When the sun melts away for another day and the sky transforms into an inky abyss, turn your head upwards to marvel at what lies above you. Stargazing might not be top of your to-do list while holidaying in the Canaries but if you’re looking for something different to do with your evenings, it’s the perfect activity!
The skies above the Canary Islands are known as some of the cleanest and calmest in the whole of Europe, thanks to the small amount of light pollution and constant trade winds that keep big cloud formations at bay.
As night falls, watch the dark sky fill with thousands of sparkling stars. Pack a blanket, grab your binoculars and prepare to be amazed!
Parque Nacional del Teide, Tenerife
Not only does it feature the highest mountain in all of Spain, but this UNESCO-listed national park in Tenerife encompasses nearly 200 square metres of unique Mars-like landscape.
From its privileged position around 2,700 metres above sea level, you can see meteor showers, the Milky Way and 83 of the 88 officially recognised constellations!
Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma
If you’re wanting to explore a little further afield, hop on the ferry from Tenerife to the neighbouring island of La Palma. This northern-most Canary Isle is home to a state-of-the-art telescope complex that delivers enchating views of the galaxy shimmering above.
The observatory sits at the highest point on the island, reaching an impressive 2,400m above sea level into the sky. Fancy visiting? You’ll need to book at least a day in advance.
Corralejo Dunes, Fuerteventura
These vast, desert-like dunes stretch for around seven miles and are one of the best spots in the archipelago to experience the magical night skies.
Leave Fuerteventura’s bustling resorts and lit-up towns behind and head out on a stargazing tour across the dunes. Expert astronomers will point out various constellations across the sky and you might even catch a glimpse of the moon and Jupiter through a telescope!
Peñas del Chache, Lanzarote
Found on the north coast, Peñas del Chache is the highest peak in Lanzarote. It’s well away from light interference and at 670m-high, you’ll feel like the stars are almost within touching distance.
If you’re visiting during the summer months, keep an eye out for Sagitarius and Scorpios lighting up the sky. These constellations are easy to spot as one is shaped like a teapot and the other looks like a long-tailed scorpion.
Tefía Observatory, Fuerteventura
Want to stargaze with the experts? In the centre of this island, you’ll find Tefía Observatory, with a dome and a professional telescope that’ll give you the best chance of spotting some spectacular stars.
Stop by on a Friday and you might catch the Fuerteventura Astronomy Group meeting up to view the night sky.
El Palmar, Tenerife
Make a beeline for the El Palmar viewpoint, which sits on Tenerife’s north-west edge. Huge ravines in the rocky mountain landscape create a unique frame for admiring the stars. The sky is so clear here, you don’t even need binoculars to see the stars!
Look closer and you might spot the magnificent Milky Way stretching across the sky alongside the Rosette Nebula and Orion constellations.
Presa de las Niñas, Gran Canaria
Surrounded by gorgeous greenery in the centre of the island, this remote spot is definitely one to tick off your wish list. It’s a bit rocky underfoot but once you arrive at the main viewpoint, the tricky journey will certainly have been worth it.
If you’re planning on making the most of these clear skies and staying until sunrise, there’s plenty of space to park your car alongside a campsite with barbecues.
Posted: 5th Jun 2019.