Updated: Jan 20
Madeira, also known as the "floating garden in the Atlantic," is a true paradise for nature lovers and photographers. From its towering cliffs to its lush forests and cascading waterfalls, the island is home to some of the most breathtaking viewpoints in the world. In this guide, we will take you on a journey to discover the best viewpoints on Madeira Island.
From the famous Cabo Girão Skywalk to hidden gems like the Achadas da Cruz, we'll show you where to go to capture the perfect shot. Whether you're a professional photographer or an amateur, this guide will help you plan your next photography adventure on Madeira.
So pack your camera and let's get started!
São Vicente chapel
One of the most picturesque spots in São Vicente is the charming chapel perched on a hill overlooking the breathtaking São Vicente valley. Known as the Capelinha de Nossa Senhora de Fátima, this chapel can only be accessed by climbing a set of stairs for 5-10 minutes.
However, the stunning views from the top are well worth the effort. Early in the morning, the valley is bathed in a magical golden light that creates a truly enchanting scene. If you're a drone enthusiast, this is the perfect spot to capture some unique and stunning aerial shots of the valley. This chapel is definitely one of our favorite photography spots on Madeira Island!
Faial Old Bridge
The Faial old bridge is a hidden gem located in Madeira. This bridge is not often seen on Google Maps as it's not an official spot, but it's definitely a location worth visiting for photographers. The bridge and its surroundings look like a movie scene, especially when captured with a drone. The bridge is located along the ER 103 in Faial, at the entrance of the road towards Central Eléctrica da Fajã da Nogueira.
If you're coming from Miradouro do Cabouco, you can see the bridge in front of you. The fog that often surrounds the bridge gives the area a truly mystical and magical feel. This location is particularly beautiful when captured by a drone, so bring your drone and take some truly breathtaking pictures.
São Vicente Road Sea Side
For those looking for a unique and picturesque spot to capture the beauty of Madeira's rugged landscape, the last stretch of the ER101 road from Seixal towards the São Vicente valley is a must-see location. Here, you will find a convenient parking spot near a waterfall, from where you can take a photo of the road, as well as the impressive mountain backdrop.
The best time to visit this spot is early in the morning, when there is less traffic on the road, allowing you to take a photo without any interruptions. The combination of the winding road, the lush green mountains and the vast ocean in the background makes this spot one of the most photogenic locations on the island.
Bica da Cana Viewpoint
One of our sunrise highlights: the Bica da Cana viewpoint is one of the most spectacular sunrise spots on Madeira Island. Located at an elevation of 1,560 meters above sea level, this viewpoint offers breathtaking views of the island's highest peaks and the São Vicente valley below. On a clear day, the panoramic views are truly breathtaking, but even on days with low-hanging clouds, the viewpoint is mesmerizing and will leave you in awe. Whether you're a professional photographer or just someone looking to capture the beauty of Madeira, Bica da Cana is a must-visit location.
The viewpoint is situated on the ER101 road and is easily accessible. The best time to visit is early morning, so make sure to plan your trip accordingly. And don't forget to bring your camera, this is one of the best photo spots in Madeira!
Agua D’Alto waterfall
The Agua D'Alto waterfall in Faial is a hidden gem that is definitely worth visiting. This waterfall is 150 meters high and flows into a shallow pool. The waterfall is located in a green canyon and is best viewed in the morning with clear skies. It can be a bit difficult to find, but the effort is well worth it. It's a great spot for photographers and drone enthusiasts, as there are many angles to capture the waterfall from. The canyon can have weak signal, so be sure to fly your drone from the parking lot. This waterfall is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Madeira, and it's perfect for capturing stunning images.
Pico do Arieiro Photospots
The most famous viewpoint in Madeira is without a doubt Pico do Arieiro. Therefore it’s also one of the most photographed photo spots in Madeira. The most famous viewpoint in Madeira is without a doubt Pico do Arieiro.
Therefore it’s also one of the most photographed photo spots in Madeira. The reason why it’s so popular is because it’s one of the easiest accessible but also most amazing viewpoints in Madeira. After a 30 minute drive from Funchal you are on 1818 meters height which is the third highest peak of Madeira.
