1. Ponta de São Lourenço
Ponta de São Lourenço is my favorite photography spot in Madeira and probably it's the most famous spot for photographers. The steep cliffs here provide the best location for landscape photography, especially at sunrise. The sun rises from behind one of the hills and the hills turn golden. It's not such a popular place for people at that time, so you get to enjoy the lovely sunrise in peace.
One of the most incredible views is at Ponto de Vista, where there are some really impressive cliffs and the waves are smashing into the rocks.
I actually spent a couple of hours before sunrise in Ponta de São Lourenço, taking photographs of the mountains that look like they are on fire during the night time. I spent most of the time at Ponto de Vista, listening to the waves and experimenting with my camera. At first it's a bit scary, but after a while you get used to it.
Just before sunrise I managed to take a few photographs of the milky way.
Afterwards I climbed a bit higher on the cliffs and got some pictures of the sun rising from the hills.
At sunset you can also get a lovely picture of the Madeira island.
2. Ribeira da Janela
This spot is not very popular for tourists and it's a really great photography place! Best to go at sunset to get a nice purple hue of the clouds and rocks. You will be taking pictures of Ilheus da Rib, which is a very tall rock just a bit off the coast.
3. Pico do Arieiro
Madeira has some really impressive mountain peaks and Pico do Arieiro is the most famous one. You can drive quite close to the peak and, if you want, also take a short hike.
4. Pico Ruivo
Pico Ruivo is also one of the famous mountain peaks of Madeira, but it requires a bit of effort to get to it. What probably impressed me the most about Madeira is that they have really well maintained paths to get to the famous peaks and this is one of them.
You will be driving quite a lot through the clouds to get to the parking place where the trail starts and, even though you don't see much ahead, you can admire the lush vegetation of Madeira.
To reach Pico Ruivo you'll need to walk through the clouds and the vegetation on this trail looks very strange. There are lots of bare tree trunks hanging around and the soil has an orange hue. At times it looks like a different world.
Once you reach Pico Ruivo you'll get to admire a spectacular view above the clouds, with peaks rising from the clouds.
5. The Natural Pools of Porto Monìz
Porto Monìz is a really nice photography place where you can enjoy the sunset and the waves, with a view towards Ilheu Mole.
On your way to Porto Monìz you'll have good photography opportunities as well, as the road is on the coastline and there are really beautiful mountains and cliffs. One of the best places is Cachoeira São Vicente.
6. Cabo Girão, Câmara De Lobos
You can drive very close to Cabo Girão where there is a near vertical drop to the shoreline. You can also admire the city of Funchal from here.
On your way to Porto Monìz you can make a quick stop in Seixal. If you enjoy waves, Seixal is a great place to photograph them and have a drink or food in the same time!
There are great photography opportunities all around Madeira and renting a car for a couple of days and driving around is the best way to enjoy the landscape of this great island!