This garden tour is a breathtaking side of Lisbon that not many know of. The traveler will start this tour at one of the coziest gardens in Portugal: the cold green house in Eduardo VII park.
This is a real green museum where plans and flowers from the five continents grow harmoniously together under a huge planked roof that beautifully regulates the air temperature and intensity of light. It has an area of about 16000 square meters and includes and Hot greenhouse for tropical plants, and a sweet greenhouse for larger plants.
Not far away we have the biggest botanical garden of Lisbon. Covering 10 acres and laid out between 1858 and 1873, it was once considered the best botanical garden of Southern Europe. Today it still has one of the largest collections of subtropical vegetation in Europe. Its dense vegetation and exotic plants make it one of the most calming spots in the city, with over 18000 species from all over the world (each one is neatly labeled). They include a large number of cycads, weird Australian trees with twisting colossal trunks, and ancient palm-ferns that have been around since the time of the dinosaurs.
Close by is the Port wine institute where you can try one of the 1000 different Port wine brands! Let’s go to Sintra ot have lunch in one of the many good and typical restaurants and visit Pena park. The Pena park is a vast forested area completely surrounding the Pena palace, spreading for over 200 hectares of uneven terrain.
The exotic taste of the Romanticism was applied to the parks as it was to the palace. The king ordered trees from diverse, distant lands to be planted there. Included in his requests were the North American Sequoia, Lawson’s Cypress, Magnolia and Western Redcedar, Chinese Gingko, Japanese Cryptomeria, and a wide variety of ferns and tree ferns from Australia and New Zealand concentrated in the Queen’s Fern Garden (Feteira da Rainha). The park has a labyrinthic system of paths and narrow roads, connecting the palace to the many points of interest throughout the park, as well as to its two gated exits.
Still in Sintra we’ll visit Monserrate gardens. Marvellous, rambling, party wild, Monserrate Park is a romantic 30-hectare garden. The wooded hillsides feature a vast range of exotic flora, from roses and conifers to Chinese weeping cypress, dragon trees, eucalyptus, Himalayan rhododendrons and more than 24 species of palm. These gardens were created in the 18th century. In the 1850s, they were enlarged by the painter William Stockdale (with help from London’s Kew Gardens), who imported many plants from Australia and Mexico. At the heart of the gardens is a Moorish-inspired Monserrate Palace.
Sintra mountain is itself a natural park with hundreds of different species covering the narrow and twisted roads that your guide will be glad to show you.