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Garden Tours in Portugal: A Botanical Feast

Portugal is not only about never-ending beaches and fabulous seascapes. In a country blessed by Nature, there is a lot more to discover. For nature lovers and garden aesthetes alike, Garden tours in Portugal are the promise of a true botanical feast. With an incredible variety of styles, designs, and endemic and exotic floral species to discover, nature tamed by man has never been so beautiful.

Garden Tours from North to South of Portugal

Still relatively unknown, gardens are probably one of Portugal’s most overlooked treasures. For the curious traveller, though, this country is a blooming paradise, and handpicked garden tours in Portugal are the perfect way to discover these landscaped gems. The diversity of Portuguese gardens, both private and historic, is truly inspiring: Baroque style in the North, Renaissance gardens in the South, exotic landscapes, colors and scents in the parks of the islands of Azores and Madeira, garden tours in Portugal will give the traveller an exciting insight into one of the countries less know, yet most surprising, attractions.

Did you know that 5 Portuguese gardens were included in Phaidon’s book The Gardener’s Garden? Here are some good reasons not to miss them.

Baroque Beauty: Garden Tours in the North of Portugal

Originally from Japan, the Camellia beautifully blooms in the North of Portugal from January to March, thanks to the unique conditions of the Atlantic climate. This exotic beauty is one of the highlights of garden tours in Portugal, especially in the historic gardens of the North, which are often built on granite and covered with amazing topiary. Garden tours in Portugal are one of the prettiest ways to discover this and other botanical species.

Casa de Mateus, a superb early 18th century manor house surrounded by splendid gardens, is one of the must-sees of any garden tour in Portugal. A project by Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni, it is one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in Portugal, and its restful gardens are equally amazing, with terraces of box trees, flowerbeds, tunnels of cypress trees and magnificent paths formed by verdant foliage.

Tiles and Styles in Portugal: Garden Tours in Lisbon and Beyond

Going south, classic echoes of the Renaissance can be found at the stunning Palácio Fronteira, a 17th century palace in Lisbon and one of the prettiest Portuguese gardens. Inhabited by statues, cooled by water tanks and featuring some of the finest examples of the art of azulejo (glazed tiles) in Portugal, these gardens are truly amazing. Only 20 minutes from Lisbon, more splendid garden tours in Portugal await the visitor in Sintra, the “Glorious Eden” of Lord Byron. Sintra is truly a romantic retreat, but also a place of pure oriental enchantment, as in the bewildering park of Monserrate, with its stunning gardens that bloom on a valley where East meets West. This incredible setting is just one of the highlights of garden tours in Portugal. To the south of Lisbon, garden design of the marvelous Quinta da Bacalhôa is a unique expression of Renaissance balance and beauty with a Portuguese twist.

Garden and Landscape Tours in Azores and Madeira, Portugal’s Atlantic gems.

The uniqueness and beauty of Portuguese gardens goes far beyond the obvious… and beyond the sea, too. In the Atlantic islands of Azores and Madeira, garden tours in Portugal truly bloom. Discover the luxuriant flora of Madeira in places such as the Botanical Garden the Palheiro Gardens, a stunning early 19th century estate flowering on the hills of Funchal, and the delightful gardens of Monte Palace. Be enchanted by the poetic palette of the Azores’ ravishing landscaped gardens, where the romantic ideals of humanizing the landscape can be seen in full force. The award winning Terra Nostra Garden, is a must-see in any serious Garden Tour in Portugal, where endemic and new botanical species literally grow from the ashes of extinct volcanoes, creating an unbelievably beautiful landscape.