If you’re lucky, you will be above the clouds what makes Pico do Arieiro so unique. You only have to park your car and walk for 5 minutes to get to some of the most amazing photo spots in Madeira.
The best time (of course..) to go to Pico do Arieiro is with sunrise and sunset. As with every sunrise mission I would advise you to arrive at the viewpoint about 20 minutes before sunset so you can enjoy the beautiful pre sunset colors, reserve your photo spot and set up your gear.
Miradouro do Guindaste - Crane Viewpoint
The Crane viewpoint, also known as Miradouro do Guindaste, is a must-visit spot for photographers and Instagram enthusiasts alike. Located on the northern part of Madeira island, this viewpoint offers panoramic views of the rugged cliffs and the Penha D’Águia rock of Porto da Cruz. With its stunning coastal views, this spot is particularly magical during sunrise. The unique headland provides a great point of interest for photographers and is a great alternative to watch the sunrise if the mountain tops are too cloudy.
The Fanal Forest in Madeira is a truly magical place that has attracted photographers from all over the world. This 600-year-old laurisilva forest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its ecological importance and beauty. The forest is particularly photogenic when there is fog, as it can make the forest look chaotic without it.
The forest becomes mystical and creates a feeling of being in a movie scene. The amount of fog has a big impact on the type of pictures you can create, and photographers often have to return to the forest multiple times to get the perfect conditions.
Vereda Ponta de São Lourenço
If you're looking for a unique and rugged landscape, then Vereda Ponta da São Lourenço is definitely worth a visit. This trail offers a diverse range of photo opportunities, from the tall cliffs and powerful ocean waves to the raw and earthy terrain. It's a great option for outdoor enthusiasts and hikers looking for a different kind of landscape compared to the lush greenery found elsewhere on the island.
The trail is well-maintained and easy to navigate, making it accessible to photographers of all levels. Keep in mind that the trail is not very long, but it offers a great opportunity to capture some truly stunning shots.
Stairs to heaven Pico do Arieiro
The Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo trail offers an impressive staircase that almost looks like a path to heaven when viewed from the bottom. The ever-changing weather in the mountains provides the opportunity for a unique photo every time. Low hanging clouds can create a mystical atmosphere, while clouds rolling over the ridge can add a wild and dramatic feel to the scene. This spot is a must-see for photographers visiting Madeira.
The Pico Ruivo Summit
The Pico Ruivo summit, the highest peak of Madeira, is a must-see destination for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike. With its incredible mountain range views, it's the perfect place to capture stunning images from above using a drone. The peak offers several viewpoints with different perspectives, and the trail leading to the summit is also home to many other photogenic spots.
There are four different trails to reach the summit, the easiest being the 30-minute hike from Achada do Teixeira and the most popular one being the hike from Pico do Ariero, both offering unique views and photo opportunities.
Continuing on the trail, there is a particularly striking spot close to the summit that is home to a group of dead trees. These trees provide a unique and eerie atmosphere during sunrise and sunset, and the area is especially photogenic when approached from Achada do Teixeira. Famous photographers such as Daniel Kordan and Albert Dros have captured this landscape in a beautiful and fine art way.
Garganta Funda waterfall viewpoint
The Garganta Funda waterfall viewpoint, located in Ponta do Pargo, is one of the most picturesque natural attractions on Madeira Island. The waterfall's unique kettle-shaped rock formation and breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean make it a popular spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts. It's important to note that the waterfall may not have water flowing during the summer months, as it only picks up after significant rainfall. This viewpoint is also a great spot to fly a drone for a bird's eye view or capture with a traditional camera.
Eira do Serrado - Curral das Freiras Viewpoint
Eira do Serrado is a must-see viewpoint for anyone visiting Madeira. The panoramic views of the Curral das Freiras valley and the majestic central massif mountains are truly breathtaking. The viewpoint is easily accessible from the parking lot, with only a short 5-minute walk.
