Wondering what amazing scenery you could see if traveling to Madeira, Portugal?
Below is my selection of 40 Madeira pictures to show you the best landscapes on the islands:
- Coastal landscapes of Madeira
- Mountain scenery
- Cities and gardens
- And more!!!
The island is so magnificent that it is difficult to only pick 40, but I hope those photos of Madeiras will inspire you to visit!
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#1 - Miradouro de Sao Cristovao - North coast landscape of Madeira
This picture gives you a splendid view of what Madeira is about - pebble beach, impressive cliffs, and lush valleys... the only thing missing are the jagged mountains we will see in other pictures. This is the view from Miradouro de Sao Cristovao on the North shore.
#2 - Ponta de São Lourenço - volcanic wonders of Madeira
One of the most popular hikes is on the dragon tail of Madeira: Ponta de São Lourenço. It is a bare land with impressive cliffs where you can really admire the volcanic nature of the island of Madeira. You can walk just a little or all the way to a viewpoint towards the islands at the end of the peninsula.
#3 - Miradouro da Terra Grande - my favorite inland viewpoint in Madeira
My favorite road on Madeira is ER228 between Sao Vicente and Ribeira Brava (via the mountains, not via the tunnel). It offers many magnificent viewpoints over the lush valleys. One of my favorite is Miradouro da Terra Grande. This photo is only part of the view and does not do it justice.
#4 - Enchanting levada walks - typical photo of Madeira
If you enjoy hiking, there are many walks along "levadas". These are traditional irrigation system which were built to bring the water from the mountains to the plantations. Many trees and magical nature often surround them. You will see many pictures with those paths next to canals and covered with trees.
#5 - Madeira landscape between mountains and sea
Wherever you are on the island, you are never far from the mountain tops and never far from the sea. This is a view from the hike between Pico do Arieiro and Pico Ruivo, looking at the Ninho da Manta viewpoint. As you can see, the sun is rising and reflecting on both the sea and the sea of clouds.
#6 - Pico do Arieiro - Fascinating Madeira scenery
Talking about Pico do Arieiro, this is one of the most amazing landscape in Madeira, accessible by car.
The road will take you all the way to the observatory and here you can just have a look from the viewpoint or start walking on one of the hiking paths for magnificent views of the steep mountains, jagged peaks and lush valleys below.
See my article about Pico do Arieiro.
#7 - Camara de Lobos - charming Madeira Island picture
Back to the South coast, the most famous village is Camara de Lobos. It is considered the most charming and I agree. Promenades that offer different views surround the tiny fishing port with colorful boats. It is worth spending half a day here, soaking in the atmosphere and maybe enjoying a delicious lunch with fresh fish.
#8 - Fanal Forest... to let your imagination run wild
For most photographers visiting Madeira, the Fanal Forest is the most epic location, especially where it is in the fog, creating a mystical effect.
Well, it was with a blue sky every time I visited, but those ancient trees remain fascinating. Look at them from various angles and your imagination will run wild.
#9 - Charming street of Funchal in picture
The old center of Funchal is full of small museums and beautiful alleys with trees creating arches.
There is a good relax vibe with plenty of restaurants.
#10 - Best Madeira photo spot for sunrise
I think your trip to Madeira deserves at least one early morning. Make sure to climb on top of the mountains (either to Pico Arieiro or to the hike to Pico Ruivo) for a chance to see the sun rising above a sea of clouds. In my opinion, those are the best photos spots in Madeira for sunrise.
It is a magical moment, every time!
All the amazing Madeira Photo spots within this article are included in my eBook to help you plan a wonderful trip around the island!
Plan your perfect trip around Madeira!
#11 - Weeping walls (25 Fontes waterfall)
On many of the hikes in Madeira, you walk along the steep cliffs of mountains. They are often covered in moss and vegetation with water running along them.
At the 25 Fontes walk from Rabaçal, the end journey is a small lagoon with a wall full of tiny waterfalls crying on the wall. The colors are splendid.
#12 - Cloudy pictures of Madeira
The clouds are an integral part of the landscapes of Madeira. They come and go and get stuck on the mountain peaks.
You can see the summits appearing and disappearing and even see waterfalls of clouds are they sneak above a mountain pass.
#13 - Images of flowers of Madeira - Funchal Botanical garden
Madeira is also famous for its vegetation and flowers. There are several gardens to be visited, especially around Funchal.
One of the most photographed is the flower pattern at the Botanical Garden. I must admit that, even though it was not my favorite garden, this area was really stunning, with the town in the background.
