Tag Archives: stargazing

What do you need to observe stars in Tenerife?

You have already decided to explore the galaxy from our island. Now you may wonder what exactly you will need to observe stars in Tenerife. In this article we summarise everything you need to become a true galactic hunter.

What do I need for stargazing in Tenerife?

Depending on the experience you would like to gain, you may need either basic or professional equipment. With a few simple binoculars (with tripod is better, although it is not necessary) you can clearly observe the night sky. If you want a more immersive experience, you can also use a telescope and shelp you from a celestial map to look for the constellations seen from Tenerife.

Observar estrellas en Tenerife, Teide

Keep in mind that nocturnal observation generally takes place in places with higher altitudes such as the Teide National Park. Take a coat or a jacket and a thermos with a hot drink with you. You can also bring a smartphone or laptop with you to seek information on the one hand and get enough light on the other hand to walk safely in the dark. Talking about darkness, for stargazing you need the maximum possible darkness.

If you have no equipment, no problem. There are several companies that rent equipment or organise activities so you can enjoy the night sky without worries.

Estrellas en Tenerife

Are permissions necessary to observe stars in Tenerife?

If the area where you are going to observe stars is protected or belongs to a protected natural environment you should consult before if permits are necessary. If you have any doubts, the best idea is to contact a specialised company.

When do stargazing in Tenerife?

Tenerife has various certifications such as starlight destination and starlight reserve, recognising sites such as Teide or the summits of Tenerife as ideal places for stargazing. This proves the quality of the island’s skies, as well as the infrastructure to enjoy it.

In addition, the mild climate of the island and the high number of observation hours make the island an ideal destination for astronomy enthusiasts all year round.

Cielo del Teide con Estrellas

When to watch the star showers in Tenerife?

One of the main astronomical events that can be observed from the earth are the well-known star showers. Fortunately, in Tenerife we ​​can enjoy many of them like the Quadrantids, Perseids, Leonids or Geminids. It is also possible to see other phenomena such as the eclipses of the moon and the sun, as well as the passage of the International Space Station.

If you are in Tenerife next August 12th, 2019 or December 14th, 2019, do not miss the Perseids and Geminids. If you are not on the island, do not worry, you can follow the live broadcast from the Teide National Park.

Basic tips to see stars in Tenerife

When it comes to observing stars, it is important to take into account some basic considerations so that your experience is as complete as possible.

 

Ver estrellas en Tenerife en pareja

The first logical recommendation is to move away from any important source of light, such as cities or major roads. It is also advisable to avoid full moon nights, as they can hinder you with their own light.

The human being needs a time of adaptation to the darkness of between 15 and 30 minutes approximately, so if you carry a flashlight or some other light source try to cover it with a red band to reduce the intensity of it. Use it only to read stellar maps or at certain moments to avoid possible glare and wait a quarter of an hour for the eye to adapt again to the darkness.

Now you have everything you need to be a true star hunter! It’s time to take the step and visit Tenerife.

 

The best places to stargaze in Tenerife

There are many places to observe stars in Tenerife. In fact, Granadilla de Abona and Mount Teide are recognised as Starlight tourist destinations, which certify the quality of their starry skies. Do you want to know which are the best places to observe stars in Tenerife? We tell you below:

Mountains of Guajara

Donde observar estrellas en Tenerife

To reach this place, you first have to walk along the Degollada de Guajara path to get to Alto de Guajara. The first section takes about an hour and the final stretch can be reached in another hour and a half.

The impressive panoramas of Mount Teide reward the effort and the Guajara Mountains are the third highest point in the National Park, with 2,715 metres of height.

Here the astronomer Jean Mascart made some observations of the comet Halley in 1910. For this purpose, he built a hut and some remnants are still on the top of the path.

Parador and surroundings

Parador de Turismo Teide

If you prefer a simpler place to access and do not want to go for a long hike, you can try the Parador de Turismo Las Cañadas and its surroundings. In fact, the hostel itself can serve as a base camp and location for planning your excursions to the stars.

There is ample parking and the opportunity to visit nearby places for stargazing such as the viewpoint La Ruleta or the Roques de García. Did you know that on Mount Teide there are many viewpoints (miradores) from which you can take a look into space?

Roques de Garcia Noche

Viewpoints of El Teide for stargazing

In the Teide National Park there are many viewpoints, like the one mentioned before La Ruleta. The viewpoints are located in strategic areas of the park, with good visibility and a higher level, which makes them ideal for stopping to gaze into the cosmos.