It's also wheelchair-friendly, with an equal floor level. Visitors can also enjoy the nearby hotel and restaurant at Estalagem Eira do Serrado. It's a great spot for landscape photography, and making time-lapse videos of the passing clouds. Don't miss out on this spectacular viewpoint when visiting Madeira.
Ribeira da Janela - Ilhéus da Janela
Ilhéus da Janela is a must-see spot for photography enthusiasts visiting Madeira. These two unique rock formations, located just a stone's throw from the coast in the north of the island, offer a breathtaking backdrop for capturing stunning shots. The best time to visit is during the summer months, when the sun rises in the east and illuminates the rocks in a beautiful golden light. However, during the winter months, the sun disappears behind the mountains, making it less favorable to photograph. But don't let that discourage you, Ilhéus da Janela is a great spot for long exposure photography and simply enjoying a beautiful sunrise.
Levada do Caldeirão Verde
The Levada do Caldeirão Verde hike is a must-see for nature and photography enthusiasts visiting Madeira. This levada walk offers a beautiful combination of cascading waterfalls and lush green jungle surroundings, making it the perfect spot for capturing breathtaking photos.
One of the most popular and beautiful levada walks on the island, the Caldeirão Verde trail is characterized by the many waterfalls that can be seen along the way, as well as the verdant, tropical scenery.
The total distance of this hike is 12 kilometers and it's an out and back trail, with an incline of only 100 meters, making it accessible for all ages. This levada walk offers some of the best valley views and waterfalls on the island of Madeira, providing an abundance of opportunities for photography. Don't miss out on this beautiful natural wonder when visiting Madeira.
Seixal beach is one of the most beautiful and unique beaches in Madeira, offering a great spot for beachgoers, photographers, and surfers. With its natural black sand and the impressive backdrop of green cliffs, as well as a waterfall in the distance that pours into the ocean, it offers a perfect setting for capturing dramatic ocean landscapes. With great conditions for learning surfing and being a perfect spot to watch and shoot sunrise, Seixal beach is definitely a must-visit for anyone visiting Madeira.
Veu da Noiva waterfall viewpoint
At the Véu da Noiva waterfall viewpoint, visitors can witness the stunning beauty of the waterfall cascading down the mountain and into the Atlantic Ocean. Known as the "Bride's Veil," this waterfall is a must-see for any photographer or nature lover visiting Madeira. The viewpoint is easily accessible from the road and is even wheelchair-friendly. This location can also be combined with a visit to Seixal beach and the Seixal Natural Pools for an even more comprehensive experience.
The Balcões viewpoint
The Balcões viewpoint, located on the Vereda dos Balcões hike, is a breathtaking spot that offers panoramic views of the Ribeira da Metade valley, the island's central mountain range, and the Atlantic Ocean. The hike is a short but beautiful walk through a fairytale-like forest, and on a clear day, you will be rewarded with an incredible view of the highest peaks of Madeira. The viewpoint is known for its perspective, which looks straight up to the impressive mountains and down into the valley. The viewpoint can be a bit weather-dependent, so it's best to plan multiple visits to ensure the best possible view.
Rocho da Navio - Quinta do Furao - viewpoint
Located at the beautiful hotel Quinta do Furão in Santana, this viewpoint offers a unique and breathtaking view of a waterfall cascading down a cliff into the ocean. This viewpoint is one of only two in Madeira that offer this type of perspective, with the other being Miradouro do Veu da Noiva. The hotel Quinta do Furão, known for its authenticity and charm, provides free access to this viewpoint for the public. With its northeast facing location, Rocho da Navio is also a great spot to catch a sunrise, making it a prime location on any list of the best sunrise viewpoints in Madeira. Whether you're using a drone or a traditional camera, the vast cliff and ocean views can be captured with ease.
Cabo Girao Skywalk
Cabo Girão Skywalk is a must-see destination for visitors to Madeira. Located just 20 minutes from Funchal, the skywalk sits at 580 meters above sea level and offers breathtaking views of the sea and cliffs below.
The glass walkway provides an incredible perspective of the crashing waves and cliffs, as well as the city of Funchal. It's also a great place to catch a sunset. While it may not be one of the most unique or photogenic spots on the island, it's definitely worth a visit for the views alone. Drone enthusiasts will also find plenty of opportunities for unique and dramatic footage.
