Photographer's images of Madeira show why 'it doesn't look real'

Photographer’s images of Madeira show why he declares it an island ‘so stunning… it doesn’t look real’

  • Polish photographer Karol Kru ‘fell in love’ with the Portuguese island when he moved there last year  
  • Karol sets out to show his followers the ‘real, raw Madeira’ by photographing its mighty peaks and epic coast
  • READ MORE: From beautiful beaches to lost valleys: New guide reveals hidden gems in North East England

‘Every piece of this island is so stunning, that sometimes we can’t believe it’s real.’

So says photographer Karol Kru, who has been capturing spellbinding pictures of the Portuguese island of Madeira since he moved there with his wife, Mary, last year.

Karol, 31, says that he and Mary, 30, ‘immediately fell in love’ with the island, known as the ‘Pearl of the Atlantic’.

The Polish adventure photographer tells MailOnline Travel: ‘There are so many places to be explored, so we’ve decided to stay here longer. Madeira has many amazing places, and that’s not an exaggeration. It has got everything from mysterious forests, high mountain peaks and graceful waterfalls to green valleys, sharp mountain spires and rough cliffs.’

Despite its beauty, Karol notes that Madeira is still a lesser-known travel destination for many. He says: ‘Coming here for a holiday isn’t a cliche. We like [to] explore the island, discovering new places [and] hidden gems.’

Mary, who is originally from Ukraine, occasionally features in his landscape photographs. The couple met whilst studying in China and have since devoted their lives to travelling the world, with photography eventually becoming Karol’s full-time job. Karol says that he sets out to show his followers the ‘real, raw Madeira’. Scroll down to see breathtaking pictures from his portfolio…

This mesmerising photograph shows the small village of Seixal on the northwest coast of Madeira on a cloudy afternoon. Karol notes that the town has access to a ‘beautiful’ black-sand beach

LEFT: Black-sand Seixal Beach is the subject of this eye-catching photograph. RIGHT: This stunning image shows Ponta de Sao Lourenco, the easternmost point of Madeira. Karol notes that the peninsula is also known as the ‘Dragon’s Tail’

Two figures can be seen atop the Pico Grande peak in central Madeira, which measures 1,654m (5,426ft) in height

LEFT: This captivating drone picture shows the sky ‘turning pink and purple’ during sunrise over the Ponta de Sao Lourenco peninsula. RIGHT: This epic shot shows ‘The Stairway to Heaven’, a nerve-wracking staircase that links two peaks – the Pico do Areeiro and the Pico Ruivo. It features on the PR1 Vereda do Areeiro hiking trail in central Madeira, with Karol noting: ‘This part of the PR1 trail can make your blood run cold!’

This spellbinding image shows Pico do Areeiro, which, at 1,818m (5,964ft) in height, is Madeira Island’s third-highest peak. Karol says that the peak looked as though it was ‘from a postcard’ on the day he captured this shot. He describes the setting as ‘heaven on Madeira’

The magical view from the Pico do Areeiro peak. Karol says: ‘It is one of the most popular sunrise and sunset spots. Each morning you can see crowds gather at the viewpoint to watch an epic sunrise. And every evening you can see hundreds of people watching spectacular sunsets, seeing another beautiful day on Madeira coming to an end’ 

The coastal village of Jardim do Mar is evocatively captured in this aerial shot. Karol says: ‘The name of this place literally translates to “The Garden of the Sea”.’ He continues: ‘Surrounded by the sea and cloaked by the mountains, Jardim do Mar preserves the tranquillity of the old days… the old narrow streets and low-level houses with cute chimneys make this small cosy town a unique place to visit on Madeira’ 

This breathtaking shot shows the natural swimming pools in Porto Moniz in northwestern Madeira. Karol notes: ‘These small lagoons are naturally filtered with the salty ocean water, which gets mixed and replaced each time during a high tide’ 

Madeira’s capital, Funchal, is the subject of this beautifully-lit shot. Karol says: ‘Funchal is best known for its gardens, harbour, spectacular New Year’s Eve fireworks show and also its appealing temperatures’ 

Above are two spellbinding pictures of the forest of Fanal in the northwest of Madeira, showing it both in the sunshine and misty conditions. Karol says: ‘On Madeira [the] weather is unpredictable… weather can make you change your plans. Sometimes it can even make your photoshoot dangerous. We just need to be flexible and try to work with the conditions that are presented to us’

Karol captured this epic shot during a ‘spectacular’ sunrise hike on the Ponta de Sao Lourenco peninsula 

This picture shows the Ponta da Ladeira viewpoint on the northwestern edge of Madeira – a favourite spot of Karol’s 

LEFT: This atmospheric picture shows the distinctive sea stacks off the coast of the village of Ribeira da Janela. ‘You can’t miss this view when you’re cruising along the northern coast,’ says Karol. RIGHT: This eerie shot shows Garajau Beach, which is ‘nested at the base of the cliffs on the southern part of the island’. Karol says: ‘The area belongs to the Garajau Natural Reserve, which makes it a fantastic spot for both snorkelling and diving’

This photograph shows the Salto do Patagarro waterfall near Funchal. Karol describes it as a ‘hidden gem’ that’s ‘rarely visited by tourists’

LEFT: This enchanting picture was captured during sunrise from the Guindaste viewpoint on the northern coast of Madeira. RIGHT: In this spectacular shot, the Anjos waterfall can be seen cascading over an old road, the highway ER101, in the south of the island

This striking picture shows the Rabo do Burro waterfall. Karol notes that it’s his favourite waterfall on Madeira, saying: ‘It’s off the beaten path and it isn’t easily accessible. There’s no real trail so you’d have to navigate with a map to get there, which makes it a real adventure!’ The photographer adds: ‘Not too many people want to trouble themselves with getting there, so it’s likely you’ll have it all to yourself’ 

LEFT: This picture shows the dramatic Caldeirao Verde waterfall in the centre of Madeira. RIGHT: A winding road on the Ponta de Sao Lourenco peninsula 

This picture shows a winding coastal path in Achadas da Cruz on the northwestern coast of the island. Karol says: ‘You can get there within a steep hike… or with [a ride on] the steepest cable car in Europe. Whichever option you choose, it’s steep!’

Above is the view from the peak of Pico do Areeiro. Karol says: ‘For me, Madeira is at its most magical on cloudy days. Just imagine… moody sky, rich colours, furious ocean… all of it makes [the island] really mysterious and powerful at the same time’ 

To see more photography from Karol visit his websiteInstagram account and the YouTube account he shares with Mary. 

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