Madeira. The Island of Eternal Spring
Madeira drew my attention when we were planning our sailing adventure. Saturated green color, beautiful views and spring-like weather were inviting me and a short trip to Azores only encouraged me to put it high on the bucket list. Once the sailing trip was over I was sure that I need to visit it.
For the past two years I’ve been suffering from some kind of “photography burnout”. During the gap year we’ve sailed to some of the most beautiful coasts of Europe. Despite that my camera mostly stayed either in my backpack or on the boat. Except for some short periods (like a trip to Azory or wintertime in Poland) I simply couldn’t find inspiration. And it bothered me, so I kept watching youtube videos, reading articles and books, trying some other genres and - as most photographers - looking at new gear. I came to a conclusion that forcing myself to take photos is not going to take me anywhere. I decided to wait and hope that the inspiration will come back eventually.
Because of that the trip to Madeira was anything but a photography trip. Unlike my previous travels, I didn’t create a detailed map of the best viewpoints, didn’t pack my drone and had absolutely no intention to wake up every day three hours before sunrise. I took my camera, two lenses, a tripod and a few filters (turned out I didn’t really need them). I decided that coming back with nice photos will be a nice surprise, but coming back without them will not be a disappointment.
Browsing the photos after coming back home I am really surprised with the photos I’ve taken. Jola certainly contributed to this success, by chasing me to watch sunsets. We were lucky already on the second day of the trip. The sunset was not only beautiful, but we were also in a perfect spot. Starting a trip like that gives a lot of positive energy. Let me show you some of the photos I’ve taken.
It was my third visit to Lisbon. In 2018 I spent a few days here during my first trip to Portugal. In 2020 we got stuck here for two weeks during a storm and we had a chance to do some sightseeing. I really like this city, especially for its location on hills, by Tagus River and at the Atlantic coast.
After a transfer in Lisbon we flew 1000km above the Atlantic and we arrived in Madeira. Encouraged by perfect weather we immediately went for a hike. Madeira is covered by a network of levadas (irrigation canals that transport water, mostly from the north of the island to the south). Hiking trails were marked out along some of them, crossing mountains, laurel forests and tunnels.
The Fanal Forest
Fanal Forest is one of the most popular spots on the island. It looks like straight from a fantasy book, with old twisted trees, open hills and everlasting fog.
The cliffs in Madeira are among the highest in the world, reaching up to almost 500 meters. The island is a paradise for landscape photographers, offering countless viewpoints and majestic vistas. My favorite hiking trail was PR8 to Ponta de Sao Lourenco, passing through a rocky coast in the eastern part of the island.
We had a morning ritual: every day we would wake up and check online cameras. The highest parts of the island are often hidden in the clouds, but from time to time a picturesque phenomenon called inversion happens and the peaks are above the clouds. After one of the hikes we saw on the cameras that it's happening. We drove to a parking lot close to Pico Ruivo (the highest peak of Madeira) and after just an hour we were at the top.
I mentioned in the beginning that I wasn’t expecting to bring many photos from this trip. Using my camera a lot for the first time in a while felt really good. Madeira is definitely a place worth visiting, with a great view waiting around every corner.
If you would like to see more photos, feel free to follow me on Instagram where I regularly publish new pictures.