The Bacalhôa Buddha Eden Garden is the largest oriental garden in Europe, occupying 35 hectares of the Quinta dos Loridos (a wine estate in Leiria, Portugal). And despite being known for the Buddha statues, the enclosure is made up of several green spaces, with ornamental ponds and curious sculptures. Above all, the Buddha Eden is a tribute to Asian cultures and religions. Here, you’ll wander among giant Buddhas, pagoda towers, terracotta warriors of Xian, and lakes with Koi fish!
Gardens and Parks
The Cerco Garden is a baroque garden located next to the Royal Building of Mafra. It has about 9 hectares and started out as a conventual fence, housing a formal garden, a botanical garden, and several leisure areas. With the extinction of the Religious Orders in 1834, the Cerco Garden became exclusive to the court. After having served as a Conventual Garden and a Court Garden for two centuries, the Cerco Garden opened to the public in 1910. And nowadays, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
The Buttes-Chaumont Park (in French, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont) is a stunning public park located in the 19th arrondissement of Paris, one of the most eclectic areas of the city. Inaugurated in 1867, the Buttes-Chaumont Park is one of the largest parks in the French capital, covering almost 25 hectares. Here, you can venture through endless hills and winding paths, visit a rocky island in the middle of an artificial lake and even cross a suspension bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel!
The Palace of Monserrate is one of the many existing palaces in Sintra, Portugal. And although it’s not as visited as the famous National Palace of Pena, the Palace of Monserrate is well worth a visit! This estate is the perfect example of Romanticism in Portugal and what eclectic life would have been like in the 19th century. In addition, its “exotic” architecture mixes Gothic, Indian, and Moorish influences, blending perfectly with a botanical park where species from all over the world grow!
The Sanctuary of Bom Jesus is a reference to Neoclassical art in Portugal and the best-known sanctuary in the country, after the Sanctuary of Fátima. Therefore, exploring this “sacred hill” is a highly recommended experience for all travelers and tourists visiting the city of Braga and the northern region of Portugal. The Bom Jesus is just a few kilometers from the historic center but has excellent access to transportation. Besides, it’s the perfect spot to admire the sunset over Braga!
Giverny is a lovely village mostly known as the location of Claude Monet‘s home and gardens, including his famous pond of water lilies. Wherever your look, you’ll notice a fairytale-like essence, which was so beautifully captured on a canvas by Monet. Located in the Normandy region, Giverny is definitely a must-visit destination from Paris, since it’s less than 60 minutes away from the French capital. Check out this travel guide, because I’m sure you’ll fall in love with the bucolic landscapes!
Get to know the Palace of Versailles (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979) and spend a perfect day in the monumental domain of the famous Louis XIV. In the suburbs of Paris, about forty minutes from the French capital, Versailles was the center of the power of the Ancien Régime and the Absolute Monarchy in France and Europe, for more than a century. Stroll through the corridors and gardens of one of the most visited sites in France, with over 10 million tourists per year!
Get to know the Palace of Fontainebleau (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981) and spend a different and inspiring day, just forty minutes away from Paris! In the center of a huge forest in the Île-de-France, Fontainebleau was the hunting residence of the kings of France since the 12th century. Inspired by Italian models, a cross between Renaissance art and French traditions, the Palace became the official residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, during the First French Empire!