Gardens of Madeira Tour

6 nights starting from


  • Orchids at Quinta da Boa Vista Gardens

  • Hill town Monte Palace Gardens

  • Afternoon tea at Reid's Palace Hotel

  • Camellias at Quinta do Palheiro

  • Horticulture expert Tony Russell

The lush, volcanic Portuguese island of Madeira lies 400 miles off the coast of Africa and is 36 miles by 14 miles of outstanding natural beauty. Its warm, temperate climate makes it a verdant, sub-tropical paradise that is a delight to visit at any time of year. This wonderful new tour explores the island’s gardens and a little of its history from our base in the island’s capital Funchal. Much of the island has been designated a conservation area and it displays a wealth of superb flowers and vegetation with orchids, bougainvillaea, lilies, hydrangeas, magnolias, jacarandas and azaleas blooming effortlessly throughout the year. Horticulture expert Tony Russell will add to your enjoyment of this tour with his knowledge and commentary throughout.


Available Departures


10 - February - 2025 £ 2290.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

London Gatwick

Departing: 10th February 2025 at 14:05

Returning: 16th February 2025 at 11:45


Day 1: Fly from London Gatwick to Funchal. On arrival transfer by coach to Hotel Baleira in Funchal (approximately 30 minutes). Dinner at the hotel is included this evening.

Day 2: Botanical Garden and Quinta da Boa Vista Gardens
We begin our exploration of Madeira with a visit to the Botanical Gardens, which boasts harmonious forms, contrasting colours and more than 2000 exotic plants. It is owned by the Regional Government of Madeira and also serves as a Science and Culture Centre. Then it is on to Quinta da Boa Vista, an historic former estate that used to grow market garden produce for visiting ships but is now known for the growing of Estrelicia (Bird of Paradise) plants and cut flower production. It is also home to the best orchid collection on the island. Dinner at hotel.

Day 3: Quinta do Palheiro Gardens and afternoon tea at Reid's Palace Hotel
We depart this morning on a visit to the Quinta do Palheiro (formally known as Blandy Gardens). Established over several generations, the gardens are most famous for their camellias, though there is something for everyone with green fingers, including a wonderful range of agapanthus and arum and belladonna lilies in season. Free time for lunch before an afternoon visit to the world famous Reid’s Palace hotel for afternoon tea with a visit to their beautiful gardens overlooking the Atlantic. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 4: Half day to Funchal city centre, Municipal Gardens and Quinta Vigia
A relaxing half day tour today, beginning with a visit to the local market, the Mercado dos Lavradores. This will be followed by visiting Quinta Vigia, a small garden which is part of the Presidential Palace, and the neighbouring Santa Catarina Park, set in a natural amphitheatre. Return to the hotel for afternoon at leisure. Dinner at hotel.

Day 5: Full day to Ribeiro Frio, ‘Levada dos balcoes,’ Quinta do Furao, Porto de la Cruz and Cristo Rei Viewpoint
A full day tour of the island displays the wonderful variety of scenery this destination has to offer. We start this morning with a tour of the east of the island to visit Ribeiro Frio and a walk on “levada dos balcões” (approx. 3km). The “levadas” are small man made irrigation canals which double up as gentle footpaths for walkers to enjoy the natural beauty of the island. We then move on to Quinta do Furao and see how the locals produce ‘Pao de Santana’ with a tasting, visit a Madeiran vineyard for tour and wine tasting, followed by lunch and drinks. Afternoon visit to Porto da Cruz and a sugar cane mill with tasting of Poncha and a stop at the Cristo Rei Viewpoint for views over Funchal. Evening at leisure.

Day 6: Full day Monte Palace Tropical Gardens and Funchal
This morning we take the 10-minute cable car ride from the centre of Funchal to the fashionable hill town of Monte, which offers splendid views over the harbour and the bay. We will visit the glorious Monte Palace Gardens which surround the chateaulike Palace before free time for lunch and independent exploration of the island’s capital, Funchal. Dinner at typical Madeiran restaurant with wine included.

Day 7: Transfer to Funchal Airport for return flight to Gatwick.

NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions, weather and tour manager's discretion.

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 28 passengers.

Tour Grading: This tour has been graded as moderate due to the amount of walking and standing involved at the gardens we visit. The 3km walk on Day 5 is mostly flat but the path may be uneven in places, and if there has been recent rainfall some parts may be muddy. The trail is 1.5km out to the viewpoint, then back to the starting point. 


  • Return flights from London Gatwick to Funchal
  • Six nights’ accommodation on bed and breakfast basis at the four-star Hotel Baleira, Funchal, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Five dinners
  • One lunch
  • Full coach touring itinerary
  • Tour manager Tony Russell throughout


  • Single room supplement
  • Seaview supplement
  • Holiday insurance
  • Meals other than those stated 
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
  • Porterage and gratuities


Baleira Hotel
Located in the heart of Funchal’s Lido area, this 4-star hotel is a short walk from the city centre and boasts contemporary interiors and an outdoor pool with a terrace. The comfortable bedrooms offer all modern amenities including WIFI, TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities.

Hotel website

Your tour manager

Discover the Gardens of Madeira with expert Tony Russell:

Tony Russell’s career with plants and gardens began in 1978 when he joined the Forestry Commission in Snowdonia. After studying forestry and horticulture and after qualifying in 1983 he took up post as Forester for the New Forest in Hampshire. In 1989 he was appointed Head Forester of Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire, one of the finest collections of trees and shrubs in the temperate world. Tony left Westonbirt in 2003 and is now widely regarded as one of Britain’s leading authorities on trees and shrubs. Over the past fifteen years he has presented many gardening, horticultural and countryside programmes for both TV and radio. He is also the author of eighteen books and the editor of the annual publication ‘Great Gardens to Visit’ and horticultural editor of Discover Britain’s Gardens magazine.