The Monte Palace Tropical Gardens is located 5 km from Funchal center in a village called Monte. With an area of 70.000 m2, it is property of Mr. José Berardo, a madeiran business man who emigrated at the age of eighteen to South Africa.
Back to Madeira in 1987, he bought this huge estate. The renovation works took place and in 1991 it was opening to the public. The property was donated to Berardo Foundation.
Joe Berardo is also an art collector making of this garden an Open Art Museum: a combination of vegetation, natural species as well as exotic ones and works of art.
His passion for Africa is notorious in the collection of Zimbabwe soapstone works.
Minerals and semi precious stones in display are admirable and priceless.
In addition, the oriental gardens, inspired in 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.
Photo Courtesy of Marla Castro