Botanical Garden – Hidden Gems in Madeira

Botanical Garden – Hidden Gems in Madeira

Rejtett kincsek a Botanikus Kertben, Madeira Lindával

The Botanical Garden just turned 60 years old. 

I was not a big fan of plants, since in my childhood my grandmother made me weed our garden during my summer holidays. After a difficult start, in the last couple of years I made quite a progress to develop a close relationship to the beuatiful plants of Madeira. Also, in Madeira the Botanical Garden has not been my favourite, but I have to admit that there are many interesting corners and lots of hidden gems, if you take your time to discover. I will show you my favorite ones as I have been returning to the Botanical Garden in the last weeks quite often.

Rejtett csoda mandala fűszőnyeg Botanikus Kert Madeira Lindával

Dragon tree

The Botanical Garden has quite some dragon trees, but in Madeira there is only one left in the wild. Did you know that the baby dragon trees have only one head? And then, as they grow they start growing their heads as well. So we are quite similar, actually. Some people say that you can count the age based on the junctions leading to the heads. Others say that heads develop when the bring flowers. 

> Click on the picture to see more photos.


The famous carpet

The flower carpet of the Botanical Garden is one of the most famous sights of Madeira that you can come across in travel guides and postcards. The interesting bit is that the pattern is being changed all the time. The workers of the Botanical Garden just pick the branches of the iresine and plant them according to the new pattern. I love this new one, it reminds me of the beautiful mandalas painted by Olga Drak one of my favourite artists in Madeira.



In Madeira in general you can come across endemic houseleeks which are the size of your head. Also in the Botanical Garden you can find all endemic ones which help you the identify them when you see them in the middle of nowhere on a rock growing out of nothing.

Greenpea and friends

The Botanical Garden has a section of endemic plants and also a wide range of egzotic ones. Besides these logical combination you can also find vegetables, fruit trees and herbs as well. Practicall everything that stays alive and as you can notice after a couple of hours in Madeira, not just everything stays alive here, but they also grow huge. You can see here some bizarre ones that are special to my heart.

+ Interesting fact: Microclimate

The Madeiran Government has been searching for long years for the perfect spot of the Botanical Garden. A place where not only the endemic plants but also the egzotic ones can grow. Not only succulents but also palms and plants from Siberia. After a long search they bought the estate of the Reids family that starts on 150m of altitude and goes up to 300m. In this range they could split all these plants and the feel happily at home as the microclimate within the Botanical Garden varies significantly. Now just imagine if this is the case in the Funchal bay, how many microclimates you can find on the island.


As the Botanical Garden celebrates its 60th birthday, if you are coming to Madeira, you definitely have to visit this garden. It is a typical bucket list item, but nevertheless has lots of secret gems that would be a pity to miss. 

I have many interesting stories to tell that you cannot learn from the travel guides. If you want to hear more, please get in touch with me!

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Murals of Madeira – An Imaginary Journey to The Past

Murals of Madeira – An Imaginary Journey to The Past

Journey to the Past, girl on the bus to Ribeira Brava

You shall discover the murals of Madeira on your holidays. They come in all sizes and themes and you can find them in many hidden corners of the island. Let me show you some of my favourites and thus, take you on an imaginary journey to the past. These murals worked out with so much detail not only show you the transportation means of Madeira island at the beginning of the XX century. You can also learn about the lifestyle and the everyday habits people used to have. Back then, on the long and curvy roads serpentining through the gorges, ups and downs of the hills from one village to the other, people used to travel 2-3 hours. These distances we cover nowadays in 15-25 minutes on express roads. Therefore, just like today on aeroplanes, the commuters bought some snacks to make time fly easier.

Senhor Francisco, who you can spot on one of the paintings was a well-known person much appreciated by his fellow workers at the bus company. He used to sell snacks to the people on board. Snacks, like “tremoços”, lupin beans marinated with garlic and parsley or “rebuçados de funcho”, fennel tasting candies. These snacks you can even buy today and are definitely a “must try” typical specialities if you come to Madeira. Whenever you ask for some alcoholic drink in a bar, in many cases tremoços is served on the side. Also, the fennel candies you can buy in many of the shops in Madeira.

I love to study the clothes and hats of the people travelling by bus on these paintings. Every time I feel for a moment that I am also participating in that journey in the past. But let me tell you something. The most interesting things are always the hidden secrets the painter, Marcos Milewski is placing on his murals. Just check out the electrical cabinet hidden on the painting and disguised as a coffee table with typical Portuguese cakes, pastel de nata. The devil lies in the detail they say. I love the murals of Madeira, most of the times they are off the touristic beaten path and thus add more charm to this beautiful island.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/marcos.milewski