Viveiro Botanical Garden & Zoo di Terra, Sal - Cape Verde
An oasis in the midst of Sal’s sandy, desert landscape, the Viveiro Garden and Zoo di Terra is a lush labour of love created by a husband and wife team, hailing from Argentina and Italy. They’ve brought together an astonishing array of local plants, clocking up over 100 species including the full range of ornamental plants on the archipelago.
Small, but perfectly formed, the garden also plays host to a little farm, where ducks, goats, rabbits, peacocks and a donkey roam happily. Great if you’ve got little ones in tow.
With an eco-friendly backbone and ethos of recycling, the gardens have an intimate feel. And should you be looking to deck out a rental home on the island, or hoping to source some local flowers for a Cape Verde wedding, the on-site garden centre is the ideal place to start.
Entrance is €3 per person.
Don’t miss: The chance to picnic on the grass. Bring your own though since a café is in the pipeline but not open yet.
Monte Palace Tropical Garden, Madeira
Covering an impressive 70,000 square meters and perched 600 meters above the sea, overlooking Funchal Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Monte Palace Tropical Garden is blessed with an idyllic location. However, it’s not just about the views, as the garden houses a huge exotic plant collection including the native dragon tree and Euphorbia piscatorial as well as plants from all over the globe. Also, keep your eyes peeled for the resident wildlife, ducks, peacocks, chickens, Koi fish and both black and white swans.
You’ll also notice numerous tile panels adorning the paths and flowerbeds. After the tiles you’ll find in the National Tile Museum in Lisbon, these are considered some of the most important in the country – and hard to miss as you explore.
With influences from China and Japan you’ll also discover a number of Buddhist sculptures as well as plenty of nods to water – with lakes, waterfalls and ornate bridges. And, if sculptures are your thing there’s over 1000 of them in the Monte Palace Museum (found in the garden) awaiting your perusal.
Entrance is €10 for an adult and under 15’s are free.
Don’t miss: The opportunity to relax and soak up the peace and quiet and the amazing views. Paths can be steep so wear comfortable shoes.
Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech
Owned by Yves St Laurent and Piere Bergé from 1980 until Yves St Laurent’s death in 2008, the garden was loved so much by the fashion designer it was chosen as the place to scatter his ashes.
However, if you’re expecting something sombre, think again. The Jardin Majorelle is a celebration of colour and cheer. Created over a period of forty years by French painter Jacques Majorelle, it’s packed with an abundance of tropical plants and flowers, as well as flashes of uplifting colour splashed on buildings, pots and pergolas. In fact, the colour is so striking it has its own name ‘Majorelle Blue’. Incidentally, Pantone 2726 is a 91% match if you are looking to replicate it in your own home.
Covering almost two and a half acres you’ll find everything from coconut palms, bamboo and banana trees to jasmine, bougainvilleas and agaves. Come early to avoid the crowds and enjoy listening to the babble of the streams and birdsong as blue tits, robins and turtledoves dance overhead.
The garden also houses a popular Berber Art Museum
and café, where the drinks come with a view.
Entrance to the garden is Dh50 and the museum Dh25.
Don’t miss: The chance to take some time out of Marrakech’s busy souks and markets to reconnect with nature.
Hunte's Gardens, Barbados
Rated as TripAdvisor’s top attraction in Barbados, Hunte’s Gardens is a real Caribbean gem. Created, owned and run by Bajan local Anthony Haute, this is the perfect example of a garden to be savoured at leisure, one plant at a time.
Originally nothing more than a huge sinkhole, Anthony spent two years turning the space into a lush paradise, bursting with colour. The garden is now open to the public and the continuously glowing reviews prove it’s going down a storm.
Praise is equally divided between the garden and its charming host. While the beautiful plants, scents of the flowers and hummingbirds dancing through the leaves can’t fail to captivate, Anthony’s personal touches set this garden apart. Classical music floats through the air as you explore, and for those that stop by the converted outhouses (now Anthony’s home) a warm welcome awaits.
Entrance is $BD30. Please note the garden is closed from May 12th to June 16th as Anthony is taking part in the Chelsea Flower Show in London.
Don’t miss: Join owner Anthony for a chat and a glass of rum punch or lemonade on the veranda. And don’t forget your camera.
New York - Central Park Secret Garden
Closed to the public since 1934, this once abandoned slice of New York greenery has now had a facelift. And a pretty popular one at that.
After years spent taming the overgrown vegetation to allow the native plants and birds to thrive, this four acre plot is now coming back to life.
Occupying a slice of the southeast section of the Pond in New York’s mighty Central Park, the Hallett Nature Sanctuary is a secret slice of paradise in the heart of the city. Come to lose yourself in the meandering paths, chill out by the gentle splash of the waterfall, picnic on the grass or simply soak up the views.
To avoid overcrowding, visiting hours have been restricted so make sure you check the latest times before you set off.
Don’t miss: Look out for the impressive wooden gate that marks the garden’s entrance.
Holidays to New York are coming soon...
Author: Kirsty Prynn
Author: Kirsty Prynn
To discover these gardens for yourself, check out our latest holidays to Cape Verde, Madeira, Morocco and Barbados here.
The Cliff Bay Hotel comes with great views of Funchal’s harbour and is set amongst a three-tiered garden. There’s also a Michelin-starred restaurant and free shuttle bus to Funchal.
Accra Beach Hotel & Spa is right on one of TripAdvisor’s top-rated beaches in the world. Close to Hastings it hosts regular cocktail parties and live music.
TUI BLUE Cabo Verde Resort teams an oceanfront setting with designer decor and a first-rate dining selection.
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