To mark the recent Solar Eclipse, we look to the skies for inspiration for some of the world’s finest viewpoints of the stars above...
Ever since the dawn of time, man has been captivated by the mystery of the stars and space. A stimulus for revelation, a place for escapism and a true indicator of just how small our planet truly is. Whatever your opinion on it may be, stargazing holidays are on their way up (in more ways than one) and it’s never been easier to ‘do it properly’ with everything you could possibly need being but a click away.
Before the rambling continues, allow me to assure you that this goes well beyond the Northern Lights. There is an abundance of options for the amateur stargazers amongst us and a few spots might just surprise you.
The Northern Lights - Iceland (Sept-April)
The most famous and popular destination, Iceland plays host to the remarkable Aurora Borealis from Autumn all the way through to Spring. Previously believed to be a demonstration of God’s anger, the Northern Lights produce a stunning display of mystical shapes, colours and patterns across a clear night sky. Wrap up warm and take in the stunning scenery across an even more stunning backdrop.
Jasper National Park – Canada (October)
The lesser-known, yet equally breathtaking Jasper National Park is one of the world’s largest Dark Sky Preserves (DSP) and is the only one wholly encompassing an entire town in it. Amidst the Canadian Rockies you can bear witness to some of the best kept dark skies for an unbeatable view. Better still; you can enjoy the experience of the Symphony Under the Stars Concert, combining the phenomenal sounds of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the pristine dark skies above for an unforgettable evening of pure natural beauty.
Geminids Meteor Shower – Morocco (December)
Embark on an incredible tour of Morocco to see the stars in an experience like no other. Camel trek into the wondrous Sahara Desert; camp out beneath a night sky without distraction and take it all in. Observe in awe as meteors fly past (sometimes at a rate of 150 per hour!) in one of the brightest showers you will see anywhere. As with Jasper National Park, the location is what makes this truly incredible, as the peaceful atmosphere of the Sahara only serves as an accomplice to the magical views above.
Tenerife Skyline - Canary Islands (All year round)
Ideally situated near the equator, Tenerife allows amateur astronomers to behold the entire northern hemisphere and even some of the southern hemisphere too. It’s skies are protected from light pollution and flight paths to ensure clean skies. With incredible weather and the option of guided excursions, you can experience some breathtaking night skies which your friends will think were photoshopped. You can also visit the GREGOR telescope; Europe’s largest, for an unforgettable experience.