sculpted bushes.
If you decide to take the cable car up to Monte lookout for the levadas below...if you dare look down!