I can’t wait to join you in sunny Madeira – it’s a magical destination for anyone who loves exotic plants and glorious gardens.Frances Tophill
The gardens of Madeira with Frances Tophill
Thanks to its wonderfully balmy subtropical climate, Madeira is home to some of the world's greatest gardens. And on this exclusive six-day holiday, you will have the chance to explore them with one of the presenters of ITV1's Love Your Garden, Frances Tophill.
Your unmissable trip to sunny Madeira will include private guided tours of the island's best gardens; afternoon tea at the famous Belmond Reid's Palace, the hotel where Winston Churchill wrote his wartime memoirs; plus the chance to join Frances for dinner and to ask her all your gardening questions in a special Q&A.
Throughout this unforgettable trip you will be relaxing in style at the five-star Pestana Casino Park hotel in Funchal and be travelling in the hands of gardening tour specialist Brightwater Holidays.
Reasons to book
Private garden tours
Take a cable car ride
Stroll along the levadas
Meet Frances Tophill
Your five-star luxury hotel
Tea at Belmond Reid's Palace
Your special guest
- Return flights from London Gatwick to Funchal
- All coach transfers in Madeira
- Five nights' five-star bed-and-breakfast accommodation at the Pestana Casino Park Hotel
- Three dinners and two lunches
- Exclusive garden tours with Frances Tophill, including private talk and Q&A
- Private guided visits to the Botanical, Palheiro and Monte Palace gardens; half-day levada walk; cable car ride and toboggan ride at Monte; afternoon tea at Belmond Reid's Palace
- Services of a Brightwater Holidays guide
Day1Fly to MadeiraPestana Carlton Madeira, Portugal
We depart from London Gatwick (other airports are available on request) on a direct flight to Funchal on the balmy island of Madeira. .
On arrival we will be met by our local guide and our coach, which will take us to our accommodation at the five-star Pestana Casino Park Hotel in Funchal. The rest of the day is free to relax in the hotel or explore the local area. A welcome buffet dinner is included at your hotel this evening.
Day2Garden tours with FrancesQuinta do Palheiro, Portugal
Breakfast at the hotel. Our green-fingered adventure starts in earnest today with visits to some of the most beautiful gardens in Madeira.
EXCLUSIVE EXPERIENCE: The Love Your Garden and Gardeners' World presenter Frances Tophill will be joining us for a morning tour of the Quinta do Palheiro (formally known as Blandy Gardens). Established over several generations, the gardens are most famous for their camellias, though there is something for everyone with green fingers, including a wonderful spread of agapanthus and arum and belladonna lilies in season.
Together with Frances, we will then have the chance to explore another must-see attraction: the Botanical Gardens, which are set on the steep hillsides north east of Funchal. Here we will receive a private tour from the garden's curator and get the chance to ask Frances about the 2,000 varieties of plant on show, often in stunningly designed geometric patterns. Frances will also be joining us for a special lunch at a local restaurant and in the afternoon we explore a hand-picked selection of privately owned gardens in and around Funchal.
EXCLUSIVE EXPERIENCE: During this evening's dinner, Frances will give a fascinating private talk about her successful career as a gardener and TV presenter, featuring behind-the-scenes stories about her job as a presenter of Love Your Garden and more recently Gardeners' World and her expert insights as to what makes a truly great garden. There will also be the chance to ask her your own gardening questions!
Day3Discover Belmond Reid's PalaceBelmond Reid's Palace, Portugal
EXCLUSIVE EXPERIENCE: The Love Your Garden presenter Frances Tophill will be joining us this morning as we take the 10-minute cable car ride from the centre of Funchal to the fashionable hill town of Monte, which offers splendid views over the harbour and the bay. We will visit the glorious Monte Palace Gardens, which cover more than 70,000 square metres and showcase a tremendous collection of exotic plants - together with an accompanying band of ducks, swans, chickens and peacocks.
After our tour of the gardens, we will have the option of taking part in one of Madeira's most treasured traditions: a 10-minute toboggan ride where you slide down the streets from Monte to Funchal in traditional wicker toboggans. It's safer than it sounds!
The historical theme continues this afternoon with a visit to another Madeiran institution, Belmond Reid's Palace, built in the 1890s by the Scotsman William Reid and host to celebrities, royalty - and Winston Churchill while he wrote his wartime memoirs. As well as visiting the hotel's beautiful sloping gardens, we have the chance to enjoy its famous hospitality during an afternoon tea of finger sandwiches, fresh scones and homemade pastries, with jam, butter, cream and your choice of tea.
The rest of the evening is free for you to enjoy at your leisure - perhaps with a seaside stroll to walk off the cream.
Day4Explore MadeiraPestana Carlton Madeira, Portugal
Breakfast at the hotel. Today is free to relax in the hotel or explore the local area. Alternatively join our optional full day tour of the island, including stops at Camara de Lobos, Ribiera Brava, Encumeada, Sao Vicente, Porto Moniz, Santa, Paul da Serra and Ponta do Sol. Lunch is included in the excursion.
In the evening we offer the option of a typical local restaurant where we will enjoy dinner with wine and a folk dancing show.
Day5Walk along the levadasPestana Carlton Madeira, Portugal
In the morning, we depart with our local guide for a gentle stroll along the levadas, Madeira's ancient system of aqueducts and canals that was first developed in the 16th century to bring water from the rainy north to irrigate crops such as sugar, bananas and grapes growing in the sun soaked south. This is one of the nicest ways to explore the island and offers the opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of Madeira. Lunch is included in a local restaurant
In the afternoon we have an optional visit the gardens of Quinta Jardim do Lago, set around a small luxury hotel in Funchal. With an area of 2.5 hectares full of wonderful examples of rare species and old trees as well as many colourful and delicate flowers, this rich and diverse collection rivals any good botanical garden.
This evening's farewell dinner is at a local restaurant.
Day6Farewell to MadeiraFunchal airport, Portugal
After breakfast, we will check out of our five-star hotel before a private coach will transfer us to Funchal airport in time to catch our flight home from an unforgettable holiday.
Pestana Casino Park Hotel
The five-star Pestana Casino Park is both brilliantly located in Funchal and one of the best hotels on the island
The Pestana Casino Park is a five-star hotel in Funchal,
Madeira, surrounded by 15,000 square metres of private gardens.
Designed by world-renowned master architect Óscar Niemeyer, this
luxury is only five minutes on foot from the centre of Funchal and
the epicentre of the city's social and cultural life.
Its location on the shores of the Atlantic makes it one of the most famous hotels on the island of Madeira. The hotel's standout features include an infinity swimming pool, gardens with peaceful alcoves, a spa where you can schedule a massage or treatment, and an indoor swimming pool with water jets, jacuzzi, Turkish bath, sauna and gym.
You can also enjoy four restaurants and bars with views overlooking the tennis court and access to the Casino da Madeira, with games, shows and a nightclub. All rooms have Wi-Fi and a private balcony.
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