Some of the best viewpoints to observe stars are:

Mirador del Llano de Ucanca

Mirador Llano de Ucanca

This viewpoint, located at the foot of the TF-21 road, offers magnificent views of the Teide. The great plain that gives it its name makes it an ideal place to stop and enjoy the immensity that surrounds you.

Mirador del Tabonal Negro

Mirador Tabonal Negro

Here we will turn our backs on the Teide for an impressive view of the Guajara Mountains. This viewpoint is especially frequented during the daytime when the Teide bugloss is in bloom, but at dusk it is a great meeting point to watch the night sky. It is also on the side of the TF-21 road and has a small parking lot.

Mirador de La Ruleta

Mirador de La Ruleta

Located right next to the Roques de García, this viewpoint offers plenty of space to set up your telescope and observe both the Teide in all its splendor and the rock formation of La Fortaleza and its surroundings.

Izaña

In this mountainous enclave, at over 2,000 metres, is the Teide Observatory, part of the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, which houses telescopes and instruments from up to 60 institutions from 19 different countries.

If you are interested in astronomy and want to know more about the work of the scientists, you can even take part in one of the many astronomical experiences that Tenerife offers you.

Now that you know which are the best places for stargazing, all you have to do is gather your team, prepare your camera and telescope and launch yourself into the adventure of discovering the cosmos in one of the best places in the world.

Experiences on Mount Teide – stars, hiking trails and Martian landscapes

The experiences in the Teide National Park can be very different. From challenging hikes that reward you with breathtaking views, to exploring the constellations and galaxies in the night sky.

A tour to El Teide and the National Park in all its splendor

A trip to El Teide is certainly one of the most important experiences that can be done in Tenerife. There is a lot to see and to discover! After all, the size of the National Park is 18,990 hectares or 26,000 football fields!

Experiencias en el Teide Nubes

The duration of an excursion is approximately eight and a half hours. Here you will discover volcanic landscapes, typical Canarian villages and some natural monuments of the park while getting to know the geological history of our islands.

Ascent to Pico Teide, the summit of Spain

The ascent to Pico Teide is an experience that you can’t describe in words. You have to live it to really understand what it feels to stand on the summit of Spain, at 3,718 metres, and the third highest volcano in the world, measured from the seafloor.

When you reach the top and raise your gaze, you will see two seas. The first is a sea of ​​fluffy clouds rocked by the trade winds, the second is the vast Atlantic Ocean with its intense blue.

Vistas Cumbre Teide Experiencias

In favorable weather conditions you can also see the silhouette of the rest of the islands that are closest to Tenerife: La Gomera, El Hierro, La Palma and Gran Canaria. An immaterial experience that you will surely keep in your heart and memory.

Stars of El Teide – close to the galaxy

Stargazing on El Teide is undoubtedly a galactic experience. The Teide Observatory is the world’s largest solar observatory with instruments and telescopes from various nations and international institutions.

Experiencia estrellas en el Teide

After visiting the facilities you can wait for the sunset to finally see the stars. Depending on the night you will see stars and radiant galaxies or a bright moon full of craters, landforms and mountains… As you’ve never seen it before!

Did you know that you can also find the mountains Tenerife, Pico and the crater Piazzi Smyth on the moon? The latter was named in honour of the Scottish astronomer, who wrote “Tenerife: The Experiences of an Astronomer” and whose studies made a great contribution to the scientific interest on the island.

Trails in the Teide National Park – paths between volcanoes and rocks

Walking at more than 2,000 metres can be a challenge. Mount Teide offers several routes that lead from the difficult paths to the summit or the refuge of Altavista (although you can always take the cable car as an alternative) to the trails that pass through the natural heritage of the National Park such as the Roques de García or the Cathedral of the Teide.

Vistas del Teide Islas Canarias

No matter which route you choose, always remember to bring water or isotonic drinks in your backpack, and stop occasionally to rest and recharge batteries. Also wear warm clothes, regardless of the season in which you make the trip, as the temperature can change at that altitude and then it gets very cold.

Precisely this is what makes Tenerife unique. You can sunbathe on the beach, then put on your coat and be in a few hours above the clouds. Do you want to discover it?

Stargazing on holiday?

Normally we associate a holiday with rest and relaxation at the beach or pool but Tenerife has much more to offer.

ATARDECER

My friend Mary had the fantastic idea of ​​going to see a romantic sunset from one of the most unique places on the planet: Teide, the highest peak in Spain and the 3rd highest volcano in the world from its base in the sea.

select_parque nacional del teide_teide_volcanes_legendarios_SELECTTEIDE027

Equally romantic without a partner we thought, and decided to book the Volcano Life Experience offer. Being a tour we would do once in lifetime, so we chose the deluxe version: Sunset with champagne, followed by dinner and a Canary Islands dinner and grand finale, stargazing in the middle of the Atlantic…

teide_parque nacional_volcanes_legendarios_estrellas_4227

 

Stars … The last time we discussed this subject quite deeply was probably at school; but that was long ago and since then we have been more concerned with our own little universe.

