Stargazing has been a well-documented tradition since ancient times. There are an estimated 14 billion stars in our galaxy, but we rarely see them due to today’s pollution. Only a few places remain that provide this epic opportunity.
Tenerife has been a centre for astronomical tradition since 1856 when a Scottish astronomer, Charles Piazzi, while on honeymoon in Tenerife, hiked up Mount Teide
and was amazed by the sparkling stars.
Mount Teide National Park
largest national park and has status as a Starlight Reserve, which means it’s a protected natural area, defending the night sky from pollution. With its exceptionally clear skies, Tenerife has been awarded Starlight Certification since 2014. Within an hour after sunset the sky overhead glitters and sparkles.
This is a unique location, with barren volcanic landscapes of craters and petrified lava, and a dry climate conducive to stargazing. The highest peak in the park, Montaña de Guajara, is a particularly fabulous place to witness the star-studded sky.
From your luxury hotel The Ritz-Carlton, Abama
, enjoy an exclusive tour of the Teide Observatory, Izaña, which stands on a mountain platform at 7,800 feet. A professional guide will talk you through the night sky as you look through the world’s largest telescope, before tucking into a gourmet stargazing picnic.
Hotel Bahía del Duque
also has an in-house observatory that as a guest you’re welcome to use – just be sure to download the Star Walk 2 app on your phone to guide you through.
With your eye to the telescope, you can identify constellations and planets, including the rings of Saturn and the craters of the Moon. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to witness shooting stars whizzing through the sky, sparking brightly as they strike our atmosphere.
For stargazing, it’s best to plan your trip just before the New Moon, as this is when the sky is darkest.