The Monte Palace Tropical Gardens is located 5 km from the centre of Funchal, in a village called Monte. With an area of 70.000 m2, it belongs to Mr. José Berardo, a Madeiran business man who emigrated to South Africa at the age of eighteen.
Back to Madeira in 1987, he bought this huge estate. The renovation works took place and in 1991 it opened to the public. The property was donated to Berardo Foundation.
Joe Berardo is also an art collector and he transformed this garden into an Open Art Museum: a combination of vegetation, both natural and exotic species, as well as works of art.
His passion for Africa is apparent in the collection of Zimbabwe soapstone works.
Minerals and semi precious stones in display are remarkable and priceless.
In addition, there are the oriental gardens, inspired by Buddhism with the pagoda roofs, dragons, Buddhas, lanterns and ornamental bridges.
In the ponds an impressive collection of Koy Fish. Originally from China, this fish is a symbol of longevity.
A highlight of this garden is, no doubt, the collection of cycad plants that were brought from South Africa, known for being the largest collection in Europe.
A visit to this garden is highly recommended. Monte Palace Tropical Gardens is one of Madeira’s most beautiful gardens.
Graça Menezes (Official Tourist Guide)
Photo Courtesy of Marla Castro