Starlight watching

All over the world there are different places to watch the beautiful shine of starlight. Some places have better conditions to highlight the stars in the dark than others. Mainly Spain is blessed by many spots where to enjoy the beautiful spectacle by clear sky during the night. The best places are designated with special certificates like the “Starlight reserve” and the “Starlight destination”.
 
Source: Vantastic tours

The certificates
Starlight reserve
It is an international certificate for every place which provides perfect conditions, according to light, air clearness and nature can receive the title of a starlight reserve. If that happens, this area has to be protected by authorities. The aim is to preserve the astronomical conditions, the landscape and nature, the quality of the night sky and the cultural heritage altogether.
Starlight destination
For the starlight destination the basic requirements are the same as for a starlight reserve. The nature and the surroundings must offer the perfect conditions to show the stars in the night sky and again all the conditions influencing that have to be preserved. The special addition to this certificate is that the area has to offer an adapted infrastructure for tourism. If this is not already provided, things like accommodation, means for observation and trained guides must be integrated to make necessary facilities available for tourists. 
Places
La Palma
One of the first starlight reserves, in the year 2012, was La Palma, one of the Canary islands. Due to the long time it has been designated to that, it offers a lot of great places for observation as well as several rural country house accommodations which are perfect to spend the night in to watch the millions of stars. As the island is perfect for hiking, there are even some routes with astronomic viewpoints. Thanks to the perfect infrastructure and numerous offers for tourists it a starlight destination as well.
 
Source: Starsisland La Palma

Andalusia
Jaén:
An important region for astro-tourism is located in the South of Spain, Andalucía. One of the best designated places for starlight watching is the Sierra Sur de Jaén, which lies in the North of Granada. Here the air pollution is so low, that visitors are able to see the stars shining bright. The natural darkness is conserved perfectly which makes it an unspoiled place for enjoying the beauty of stars. After receiving the Starlight reserve certificate in 2014, the several places in Jaén made it possible to also get the name of a Starlight destination due to the touristic offers linked to star observation. The starlight reserve is divided in two parts, on the one hand there is Valdepeñas de Jaén in the East and on the other you will find Alcalá la Real. The region is supported by two associations which are specialized in astronomy and star observation. The Hubble Astronomical Association of Martos which organizes regular public observations, courses and different kind of activities all around the same topic. The other one is called Einstein Society of Astronomy which arranges together with the Andalusian Observatory of Astronomy visits and guided observations for interested groups and teaching centres. The landscape of this area is shaped by very steep reliefs consisting of narrow ravines, boxed valleys and steep rock walls, to the green olive groves.

Sierra Morena:
Located at the very Northern border of Andalusia, in 2014 it was declared as the largest Starlight reserve in the world, it extends of over 400km along the country. The region put a lot of effort to turn their area into a Starlight reserve and a Starlight destination and to establish a high quality of the night sky, which took them about one year. Some of the best viewing points include: Aldea de Los Guindos, Minas del Centenillo, Llanos de Espiel, Cerro del Hierro and Ermita de San Bartolomé.
 
Source: Mis Cosas

Cumbres de Tenerife:
 
The biggest of the Canary islands, Tenerife, got declared as Starlight reserve in 2013. Some parts like the mountain El Teide, or Ganadilla de Abona also have the designation of being a Starlight destination. The special part about star watching in Tenerife is that you can even climb up the Volcano and observe from an altitude of 2000m. Visitors have the opportunity to watch the stars through a 25cm telescope with has the option of automatic search.
 
Source: Volcano Teide

Get enchanted by the beauty of Spain’s natural night lights. Visit a Starlight destination to fully enjoy your holidays under the beautiful shine of the stars and dream away under the sky. In case you want to delight your vacation with wonderful nights, do not hesitate to contact us for further details about destinations, exciting activities and convenient accommodation.