an eye for details
Photography and Hiking in Madeira
Madeira is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, west of Morocco and north of the Canary Islands,
about three and a half hours flight from Amsterdam. Madeira has a volcanic origin.This is
clearly reflected in the landscape, the high mountains, beautiful
valleys and a spectacular coast. Many hiking trails have been set out. Madeira
lends itself well to a walking holiday. The warm ocean currents around the island help to
stabilize the temperature. The temperature is pleasant the whole year
, rarely very hot or cold. At sea level summer clothing will do most time of the year.
During our stay in Madeira we stayed in a beautiful guesthouse, Casa Do Papagaio Verde. This is at
west edge of Funchal, on a hill with a beautiful view over the sea. Quiet location,
extremely hospitable, highly recommended. Most of the interesting sites are well reachable from
. Public transport is fairly well arranged. Renting a car, with a powerfull engine is a good
option. The island has steep roads so don't rent a car with a small engine.
Casa do Papagaio Verde
In madeira a trade wind blows from the north-east. Because of the high mountains, the north side of
the island is very wet. The damp
air has to cross the mountains so there is a lot of moisture in the north. There are irrigation
levadas, which transport the water from the north to the much drier
south. Along these levadas paths have been laid to support the maintenance.
Beautiful walks can be made on these paths. I myself hiked the levada
do rei in the proximity of Sao Jorge and Rabacal, the levada
do 25 fontes that can easily be combined with the levada do Risco. These are a bit difficult
if you do not have a good physical condition, but the toughest part is the way up from
the start of the walk back to the parking lot.
In the far east of Madeira is Ponta de Sao Lourenco, a fairly bare rocky peninsula. The coast is
whimsical, which can produce beautiful images. A walk has been set out here which can be done with
an average condition.
In several places, especially in northern part of Madeira, are laurel forests. I have been to one
of these forests in the area of Fanal
in the mountains above Ribeira da Janela. Problem is that
you are in the clouds, so that the visibility is minimal. So you can stand next to the most
landscapes without seeing them. So explore the area on a clear
day and record the interesting places in a GPS system (I use maps.me).
The laurel forests (laurisilva) are very photogenic in both fog and clear weather. In the case of
fog, it looks like you are part of a
fairy-tale. The solitary trees can be captured beautifully against the back drop formed by the
Think about your clothes, it is cold and very humid.
The trade winds arrive at the north coast of Madeira. Here the sea is often rough. This combined
with the steep slopes rising out of the sea
provides beautiful subjects for the landscape photographer.
The north coast is particularly beautiful around Seixal, Ribeira da Janela and Ponte de Sao Jorge.
Steep coasts, rocks in the sea and deserted
harbors. At Sao Jorge you can make a nice walk along part of the coast.
At Cabo Girao on the south coast a glass platform has been built that protrudes above an abyss.
Here You have a nice view
along the south coast. Sunsets can be photographed from here. I can imagine
that further to the west, for example in Ponta do Sol you have better oportunities
to capture the sunset. I did not do that because I did not like the idea of driving back home
through the hills after sunset.