#14 - Ribeira da Janela
Who does not love some rock formations with crashing waves around?
Ribeira da Janela is often overlooked, as people head to the famous pools of Porto Moniz, but just 5min before you should really stop. But it is one of the hidden gems, in my opinion.
Plus, there is a viewpoint accessible by a staircase cut in the cliff!
#15 and #16 - Penha de Aguia from all angles
Penha de Aguia is one of the most famous rocks on the island. It is quite an impressive feature, rising to 590m (1935ft) right by the water.
As valleys and mountains surround it, you can find many viewpoints with different perspectives on it. Above are my 2 favorites. You can find all of them in my eBook.
#17 - Porto Moniz Natural Pools
That was quite an experience.
Here, leave the camera behind, get in your swimsuit and go enjoy a fantastic swimming experience in Porto Moniz or other places.
The lava rocks have created natural pools that the sea comes filling in.
Plus, you get a view of the island on one side, the fort on another, and the terrace plantations on a third! The best natural pools in Madeira (see article).
#18 - Risco waterfall - Hiking image of Madeira
There are several waterfalls in Madeira. Some of them are very tall.
They can be quite thin in Summer, but the hike is still worth it, in my opinion.
In the picture above, you can see the last hundreds meters of the walk towards the Risco waterfall.
#19 - Steep cliffs at Achadas da Cruz
The most famous cliffs in Madeira are in Cabo Girao. But the skywalk was boring in my experience.
If you want a big thrill, take the Achada da Cruz cable car. It is the steepest in Europe. It is quite impressive! Plus, at the bottom, you can enjoy a pleasant walk at the foot of massive cliffs.
Learn more on my article about the best cable cars in Madeira.
Need to rent a car in Madeira?
- Compare car rental prices on Discovercars.com - one of the best customer-rated comparison sites!
- Choose the car and company you prefer (remember you need enough power for the steep roads)
- Consider their full coverage option - I always take it for peace of mind!
- Book early to have a large choice of vehicles!
#20 - Colorful and sunny Ponta do Sol
One of the most photographed towns in Madeira is Ponta do Sol. This is because of the colorful buildings on the seafront and the great perspective on the path to the bridge.
#21 - Seeing the Madeira landscapes from the sea with dolphins
Want to appreciate more the landscapes of Madeira? Jump on a boat and head out to sea to find dolphins and whales.
And, even if you don't find them, you will see the magnificent cliffs and mountains of Madeira with some distance.
Check out the various boat tour options
#22 - Jagged mountain scenery in Madeira
Some of my favorite Madeira scenery is from the hikes at top of the mountains. Those peaks are stunning.
Above is one of the view on the path from Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo, the best hike in Madeira (see my list including shorter alternatives). This is a long and difficult hike, but you can do only a portion and turn around. You will already get a lot of fantastic photo opportunities.
#23 - The deep Valley of the Nuns (Curral das Freiras)
Close to Funchal is one of the most impressive valleys I have seen.
What is great about Madeira is that they are setting up viewpoints everywhere for us to be able to admire the best landscapes.
At Curral das Freiras, also known as Valley of the nuns, the best part is to drive up to those viewpoints to see how deep and steep the valley is.
#24 - View of Paul do Mar
On the South shore, it is fun to see the little village dotting the coastline, wherever there is a tiny bit of flatter land at the bottom of the cliffs.
Above is a view of Paul do Mar, for example.
#25 - And a little history...
Most of my images from Madeira are about nature, but once in a while, you can find an interesting structure.
Above is the Royal Path at Ponta do Sol. This vaulted bridge dates back to the mid-19th century.
#26 - Magical gardens of Madeira (Monte Palace)
As I wrote earlier, Funchal is home to magnificent gardens. My favorite is the Monte Palace Garden.
The vegetation here is so lush. Plus, it is full of tiles, sculptures, water features, structure... that make the whole place very photogenic.
#27 - Balcony with a view
Most of my photos are either from the top of the mountains or from the coast.
This is mid way through the valley. A delightful walk (Verada dos Balcoes) takes you to a balcony. For here, you can admire the sharp peaks Pico do Ariero and Pico Ruivo on the side, and the valley plunging to the sea on the other.
#28 - Veu da Noiva
This is one of the most famous viewpoints in Madeira. It offers a superb view of a waterfall flowing out of the cliffs into the sea.
It is called Veu da Noiva and is an easy stop on the North shore towards Porto Moniz.
