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Best Locations for Landscape Photography on Madeira


Madeira, a picturesque island located in the Atlantic Ocean, is a haven for landscape photography enthusiasts. With its diverse landscapes and unique weather conditions, Madeira offers a year-round opportunity to capture breathtaking natural beauty. Let's explore why this Portuguese island is a top choice for landscape photographers.


Is Madeira good for photography

Madeira is a photographer's paradise! Its unique landscapes, with rugged cliffs, high mountains, and old forests, offer countless opportunities for photography.



Year-Round Photo Opportunities

Madeira's climate is mild and inviting visitors throughout the whole year, making it an ideal destination for photographers. During the summer months, the skies are typically clear and provide the perfect backdrop for sunrise and sunset shots. This clarity allows for vivid and colourful landscape photographs. This is also the best time for night sky photography.

In contrast, the winter season brings abundant rainfall to the island, resulting in the island's waterfalls coming back to life. Madeira transforms into a lush green paradise, offering a different but equally captivating perspective for photographers. The combination of lush vegetation, dramatic waterfalls, and misty forests creates a unique atmosphere that's perfect for capturing the island's enchanting beauty.



Top Photography Spots on Madeira

There are plenty of incredible photo locations on Madeira, but not all of them are a good fit for landscape photographers. Here are few of my favourite spots that won't disappoint you!



Pico do Arieiro

This mountain peak is an ideal spot for both sunrise and sunset photography. The rugged terrain and expansive views make for striking compositions. Be sure to arrive early to secure your spot, as it can get crowded during peak times. Pico do Arieiro is usually less busy during sunset. I also find it to be more interesting to photograph at Pico do Arieiro towards the west. There are few good spots to photograph the landscape on the PR1 trail, so I'd recommend you to take a 30 minutes walk up to the Stairs to Heaven and then walk your way back to the parking lot. In my opinion, the most interesting area is between the parking and stairs to heaven.




Ribeira de Janela

The coastal village of Ribeira de Janela is a prime location for sunrise photography. The rocky shores, dramatic cliffs, and the endless expanse of the ocean create an awe-inspiring setting. When showing up there in the morning, you'll surely meet other photographers, but the rocky beach there is very long and everyone will be able to compose a good photo without having other photographers in the frame. Tourists usually don't come to the beach in the early morning.



Ponta do Rosto

Another stunning sunrise location, Ponta do Rosto, boasts captivating seascapes and the soothing sound of waves crashing against the cliffs. It's a great place to capture the tranquil beauty of Madeira's coastline. The spot called "The Pin" (you can recognise it after a big white cement marker on the top of the cliff) might be the best landscape photo spot on the island. It's definitely an iconic one. There isn't too much space on the top and it's hard to squeeze in for a good composition, so it's worth to come there earlier to secure the spot before the other photographers show up.




Fanal Forest

For those who love the mystical atmosphere of spooky fog forests, Fanal is a must-visit. The best time to capture the ethereal fog is during late morning or afternoon when it rolls in, shrouding the ancient laurel trees. With the fog or not, it's always great to visit Fanal Forest to look for some unique compositions.




Miradouro do Guindaste - The Crane Viewpoint

This viewpoint offers a panoramic view of the northern coast of Madeira. It's a fantastic spot for capturing the rugged beauty of the island and the wild Atlantic Ocean. Guindaste is rather a one shot location, but it's truly a 5 star shot. It's impossible to get this place to yourself at sunrise, as local photographers often come to do some romantic photoshoots over there. This might actually end up to be a good thing as people on the cliff can be a perfect subject allowing to show the scale of this landscape.




Essential Gear for Photography on Madeira

When photographing Madeira's landscapes, it's essential to have the right gear. For photographing landscapes, I prefer using two versatile lenses, typically a 14-24mm and a 24-70mm. These lenses allow me to capture wide range of different perspectives. I found to rarely need telephoto lenses on Madeira.

Moreover, Madeira is a perfect location for drone photography. Drones provide a unique perspective, allowing you to access otherwise inaccessible locations, like hidden waterfalls and capture the island's beauty from the sky. Remember to follow local regulations and respect the environment when using a drone.


In conclusion, Madeira's diverse landscapes, favorable weather conditions throughout the year, and a variety of stunning photography locations make it an irresistible destination for landscape photographers. Whether you prefer clear summer skies or the verdant beauty of winter, Madeira's natural wonders are waiting to be captured through your lens. So, grab your camera gear and head to this enchanting island to create lasting memories through your photography.


Other Articles about Madeira you'd might like

Madeira is such an amazing place to visit, and we still can't believe we've been able to call it home for the past two years. During our stay, we explored all the best spots on the island and tried all the most exciting activities, many of them more than once! This helped us create these comprehensive guides that will help you plan your own trip to Madeira.










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