Updated: 13 Sep 2023
With views of Pico Ruivo, the highest peak on Madeira, this vantage point is as scenic as they come. It is a photographers paradise!
The best part about Pico do Arieiro is how it can often be just above the clouds due to its height of 1818m above sea level. This means you enjoy a mystical atmosphere as the sea of clouds rolls by over the mountains below.
Despite the giant peaks in the backdrop, it’s what is right in front of you that becomes the focal point. If you have the right conditions, a sea of clouds will fill the valley below.
The elegant white mass of clouds slowly pours down into the lower valleys, creating an incredible waterfall of clouds. It’s beyond magical and something so unique to witness. I found myself taking in the landscape and thinking to myself, where else in the world could you see something just like this?
I spent several worthwhile hours on the mountain with my camera in hand, just mesmerised by the ever changing vistas. I constantly thought how wonderful the natural world can be, whilst having the extended opportunity to experience this wonderment of nature.
I have experienced this phenomena previously in other parts of the world, but not for this length of time. Even as I descended down the mountain, I was continuously photographing the vistas which became apparent.
As air heated at the surface is lifted, it cools and water vapour condenses to produce the cloud. Throughout the day, if conditions allow, these can grow in height and size and can eventually form into low-level clouds: stratus, cumulus and stratocumulus. They typically form at 500 to 3000 m altitude and have limited vertical development.