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My 10 Most Liked Photos from Madeira

During my time as a photographer in Madeira for the past 1.5 years, I've had the chance to explore even the hidden corners of the island. With ample time on my hands, I've been fortunate to capture some of Madeira's most stunning locations in their best weather.

As my beautiful adventure here comes to an end today, I won't be returning for at least a few months. So, I wanted to share with you some of my most liked images on various social platforms from my time on Madeira, without a particular order. Not all of them are my absolute favorites, though. Interestingly, some photos I love didn't receive much attention on social media, showing that sharing your work isn't always straightforward.

Nevertheless, since these are the photos that resonated the most with people, I thought you might enjoy them too. If you do, please let me know in a comment or DM on Instagram @karoltraveler or our YouTube channel.

Jardim do Mar

The name of this place literally translates to “The Garden of the Sea”. Surrounded by the sea and cloaked by the mountains, Jardim do Mar preserves the tranquillity of the old days, of which the old narrow streets and low-level houses with cute chimneys make this small cozy town an unique place to visit on Madeira.

This picture shows how good things can happen without planning. We went to Jardim do Mar that day just to see this town for the first time. When I flew my drone, the sun made the cliffs look just perfect. There was also a rainbow on the left, but I didn't share those photos because I ended to like this composition way more.

Milky Way over the Stairway to Heaven on Madeira

After a successful night of photography at Ponta do Rosto, we decided to head up to the mountains as the weather seemed again to be favourable for night photography. When we reached Pico do Arieiro, we checked where the Milky Way was positioned and realised it was slightly horizontal, not the most pleasing composition. But we quickly found a spot on the PR1 trail that lined up perfectly with the stars.

One challenge we faced was the bright lights coming from Funchal, Madeira's capital city. Although we couldn't see it with our naked eyes, when we took long exposure photos, we noticed a warm yellow glow covering the stars, which is called light pollution. Even though I tried my best to fix it in Lightroom, you can still see it on the right side of the picture.

This composite combines two images taken from the same place within one hour apart. The foreground was captured during the blue hour and the emergence of the Milky Way was shot after darkness falls.

The foreground is clearly visible thanks to a technique called long exposure, which makes nighttime photos look like they were taken during the day.

Sunset at Fanal Forest in Madeira

The weather conditions can change here quickly which can always dramatically impact the end result on the photograph. I got two cool pictures, one with a sunny Fanal tree and the other with a cloudy sky. Both are nice, but the sunlight through the tree branches gave me the feeling I wanted. Anyway, I ended up sharing both versions.

Ponta do São Lourenço

Morning at Madeira’s Bucket List Photo Spot. I’m sure, that whoever visits Madeira with a goal to photograph the landscape won’t miss this place.

It’s not pinned on google maps but it’s commonly referred as Marco or the Pin, because of the characteristic indicator at the top. It’s definitely one of my favourite places here so check it out yourself whenever you’ll be in the area 👌🏼

As we were heading there, cold rain greeted us. I'm glad we didn't turn back because the weather got better just as the sun appeared. I was concerned when the girl climbed the cliff, thinking she might spoil my shot. But, surprisingly, she made the photo more interesting. If only she knew what a cool frame I captured of her!

Sunset at Pico do Arieiro

After a few days of checking the weather forecast, I was confident that Wednesday would offer excellent conditions for photography. In the past few days, heavy rain had caused damage to some of the mountain paths on Madeira, resulting in the closure of most trails.

That day marked the first day when people were permitted to use the trails again, and it seemed like all the tourists had chosen to visit Pico do Arieiro. I couldn't capture a clean photograph during the sunset due to the unusually high number of visitors on the route. So, I waited until the blue hour when most tourists had left the area and took this shot.

My favorite waterfall on Madeira 🌿

I visited this place only once and since that time, I’ve seen many other waterfalls on Madeira, but this one still ends as my favorite and here’s why!

• It’s off the beaten path and it isn’t easily accessible. There’s no real trail so you’d have to navigate with a map to get there, what makes it a real adventure!

• Not too many people want to trouble themselves with getting there, so it’s likely you’ll have it all to yourself.

• The area around this waterfall is very open so you can wonder around to find the best composition for your photos!

• There’s one more smaller waterfall close to this one. Unfortunately, we didn’t find it when we visited it last time 😅 but that’s only another reason to go there again!

• This is a fairly big waterfall and it looks very impressive, especially after few rainy days.

Small towns of Madeira ⛰️

Each small town in Madeira has its unique style and atmosphere. Even on this little island, you hear people saying those in other towns have their own ways of eating or doing things. It highlights the various traditions and lifestyles across Madeira. I've had this shot in mind for months, but Ponta do Sol was so near my home that I kept putting it off. I'm glad I finally captured this moment.

Heaven on Madeira

This mountain constantly draws to itself. I came here countless times already and I saw these picks in various conditions. Everything from a dense fog and wind to burning sun. Never satisfied enough till that day when everything just clicked and I saw Pico do Arieiro just like from a postcard, just as I wanted to capture it from the day one.

This picture needed a lot of effort and planning. I went to Pico do Arieiro many times, just to find the right spots, and then several more times to take photos in different conditions. I checked webcams and the weather forecast every day for six months. When the weather finally looked good, I felt a bit lazy to go because we were coming back from another waterfall hike, but I'm glad, we forced ourselves to go.. The photo from that hike is also got popular and is featured in this article.

Late Spring in Fanal 🌿

Fanal is an amazing spot to find unique compositions. I always search for spots where the trees line up to frame the subject, and here's one like that. I don't personally think it's a super valuable photo, but I guess my audience enjoys the wanderlust vibe it brings, and I like it too.

A Spooky Evening in Madeira’s Fanal Forest

A classic spot in Fanal Forest. It seems my audience really enjoys Fanal. It's always busy, and I doubt anyone visiting Madeira would choose to skip it. I know photographers who, during their short stay, go to Fanal every day to capture the atmospheric fog.

Last words

It's quite interesting to note that, after spending 1.5 years on Madeira, the photos that gained attention were all taken in the last 6 months. More than that, half of the photos mentioned above were captured in just two days and 3 of them only in Fanal.

The past 18 months on Madeira have been an amazing time, during which I've learned a lot. I've encountered wonderful people, although there were also some who let me down. Many travelers, inspired by my photographs, stopped me during my photo trips. While it's great to have online appreciation, meeting and talking face to face with people who share your interests is even more meaningful.

So, if you happen to see me exploring Madeira or elsewhere, don't hesitate to say hi—I'd be very eager to meet you. Thank you, Madeira, I'll be back soon!

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