#29 - Playing with clouds to photograph Madeira
To take pictures of the Madeiran landscapes, you will play with clouds. The light changes constantly. One valley can be in the sun and the next in the clouds.
This makes each day even more special.
#30 - Crazy cliff gardens - here at Cabo Girao
I've already talked about the villages set up wherever there is a little flat land at the bottom of the cliffs. Well, when there is not enough for a village, you will still find something: gardens. And those are accessible from steep hiking paths or via cable cars. It is quite impressive to see. No wasted space.
Above is the red cable car of Cabo Girao and its gardens.
Learn more in my Cabo Girao article.
Where to stay in Madeira?
- For a choice of restaurants and if you don't rent a car - See best rated accommodations in Funchal
- For luxury resorts, check out the Lido area in Funchal
- For a sandy beach - See best rated accommodations in Machico
- For a quiet village in beautiful scenery - See best rated accommodations in Porto da Cruz
- For a practical location to explore the island - See best rated accommodations in Ribeira Brava
- To enjoy the natural pools - See best rated accommodations in Porto Moniz
More tips on my article about where to stay in Madeira
#31 - Hidden fishermen houses
This is a hidden gem. I hesitate to share it, but I guess the 700 steps (including 500 steep ones in a row) will deter many people, anyway.
Calhau da Lapa is a hidden beach with small troglodyte cabins owned by fishermen.
The clear water, the volcanic features in the cliffs, the cabins and the waterfall... this place is impressive.
#32 - Machico town landscape in Madeira
I am not a big fan of towns. I prefer nature.
But this viewpoint is a wonderful mix of both. I took this Madeira photo from Miradouro Francisco Alvares Nobrega.
I love the contrast of the orange roofs with the greenery of the surrounding hills.
#33 - Tunnel adventures
Madeira is like "Gruyère" as we would say in French (it is a cheese with many holes).
They have built many tunnels either for driving or for the "Levadas" irrigation systems.
On the Caldeirao Verde hike, for example, you walk through 5 of them. Some are long and dark, some shorter. But this exit was the most photogenic.
#34 - A question of perspective
Wherever you are, you can never miss the location of Pico do Arieiro because of the giant while astronomy dome.
But as I walked back to it, I thought it looked like a giant golf ball in the middle of nature. It is all a question of perspective.
#35 - Sled ride - Typical Madeira Portugal picture
This is a typical Madeira picture to get. You, inside a traditional sled ride, wondering if you are going slam into a wall or if your pilot will be able to take the turn...
#36 - Caldeirao Verde waterfall
Another one of those tall waterfalls... at the end of a long walk.
#37 - Ribeira Brava Church
You don't visit Madeira for the architecture... even the forts are not really impressive.
But still you can find a few charing little churches in the towns and villages. Some can be quite photogenic. Here in Ribeira Brava.
#38 - Santana traditional houses
No Madeira picture article is complete without a shot of traditional Santana houses. They are kind of the mascot of the island. You can also see some example in the Monte Palace Tropical garden and the botanical garden. But in Santana, where they were built, you can see many of them in a park and learn more about the history of Madeira.
#39 - Seixal natural pools and lava arch
I could not take good pictures of the Seixal natural pools and the lava rock arch, but I still wanted to include the place here, because it is quite a fantastic scenery.
Imagine the black lava rock, the waves crashing, the pools filled with clear water, the green cliffs all around... and the sun rising...
#40 - Rocha do Navio and its cable car - my favorite coastal viewpoint
And we finish with my favorite coastal viewpoint and my favorite cable car in Madeira. It is at Rocha do Navio, near Santana;
I love the shape of the cliffs, the gardens, the beach, the position of the cable car, the many waterfalls on the cliffs and, in the distance, the tail of Madeira Ponta do Sao Louranço.
Want to see more of the best Madeira has to offer?
- Where to stay in Madeira - best areas - read article
- 42 Madeira travel tips to plan an unforgettable trip - read article
- The 35 best things to do in Madeira - read article
- The 7 cable cars of Madeira and their views - read article
- The 7 best hikes and levada walks in Madeira - read article
- All you need to know to rent a car and drive in Madeira - read article
- The 4 Madeira Natural Pools (and 6 coastal pool alternatives) - read article
- The 7 best boats tours in Madeira - read article
- The 18 best beaches in Madeira - read article
Planning a trip to Madeira?
Check out my travel guide to help you plan:
Plan your perfect trip around Madeira!
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