As well as a clear, cloud-free sky, to fully enjoy the spectacle that is stargazing one needs to be in a location without too much light pollution and the higher up the better. To find out which places in the world are optimal for losing oneself amongst the constellations, one good tip is to check out where the world’s main astronomical observatories are installed. Atacama desert in Chile, the Canary Islands or Hawaii are the sites of important space observation centres. But there are more: the National Glacier Park, located on the border between the USA and Canada, is a perfect place due to its clear skies and situation far from any sources of light pollution. In Europe, the island of Sark, located in the channel that separates the United Kingdom from France, has been named the world’s first ‘dark sky island’ where people can contemplate the stars in all their splendour. This award from the International Dark Sky Association recognises the scant light pollution generated by this island’s 600-strong population.
In this regard, the Starlight Foundation, created by the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC) and Consultora Corporación 5, the mission of which is ‘the defence of the night sky and the right to starlight’, certifies the quality of the starry sky and the commitment to this natural heritage of tourist destinations and accommodation establishments all over the world.
In Spain, there are different accommodation options that are specially designed for enjoying this spectacle. This is the case of the hotel Mil Estrelles (Girona), the rooms of which are veritable bubbles with glass ceilings. Or the Observatoriu (Asturias), a rural establishment which has an entire astrononimcal observatory shaped like a dome from which one can observe the constellations through a powerful telescope.