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monte-palace-gardensThe island of Madeira in the Atlantic some 320 miles west of Morocco was first discovered, uninhabited, by Portuguese explorers in 1418. It has been a part of Portugal ever since. In the 1600s it became renowned for its Madeira wine, with English wine makers settling there and exporting it to England and the American colonies. The English consul Charles Murray built a beautiful estate, “Quinta do Prazer”, Pleasure Estate, high above the capital of Funchal, which by the late 1800s was converted into the Monte Palace hotel.

100 years later, Portuguese entrepreneurs developed the property into one of the most spectacular tropical gardens in the world, with lakes, waterfalls, and exotic tropical plants turning it into a fantasy wonderland. You can spend hours wandering around relaxing and luxuriating in this peaceful paradise. Which is just what we do whenever we are here. We’ll be here again early next summer. You should plan on being with us. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #243 photo ©Jack Wheeler)