September 4th, 2007 – by: Auditarchi
As Funchal is not that big as a city and I crossed most of it I was going to spend some time as well in Monte. I already read about this place before visiting and it's really interesting how such a place became a true pearl of nature. So ladies and gentlemen, are you ready for a bit of history? haha here it goes ...This piece of land used to be a private estate on the outskirts of Funchal It was bought later on and the proprietor pulled up a hotel there for the more fortunate Portuguese citizens. This hotel boasted a stunning view of Funchal Bay and the cities green suburbs.
Nowadays this piece of land has been turned into a delightful place where you'll be surrounded by nature and take a refreshing walk.
Monte gardens exquisit gardens.
The park hosts all kind of flowers from everywhere in the world such as azaleas, heather, sequoias and even thousand-year olive trees. Some plants can also be found in the Laurasilva forest of Madeira. The place includes 2 green lagoons, some lakes containing koi fish and paths running through and around it up and down. All kinds of sculptures, pagodas, lanterns, and so on can be seen along the way. Next to that I could learn something more about history thanks to the information put up there. I didn't knew much about it so it was a nice introduction. There's a very nice Japanese garden and an museum dedicated to African art as well ( at least when I was there). Oh and by the way I think the hotel isn't hosting tourists anymore .
Anyway it's a very nice place because you can escape the busy life of Funchal .
According to me the easiest way to reach it is taking the 'téléferico da Madeira' located in Funchal to Monte. The starting point is very near to the bus stop at some sort of open 'square' next to main the boulevard next to the sea. The cable car ride dropps you off nicely at the entrance of the gardens. I stayed there about 2-3 hours because I enjoyed the green surroundings a lot, that's why I know the place must have been always attracting people. Then I took the cable car ride back to Funchal. At the end they were taking pictures of every visitor and then offered it for sale which was quite funny realizing I'd probably had taken more pictures than they had in one day.