Portugal is dry in the south and wet in the north. It has an excellent Roman garden, at Coimbra, and a series of distinctive gardens elsewhere. Many date from the age of greatness when the focus of world trade was shifting from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. These gardens are late-renaissance and early-baroque.
Ponte de Lima has an annual International Garden Festival.
Key Portuguese gardens
Palácio Nacional de Queluz
Travel arrangements for Portuguese garden visiting
Some tour companies take visitors to Portugal. The country has a well developed tourist industry and is comparatively easy for the independent traveller. It is one of of the cheapest countries in Europe for car hire. Bus and train are possible but more difficult. Travel is most comfortable in spring and autumn.
Madeira at its best, departing 11th April and 5th September 2016
Visit the lush gardens of the island of Madeira, including Monte Palace
, Quinta do Palheiro
, and Jardim Botanico da Madeira
(pictured left - image copyright luisvilla
). Tours are escorted by local expert Joao Camacho, who knows Madeira inside out and takes great pride in showing visitors around his native island.
HORTUS goes to Madeira, 11th to 16th April 2016
With David Wheeler, editor of HORTUS
Madeira is a beautiful, verdant volcanic island rising high above the Atlantic, some five hundred miles off the North African coast. Every inch of workable land is cultivated with pocket-handkerchief terraces growing a vast range of tropical and subtropical crops. The gardens we visit all feature an overwhelming array of wonderful plants. The tour is to be led by Gerald Luckhurst, who lives in Portugal and designs gardens & landscapes throughout the country. We are accommodated in the wonderfully elegant, stylish and deeply comfortable Casa Vehla do Palheiro, originally a royal hunting lodge.