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Madeira - An Island of Mystique

24th - 29th October, 2024 - with Paul Gallagher FRPS and Michael Pilkington FRPS - Madeira - £2,250.00 (£450.00 Deposit) - Last Places

The aquamarine seas of Madeira are pristine and massive swells from the Atlantic create huge waves that crash at the base of the cliffs and onto its beaches. You are never far from the ocean in Madeira and the ancient villages can be seen perched atop the cliffs and the houses are often painted pure white with orange tiled roofs. Inland, this island boasts some of the most ecologically diverse woodlands and forests in Europe. This is a photography tour that offers so many different opportunities.

Madeira is a region of Por­tu­gal and an island 520 kilo­me­tres west of Moroc­co and is often referred to as the Hawaii of Europe. It is an island of giant sea cliffs that rise from the crash­ing waves of the Atlantic Ocean in which it is sit­u­at­ed. The high­est sea cliff in Europe can be found here which tow­ers 570 metres above the sea and the view over Fun­chal, Madeira’s cap­i­tal is quite stag­ger­ing. Madeira was once a vol­canic island, the evi­dence of which is lit­tered through­out its land­scape with lava flows lead­ing out to the coast and the Ribeira da Janela sea stacks sim­i­lar to those found in Vik on the coast of Ice­land. Also, like Ice­land, black sand beach­es can be found in small bays at the base of the cliffs like the beau­ti­ful beach at Seix­al in the north.

The aqua­ma­rine seas of Madeira are pris­tine and mas­sive swells from the Atlantic cre­ate huge waves that crash at the base of the cliffs and onto its beach­es. You are nev­er far from the ocean in Madeira and the ancient vil­lages can be seen perched atop the cliffs and the hous­es are often paint­ed pure white with orange tiled roofs. Inland, this island boasts some of the most eco­log­i­cal­ly diverse wood­lands and forests in Europe. As you dri­ve through the many moun­tain pass­es that wend their way into the moun­tains through forests of Euca­lyp­tus trees, the aro­ma is incred­i­ble. We will take the path through the lush green forests fol­low­ing the Lav­er­a­do do Caldeirao Verde which resem­bles a trop­i­cal land­scape and leads to a beau­ti­ful water­fall that gen­tly cas­cades over the fern cov­ered rock face into a gin clear pool.

In the north west of the island is Fanal For­est. This is an ancient lau­rel for­est with gnarled and twist­ed trees that date back 500 years and is now recog­nised as a UNESCO World her­itage Site. What makes these trees even more mys­ti­cal is dur­ing this time of year mists rise from the sea below, gra­cious­ly trav­el up the val­leys and enter the wood­land which is a sight to behold. It real­ly does become a fairy tale land­scape. This is cer­tain­ly a loca­tion where we will be spend­ing some time.

The moun­tains of Madeira serve as a com­plete con­trast to pho­tograph­ing at the coast. The high­est moun­tain, Pico Rui­vo stands at just under 1900 metres above sea lev­el. Luck­i­ly, there are many roads that lead to the moun­tain tops, but we will be walk­ing along some of the paths to expe­ri­ence the stun­ning views over the crag­gy ridges of and deep into the val­leys below. We will be vis­it­ing many view­points dur­ing our time in Madeira such as Pico do Areeiro, Bal­coes and the most east­er­ly point on the island, Pon­ta de Sao Lau­ren­co. Once again, clouds and mists often roll in from the sea mak­ing this a mag­i­cal place and trans­form­ing the views.

This is a tour that will allow you to expe­ri­ence the true Por­tuguese cul­ture from small moun­tain vil­lages with their tiny cafes where the friend­ly locals drink cof­fee and play cards, along with the many thou­sands of ter­races that have been carved out of the steep hill­sides har­ness­ing every avail­able pock­et of land that can be cul­ti­vat­ed, each with their own stone hut. 

In Novem­ber the aver­age tem­per­a­ture hov­ers around 20 degrees so if you want to escape the onset of win­ter in the UK, then this is cer­tain­ly the place to be. The rich vari­ety of land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy is sec­ond to none and we will be based in the vil­lage of Sao Vicente on the north coast which serves as a cen­tral loca­tion to all the places we intend to visit. 

6 Days

2 leaders with a maximum of 8 participants

Easy to Moderate. Some hill walking to get to some of the views is required but optional.

Estalagem do Vale

View Accommodation

The price includes extensive one to one tuition during the workshop, accommodation (on a bed and breakfast basis). No single occupancy supplement. Travel during the workshop. Entrance Fees where applicable.

Travel to and from the location and personal bills such as bar bills, meals not listed. Travel and camera Insurance.

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Madeira - An Island of Mystique