Levada das 25 Fontes
The Levada das 25 Fontes is a popular hiking trail that takes you through the beautiful Madeira countryside, passing by a variety of different waterfalls and streams. The trail is relatively easy, making it accessible for hikers of all skill levels. Along the way, you will be surrounded by lush green vegetation and beautiful landscapes that are perfect for photography.
The trail is best explored in the winter months, when the waterfalls are at their most impressive. Keep in mind that the trail can get quite muddy, so make sure to wear appropriate footwear.
Cascata dos Anjos
The Cascata dos Anjos, also known as the Angels waterfall, is a unique and picturesque waterfall located in the town of Ponta do Sol on the island of Madeira. The waterfall is located on the old coastal road and flows directly out of the cliffs and onto the street below.
This makes it a one-of-a-kind photo opportunity, as you can even drive your car underneath it. However, it is important to be cautious while doing so. The best time to visit this spot is during sunset, as the water droplets will absorb the golden glow and add an extra touch of magic to your photographs. The Cascata dos Anjos is definitely one of the more unique photo spots on the island of Madeira and should not be missed.
Achadas da Cruz
Achadas da Cruz is a hidden gem located on the west coast of Madeira. The small village of Fajã da Quebrada Nova is uninhabited and can only be accessed by cable car or by foot. This remote location offers stunning views of the ocean and towering cliffs, making it a perfect spot for sunset photography. While it may require some effort to reach, the stunning views and unique location make it a rewarding destination for photographers looking for hidden gems on the island.
São Cristovão viewpoint
São Cristovão viewpoint is located in the parish of Boaventura. This viewpoint offers stunning views of the north coast and the town of Ponta Delgada. It's a great spot to take in the beauty of Madeira's rugged coastline and to capture some truly breathtaking photos.
With its panoramic views and easy accessibility, it's a must-see location for any photographer visiting the island. The location is perfect to capture the sunset and sunrise with the perfect lighting on the sea and the coast. The viewpoint is easily accessible by car and offers ample parking space. It's a great spot to take in the beauty of Madeira's rugged coastline and to capture some truly breathtaking photos.
Farol da Ponta do Pargo - Ponta do Pargo lighthouse sunset viewpoint
Located on the far western point of Madeira Island you will find Ponta do Pargo and the lighthouse. Situated on a 300 meters high cliff above sea level, this viewpoint is a fantastic sunset spot. It is a pretty well known spot and very easy to access. With unobstructed ocean views you can see the sun setting in the horizon on a clear day. Ponta do Pargo viewpoint is situated along the rugged coastline approximately two kilometres outside the town of Ponta do Pargo. There are no seats around so bring a towel if you want to sit down to enjoy the sunset. After watching the sunset at Ponta do Pargo, I highly recommend to have dinner at O’Forno in Ponta do Pargo
Penha D' Águia viewpoint
The Penha d'Águia Sunrise viewpoint is a must-see for any photography enthusiast visiting Madeira. The hike up to the viewpoint is steep, but the effort is well worth it for the breathtaking views of the east coast and the town of Porto da Cruz.
Once you reach the summit, take the middle trail for the best vantage point. The trail continues further towards the coast, but the viewpoint at the top offers some of the best views on the island. It's a great spot for capturing the stunning beauty of Madeira's rugged coastline and the power of the Atlantic Ocean. Not easy to find though. Guide needed? www.instagram.com/madeira_hiking
Funchal Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens of Madeira, dating back to 1881, are a must-see for nature lovers and photographers alike. The gardens, which can only be accessed by cable car, boast a collection of over 2500 exotic plants from all corners of the globe, spanning across five different areas.
The views from the gardens are breathtaking, offering panoramic views of Funchal and the Atlantic Ocean. There are numerous photographic opportunities scattered throughout the gardens, from picturesque walking paths to stunning floral displays. Visitors can take the cable car up to Monte from Funchal or drive or take a bus to the cable car station for access to the Botanical Gardens. This beautiful estate is well worth a visit.