Into the Atlantic Islands: Madeira

Sami Sauri’s Into the Atlantic Islands project takes an artistic approach to documenting multi-sport endeavors throughout Macaronesia with episodic videos, analog photography, and physical fanzines. We recently previewed the Madeira Islands installment of the project and, since then, Sami and team released five episodes on YouTube to complete the sequence. Today, to complement the video series, Sami shares some context around the project along with a stunning image gallery that’s only adding to our urge to start traveling internationally again! 

I started this trip and project idea during the beginning of 2021. I wanted to create some adventure that not just motivates me but also for those who would join me. My dream was to combine two sports; first I thought to include running, then hiking and cycling, then ski, which might come soon. Ultimately, though, I chose surfing and cycling, which are my favourite.

The Atlantic is one of the best oceans to surf, the closest to home, and the prettiest of all so I decided that going somewhere there could be an option. Madeira was on our list and none of the team members had been there before, a fact that attracted us even more. In the end, we ended up surfing pedaling around the island for a full two weeks.

When we arrived, I did not have much planned, but at the same time I did have some ideas. I wanted ride the outer loop of the island along the coast while searching for waves and a swell. We started in the northern side of the island, in a small village called Santo Antonio da Serra, situated fairly high in elevation in comparison to the rest of the island.

At first, the island looked to be right out of a Jurassic Park movie — very green with vast mountains and rocky coastlines. I remember the second day as one of the most special of my life. I managed to make my dream come true with riding my bike, then surfing, and continuing on to ride my bike. I felt nervous with goose bumps. It was just precious.

During the first few days we climbed quite a bit, with the fourth and fifth days on the more mellow side. On our final day of riding, a friend called and indicated there were perfect waves back on the northern side of the island. Knowing it was nearly thirty kilometers and nearly three-thousand meters in elevation gain to get there, we decided to pack the car and go to search for the swell. It all worked out and we surfed amazing waves.

This trip wasn’t made to count how many metres we climbed, but rather it was a way for me to share my passion and motivate others to go out and try, explore, and find adventure for themselves in life.


Be sure to venture over to Sami’s YouTube channel for the remaining video episodes and Into the Atlantic Islands for more on the project.