Top 10 Stargazing Travel Destinations

One of the easiest ways of soothe and satisfaction is to stare at the sky, watching the stars, planets and far-away galaxies and immerse yourself into this endless pleasure. We are blessed with thousands of such infinite natural nightscapes. However, nowadays this natural beauty is somehow exploited by the city’s artificial light and several other factors.

But not all hopes are lost, as some places in the world still offers great stargazing conditions to those who owns the right instrument, which is often defined as Grab and Go telescope.

Tenerife

Stargazing in Tenerife - image via flickr user Carl Jones

Stargazing in Tenerife – image via flickr user Carl Jones

Province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife – Canary Islands

One of the most prominent locations for stargazing, thanks to its low light pollution and pure night sky environment. It is the home of one of the most developed astronomical observatories around the globe, the Teide Observatory.

The right place to observe the complete northern hemisphere and part of the southern hemisphere. The Teide National Park provides an outstanding feature of the island’s skies, pulling the attention of visitors and scientists from all over the globe. Nowadays, many tourist companies suggests unique stargazing walks and astrophotography excursions to its guests.

Chile

Stargazing in Chile - image via flickr user Ben Lamb

Stargazing in Chile – image via flickr user Ben Lamb

Officially the Republic of Chile – South America

Chile is probably the perfect place for astronomy, due to its elevated plateaus, natural skies and little moisture in the environment. The atmosphere of this country is fantastic for stargazers.

The Atacama Desert of Chile confers ideal conditions, including tall altitude and dry atmosphere with no pollution, making it a wonderful place to stargaze.

Don’t forget to visit the la Silla Paranal Observatory, where Sci-fi-like huge telescopes are located. Chile is also home of the largest and most powerful earth based observatories in the world. The Observatorio Cerro Mamalluca is one of them, and it offers free tours.

Hawaii

Milky way from Mauna Kea Hawaii - image via flickr user Steve Krave

Milky way from Mauna Kea Hawaii – image via flickr user Steve Krave

The 50th U.S. State

Hawaii is often listed among well-considered destinations for observing planets, stars and galaxies.  that is unaffected by light pollution.

The highest mountain on the Big Island, the volcano of Mauna Kea, is one of the greatest place on the island series that offers unforgettable memories to its night time visitors.

Unaffected by light pollution, offering clear air, dry atmosphere and freezing temperatures.

Hawaii is listed as one of the strongest competitors of Chile. The Keck Observatory and one biggest ocular telescope of the world are located here. Additionally it will be home to the thirty-meter telescope, expected to be built by 2018.

Namibia

Namibia - image via flickr user GocheGanas

Namibia – image via flickr user GocheGanas

Officially the Republic of Namibia – Southern Africa

The Namib Desert offers striking night sky sightings through its dry desert air and never-ending panoramas, while allowing fine options for open viewing. Sossusvlei Mountain Lodge is among the finest stargazing locations that has a computerized telescope.

The South African Astronomical Observatory in Sutherland and Cape Town presents several trips. The entire setting is so glorious; surrounding the largest sand dunes of the world and the biggest natural reserves in southern Africa. Kruger National Park and the Namib Rand Nature Reserve are among the best stargazing locations in the continent.

Australia

Australia Stargazing - image via flickr user Eugene Iman

Australia Stargazing – image via flickr user Eugene Iman

Officially the Commonwealth of Australia

The village of Arkaroola in Southern Australia is among those stargazing destinations in the southern hemisphere that has observatories offering exploration of the mountain scenery, a sanctuary of wilderness and dark skies. Arkaroola Astronomical Observatory also has a star chair as an added attraction for astronomers.

Sydney Observatory is the most easily reachable place situated near Sydney Harbor. Uluru, the Ayers Rock is a luminous location in the heart of Australia that offers a spectacular experience of the darkness.

New Zealand

Gannet colony Muriwai - image via flickr user Amit Kamble

Gannet colony Muriwai – image via flickr user Amit Kamble

Southwestern Pacific Ocean

One of the most important location in our top 10 stargazing travel destinations.

Many great observatories are located in this country, like the Auckland Stardome and the Mount John Observatory. The Mount John Observatory is a splendid spot in the Southern Alps, which is situated in the Lake Tekapo township, and allows clear views of the skies.

The world’s biggest dark sky reserve, Aoraki Mackenzie, is located in New Zealand and has the most important observatory of the country. Various stargazing locations include the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, the villages of Lake Tekapo, Twizel, Mount Cook and Te Wahipounamu, which is located in the South West and is well known between astronomers for its nighttime exploration possibilities.

Scotland

Isle of sky, Scotland - image via flickr user James

Isle of sky, Scotland – image via flickr user James

Part of the United Kingdom

Scotland offers the darkest skies for a stargazing destination in Europe. The northern lights are also observable from time to time. In the Scottish moorlands an organization called Dark Sky Scotland, currently defends the dark sky areas.

Galloway Forest Park is the home of the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory. Various hotels offer resting areas that provide complete isolation. The Tay Forest Park and Rannoch Moor are other stargazing destinations located around Loch Rannoch.

Mallorca

Sunset Port Andratx Mallorca - image via flickr user Hilts uk

Sunset Port Andratx Mallorca – image via flickr user Hilts uk

An island in the Mediterranean Sea – Balearic Islands

The islands of Mallorca are natural wonders not affected by pollution. Home of various observatories like an international observatory in the countryside town of Costitx, and furthermore the Observatorio Astronomico de Mallorca, that has an operational planetarium, presenting open sky gazing and a brilliant view of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn using their powerful telescopes.

Kenya

Kenya Stargazing - image via flickr user Weldon Kennedy

Kenya Stargazing – image via flickr user Weldon Kennedy

Officially the Republic of Kenya – African Great Lakes region – Eastern Africa

Kenya is among those African territories that provide an opportunity to sleep under a sky full of stars.

Loisaba is also one of them, offering protected star beds to spend all the night under a blanket of stars. The Western hotel in Nairobi offers a special gathering for their guests who are astronomy fans. They can enjoy a documentary of a tour of a solar eclipse in Turkana.

New Mexico

Stars over New Mexico - image via flickr

Stars over New Mexico – image via flickr

Southwestern and Western regions of United States

New Mexico is the best place for space exploration with its tall elevations and plain skies free from fogs.

A chain of huge radio astronomy antennas, known as the Very Large Array, and a commercial spaceport, Spaceport America, near the White Sands Missile Range – still under construction – are positioned here. Its towering mountains permit an outstanding and proper study of the planets Venus and Mercury. Chaco Culture National Historic Park in the northwestern New Mexico is a perfect dark spot to gaze at a night.

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