Welcome to Madeira Island; a small Portuguese archipelago situated in the Atlantic Ocean. Despite its small size it offers lots of different climate zones which make it a paradise for landscape photography. Due to that, I decided to spend a whole week at this part of Portugal to extend my Landscape Portfolio and create another drone movie (which you can find at the end of this blog post). Many places of Madeira reminded me of my photography trip to Tenerife in 2016 which offered a similar variety of unique photo spots.
Mountain Panorama: Curral Des Freiras
The first photo spot is located in the heart of Madeira Island. The valley Curral des Freiras was founded by slaves who escaped from servitude in the 15th century. It’s surrounded by huge mountains and can only be reached by a small street. It took me around thirty minutes to reach the valley by car (from Santa Cruz). I can highly recommend the Eira do Serrado Viewpoint at the beginning of the valley. It offers a wonderful panorama over the valley with its impressive mountain peaks. Don’t hesitate to take a look downwards, the view is breathtaking.
On Top of Madeira Island: Pico Do Arieiro
One of my personal favorites is the mountain peak of Pico do Arieiro. With 1818m it’s the highest reachable location by car. If you want to climb further up, you have to take the exhausting hike to Pico Ruivo which I can recommend (5-6 hours in total). You can find several photo spots right next to the parking area. If you get up early, you can enjoy the peaceful silence over the clouds without any other people. But be aware of the strong winds and the chance of snow during the winter months.
The Cloud Forest: Fanal
If you are looking for a less famous photo spot take a look at the Cloud Forest at Fanal. The old laurel trees are the last specimens at Madeira. The forest is located on a high plateau in the north-west of the island. It is one of the best places for landscape photography: abstract trees combined with intensive green leaves and a mystique atmosphere (most of the time you are surrounded by fog). Even if you get a blue sky, its worth a shot. Take your time and enjoy the loneliness of this beautiful region!
Famous Photo Spot: Ponta de São Lourenço
If you already checked a tourist guide of Madeira Island, you will probably know this photo spot: Ponta de São Lourenço. The famous cliff scenery divides the rough north and the calm south of the island. I can recommend the early morning hours to watch the sunbeams breaking through the dark cloudscape (the weather can change really quick at this part of Madeira). A wonderful example for the beautiful contrasts in nature. Don’t skip this piece of land!
Landscape Photography: Santa Cruz
I already mentioned that the weather can change really quick at the Portuguese archipelago. Due to this you should be patient and aware of visiting some spots more than once. The last photo spot for landscape photography is located between Santa Cruz and Funchal. The coast on the south side of Madeira Island offers plenty possibilites to capture the hard rock formations in contrast to the smooth Atlantic ocean. It took me seven days to get at least one glowing sunrise, but it was totally worth it. Take a look at these impressive colors in the sky!
Drone Movie: Landscapes of Madeira Island
Last but not least: my drone movie. Lean back and enjoy the peaceful landscapes of Madeira Island.