SINGAPORE, 29 April 2022: Did you know that the Canary Island of La Palma is one of the best places to observe the stars on the planet?
The island known as the “Isla Bonita” (Pretty Island) is the first Starlight Reserve in the world, and thanks to this, it is protected in order to avoid light pollution. In addition, it has been a Starlight Tourist destination since 2012. What does this mean? That you will be able to carry out a multitude of activities where you contemplate the universe while respecting the environment at the same time.
If you have always dreamed of observing other planets or even other galaxies, or if you want to see inside one of the most important telescopes in the world, La Palma is your destination. Come and check out this Biosphere Reserve, where you’ll practically be able to touch the stars with your hands.
Visit the inside of the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory
It is one of the most advanced telescope complexes in the world. You will find it at the highest point of the island, at about 2,400 metres, so the views from there are incredible. You can even see the neighbouring islands of Tenerife, La Gomera and El Hierro. This observatory also organises daytime guided tours by specialised personnel. They will even show you the inside of a telescope and explain how it works.
Explore trails and astronomical viewpoints
You can choose between several astronomical paths that run through much of La Palma, such as the Roque de los Muchachos route, the route of the stars, the route of the full moon or the route of the sun. These paths pass close to professional telescopes such as the Gran Telescopio de Canarias (the largest optical telescope in the world) or petroglyphs, which could be connected to the way ancient inhabitants related to the sky (solstices, equinoxes, etc.)
Across the whole island, you’ll find up to 16 astronomical viewpoints in a wide variety of places, such as Los Guirres beach, the San Antonio volcano or the imposing Caldera de Taburiente National Park. Each viewpoint has panels with a different theme: constellations, planets, the moon… Find information about each one here and download a map that will be useful to you. Always check road access and the state of each path before each trip since some may have been cut off due to the last volcanic eruption.
Enjoy astro experiences alongside a professional guide
Book one of your nights in La Palma so you can take a journey to the stars. That’s what you’ll experience if you book an astronomical tour. It involves an outing to a dark point on the island where a guide will help you identify constellations, recognise other planets, investigate other galaxies… And all with the help of the most up-to-date telescopes.
And it’s not the only activity you’ll be able to enjoy. You can also sign up for an astrophotography route through the most photogenic landscapes of the island to practise night photography or an archaeoastronomy tour in which you will discover how the first inhabitants of the island (the Awara) worshipped the Sun, the Moon and some stars.
Staying at a Starlight establishment
Enjoying the night sky of La Palma is a unique experience. And doing it from the comfort of accommodation prepared for this purpose is even better. On the island, you will find different “astro-themed” hotels and country house lodges. This means that they have instruments for observing the sky, such as telescopes, binoculars, etc.
In addition, you will see that this type of accommodation is located at points of the island that are far away from any light pollution and from where wide panoramic views of the sky can be enjoyed.
“Eat the sun”
Do you want to eat the sun, see and taste the atmosphere of some planets and the gases of nebulae? This is what a themed menu at some of the island’s restaurants that are also committed to astrotourism, will offer you. You will find this type of restaurant in different parts of the island: from a salt farm in the extreme south of La Palma to terraces with sea views.
Some of them are equipped with telescopes, binoculars, constellation image projections, astrophotos… As a lover of good food, you can also visit a Starlight winery, where they will give you a taste of wonderful typical wine from the island while they explain the night sky to you.
Take a stroll along with the stars of science walk.
It is located in the island’s capital, Santa Cruz de La Palma, at the top of Avenida Marítima. Here, the stars do not belong to the world of cinema but instead are a tribute to figures such as Stephen Hawking, Samuel C.C. Ting, Takkaki Kajita and Aleksei Leonov.
Take a minute to observe the sky calmly. Few places in the world offer as many options for enjoying it as La Palma.
(Your Stories: Turespana)