Monte Palace Tropical Garden Madeira



On our recent family holiday to the gorgeous Portuguese island of Madeira we walked around Monte Palace Tropical Garden, reckoned to be one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world.


Madeira’s southerly location (same latitude as Marrakesh), moist Atlantic air and rich volcanic soil combine to provide ideal conditions for year-round, frost-free cultivation of all kinds of flora ranging from English roses to tropical bananas to native laurel trees.IMG_3309

Early British settlers on the island played an important role in the local economy and they spent their wealth on lovely estates and gardens where they could enjoy the healthy climate and great views.

Monte Palace was one of these estates, developed by Charles Murray, a Scottish merchant and British Consul from 1777-1801, high on a hill overlooking Funchal, the capital of Madeira. This home came to be known as Quinta do Prazer (Pleasure Estate).IMG_3276

The property was acquired by Alfredo Guilherme Rodrigues in 1897 who built the current house, inspired by castles he had seen on the banks of the Rhine. The house later became the Monte Palace Hotel until it was closed down in the 1940s. It is now owned by a charitable foundation which transformed the grounds into a tropical garden and museum open to the public.IMG_3319

The Tropical Garden covers seven hectares of sloping hillside and contains a fine collection of exotic plants from around the world including cycads, proteas, azaleas, hydrangeas, heather, sequoias, acacias and olives. People like us, visiting from Malaysia, can feel at home to see hibiscus, heliconia and orchids.

There are two oriental gardens with and koi fish ponds, with Japanese and Chinese style bridges, stone lions, pavilions and so on.

Panel of Tiles “Nymphs”, Jorge Colaço, Lisbon late 19th century

One of Portugal’s most important collections of tile panels dating from the 15th century up to contemporary works, depicting historical, religious or purely decorative designs is displayed along footpaths around the garden.

IMG_3300IMG_3295A separate exhibition centre shows off the Berardo Foundation’s collection of stone sculptures from Zimbabwe and rocks and minerals from around the world.


The best way to reach the Monte Palace Tropical Garden is by cable car (Teleféricos Da Madeira) from Funchal but it is possible to get a taxi or drive.

You can find details of opening hours, admission prices and location on Monte Palace’s official website,

If you still have energy after seeing the Tropical Garden there is another botanical garden in Funchal, Madeira Botanical Garden, which you can reach by a second cable car.

Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya

Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya

Tucked away in a corner of the Putrajaya Botanical Gardens, surrounded by landscaped gardens and alongside a lake, lies the exquisite Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya (Astaka Morocco).

Astaka Morocco

I have admired it from the outside many times but only recently got round to purchasing a ticket to view the interior.

Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya

This remarkable construction with a built-up area of 18,000 square feet showcases Moorish architecture of the sort found in places like Cordoba and Granada, Spain.

Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya

Development of the Moroccan Pavilion was an idea mooted by the Malaysian Government and it was built with Moroccan assistance. It was intended to symbolise the strong diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Inner Courtyard of the Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya

The Moroccan Pavilion is divided into three grand courtyards: the entrance courtyard, King’s Court and Granada Court each protected by ornate gates called City Gate, Palace Gate and Splendour Gate respectively. The water fountain situated in the centre of Granada Court was modelled after the Lion’s Court of Alhambra. The walls of the courtyard are adorned with calligraphic verses from the Quran.

Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya

The intricate craftsmanship of the ceilings, pillars and walls was prefabricated in various villages in Morocco and shipped over to Putrajaya. Skilled Moroccan artisans were brought in to assemble the pieces and apply the finishing touches.

Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya

A number of rooms are arranged around the inner courtyards which are decorated in the styles of Moroccan imperial cities, namely the Rabat Gallery, the Fez Gallery, the Essaouira Gallery, the Meknes Gallery, the Marrakesh Gallery and a VIP gallery.

Door to Essaouira RoomDoor to the Fez Gallery

Detail of door at Moroccan Pavilion PutrajayaDoor Decor at Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya

Visitors are free to wander inside these rooms but photography is only allowed in the outer corridors and courtyards. Inside you will fine see examples of Moroccan decorative arts such as zillij terracotta tiles, moucharabieh screens and muqarnas ceilings.

Left to Right: zillij, moucharabieh, muqarnas.
Left to Right: zillij, moucharabieh, muqarnas.

Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya

Ticket Price and Opening Hours

To see inside the galleries and to access the inner courtyards you need to buy a ticket from the Putrajaya Botanical Gardens Visitor Centre which is located about 5 minutes walk from the Moroccan Pavilion.

Adults: RM 3

Students: RM 1

You can find opening hours here.

Ticket Window at Moroccan Pavilion Putrajaya

Address: Persiaran Sultan Sallahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, Presint 1, 62000 Putrajaya, Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya, Malaysia

Phone:+60 3-8887 7770

Definitely worth the three Ringgit!

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