Stargazing - Tenerife
  • Stargazing
  • Stargazing
  • Stargazing
  • Stargazing
  • Stargazing
  • Stargazing

Stargazing

The overwhelming vastness of the star-studded sky and the nocturnal beauty of the volcanic landscape create a magical setting. As you pick up your star chart and put your eye to the telescope, you begin to recognise constellations, planets and satellites, one after another, like there is no end to the wonders of the sky. The hours tick by but you are so enthralled in your passion that you barely notice... until a shooting star whizzes by. You quickly try and think of a wish, but nothing springs to mind. There is nowhere in the world you would rather be.

Mount Teide National Park is the ideal location for treating your eyes to such breathtaking sights as the rings of Saturn, the Moon's craters and no end of galaxies and nebulae. Mount Teide and the Peaks of Tenerife were recently awarded the Starlight Certification in acknowledgement of their international standing as an ideal location for stargazing.

The best options for successful stargazing are:

Montaña de Guajara:

This is the highest peak in the Las Cañadas del Teide amphitheatre and is a great spot for scanning the sky. Getting there involves following somewhat difficult trails, but the reward is worthwhile.

Spots near the Parador hotel:

If you would rather avoid the bother of long walks, a convenient and comfortable option would be to find a stargazing point near the Parador hotel. Advantages? You can always take refuge there if the weather takes a sudden turn, if it starts to rain, if the temperature drops or if it snows (an unlikely event as it only happens a couple of days a year in winter and the forecasts will usually warn you).

Teide National Park lookout points:

The Park's various lookout points are also a great place to observe the sky thanks to their strategic location in elevated areas with unbeatable visibility. The one at Llano de Ucanca ranks among the best.

A journey through the planets and the stars:

You can choose to take a self-guided tour around the seven observation points in Teide National Park, where you will learn about the link between this World Heritage Site, the stars and the planets.

A series of information boards have been set up at the Park's lookout points in a specific order to form a trail, which you can follow in order to learn more about the fascinating conjunction between the sky and Mount Teide. These are the boards you will find (in order, from El Portillo to Chío):

  • El Teide and the Sun share a vibrant secret.(Location: Minas de San José lookout point).
  • Planetary landscapes close to home.(Location: Minas de San José lookout point).
  • At what time was El Teide formed?(Location: Tabonal Negro lookout point).
  • The Montes Tenerife are on the Moon.(Location: Roques de Garcia lookout point).
  • Test area in the search for signs of life on Mars.(Location: Los Azulejos lookout point).
  • Would El Teide be a giant on Mars?(Location: First lookout point at Llano de Ucanca).
  • A catalogue of eruptions in the Solar System.(Location: Juan Évora Museum car park).

Izaña:

At a height of over 2,400 metres (7,800 feet) above sea level stand the telescopes of the Teide Observatory, operated by the Canary Islands' Institute of Astrophysics, which just goes to show the excellent quality of the Island's skies. The keenest enthusiasts can sign up for a guided tour of the observatory to see how its huge instruments work and what scientists from all over the world get up to there.

In Tenerife, particularly in the northern part, you will find a number of companies that specialise in stargazing. They can provide you with all the equipment, information and advice you need to make the most of your outings, and they also organise night-time trips and gatherings. If you choose to go on one, they have expert instructors and state-of-the-art technology.

Thanks to its favourable climate, clear skies and long sky-gazing hours, Tenerife is on...Read more
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When?

Thanks to its favourable climate, clear skies and long sky-gazing hours, Tenerife is one of the best locations on the planet for observing the universe. This means that enthusiasts are able to stargaze in optimal conditions all year round.

The equipment you need for exploring the night sky can range from a simple pair of bino...Read more
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What do I need?

The equipment you need for exploring the night sky can range from a simple pair of binoculars with a tripod to the most highly sophisticated telescopes. Many stargazers also carry torches, star charts and laptops. There are local companies that will be able to provide you with the equipment you need.

Given that the best stargazing areas are located at the highest points of the Island, we recommend you always take warm clothing with you, especially on the colder winter nights, when temperatures can easily drop below freezing. As well as a coat, you might want to take a hot flask and something to eat.

If the observation point is located within a protected area, you may need to apply for ...Read more
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Do I need a licence?

If the observation point is located within a protected area, you may need to apply for some form of licence. Just in case, we advise you to contact one of the Island's companies that specialise in this activity.

Useful tips
The first tip for successful stargazing is to choose a spot that is far away from any s...
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Useful tips

The first tip for successful stargazing is to choose a spot that is far away from any significant sources of light. That means avoiding cities and the moon, particularly when it is full.

It is a good idea to keep away from roads, and if you plan on taking a torch, place a red adhesive band over it so it sheds just enough light to read your star chart. The reason for all this is that it takes the human eye 15 to 30 minutes to grow accustomed to the darkness. Any bright light such as a torch or headlights would interfere with the adjustment process. Even once the source of light has gone, you will have to wait another 15 minutes for your eyes to adjust completely.

Watching the sky also requires space, so the best thing is to choose an open expanse with the widest possible field of vision.

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