The garden was originally designed by the renowned 18th-century architect Francisco de Moura Coutinho in 1773. It features intricate pathways lined with lush greenery, fountains, and sculptures of mermaids that give it its name.
The Mermaid Garden is part of the larger Quinta das Lágrimas estate, which dates back to 1344 when King Dom Afonso IV gave the lands to his son Prince Pedro as a wedding gift. Throughout its long history, the gardens have seen numerous royal visits, including Queen Maria II who visited in 1836 and Queen Amélia who visited twice during her reign from 1889 to 1910.
Today visitors can explore this remarkable piece of Portuguese history while strolling through manicured lawns filled with exotic plants such as camellias, magnolias, roses, and jacarandas along with other species native to Portugal like wild olive trees and cork oaks. There are also several sculptures throughout the park, including one depicting Eros riding a dolphin, created by sculptor João Cutileiro in 1985.
Visitors will be delighted by all there is to see at Mermaid Garden [Jardim da Sereia] but they should also take time out to enjoy some refreshments at one of two cafés located within the grounds: Café do Jardim or Café Real which serves snacks and light meals plus local wines from nearby vineyards.