Every Friday you can enjoy this tour; either with a pickup in holiday resorts or by going in your own car. We wanted to be adventurous and went on our own in a rental car to island’s the summit (from the north, it takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes).

Very important to mention that the Teide’s altitude is 3,718 metres, and the temperature at the summit is much lower than in the tourist areas. For this reason, tropical plants and palm trees grow near the coast and in the higher ground even snow falls in winter. This diversity in such a small space is unique in the world.

 

PARQUE NACIONAL

So take warm clothes, including gloves and a hat, and suitable footwear. However, the organization provides polar fleeces for the clueless.

After a warm welcome, we formed groups according to language: German, English and Spanish. Nervous and excited, we boarded the cable car! When we stepped outside, we immediately noticed the sudden drop in temperature. Good job some friendly waiters greeted us with champagne and hot chocolate. Getting used to the cold and with our hand warmer, we finally took in  the panoramic view and we felt like we were running out of air, but not from the cold … no, it was the wonderful views: a sea of ​​clouds below us, which gradually began to change colour to yellow and orange tones.

MAR NUBES

We walked with our group towards the sun to fully enjoy the spectacle. Some companions started to feel the altitude: faster heartbeat, deeper breathing and slower walking pace; the height didn’t affect me, only a strange smell. “Sulphur,” the guide said, “Don’t forget that the Teide is an active volcano.” When we reached the crater, everyone found a place, couples huddled together and took a few “selfies” to capture the moment forever. The views reminded me of my arrival on the island when the plane was flying towards the sunset, the colourful sky and the sea of ​​clouds below. The difference was that we were standing there at the peak, with a silence that filled us with peace.

ATARDECER 3

 

Gradually we had to turn back, fleeing from the night as there were no artificial lights, and now the sun had set, it was getting colder.

As we travelled back down by cable car, the moon and the stars began to shine timidly in the night sky. A show of natural colours, with no filters or retouching.

When we reached the station, a cocktail style dinner was already waiting for us: pellets of gofio, wrinkled potatoes with mojo sauce, skewers of meat and fish, goat’s cheese, pumpkin cakes and banana fritters to name just a few of the Canary delicacies accompanied by local wines, beer and soft drinks. A tasty dinner presented in small bites to try a little of everything. While the culinary delights seduced us, total darkness fell and looking into the sky felt like you were up there touching the stars.

 

PAPAS 2

After dinner we went to watch the natural spectacle. We could even see the Milky Way with the naked eye, since this is one of the clearest skies in the world. Looking through professional telescopes … Wow! The Moon!! We could see clearly its surface, and suddenly we felt very small and back came those teenage questions about who we are and where we really come from.

via lactea

There under the sky, with the stars so close, immersed in the universe, our guide was showing us the entire constellation: “Over there the pole star, back there the stars shining just for us, because in reality, they do not exist, all we can see is their light.” Tremendous!

And shooting stars? “What a pity, you’ve just missed a big one. But did you know that they are not so romantic? Most are space junk.” Beautiful and magical rubbish, I thought. A lot of questions on our minds, many impressions and new experiences … We actually were looking for a simple relaxing holiday in Tenerife, and now again we face the existential question.

 

teide_parque nacional_volcanes_legendarios_estrellas_4235

An excursion 100% recommended, not only for couples who want to see a romantic sunset but also for those curious children from 8 years and adults, who want to experience something different on holiday. Volcano Life Experience is a mixture of romance, science and gastronomy in one of the most majestic places in the world, Mount Teide.

 

 

Dark skies at night – astronomers’ delight in Tenerife!

Tenerife enhances its “astro-tourism” with eight new telescopes at Teide Observatory

VOLCANO LIFE

Tenerife has boosted its position as one of the best locations on the planet for stargazing, with the introduction of eight new telescopes at the world-famous Teide Observatory. Introduced last month, the new telescopes will appeal to “astro-tourists” and scientists looking to unravel the mysteries of the universe.

The new, advanced solar telescopes mark the 30th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC). Of the eight introduced, six are robotic telescopes from countries including the USA, Russia, Qatar and Slovakia; and two belong to the QUIJOTE (Q-U-I-Joint Tenerife), a scientific experiment involving multiple partners from Spain and the UK. The recently-launched Volcano Life Experience operates guided tours several days a week to the Teide Observatory, which is also home to GREGOR, the largest solar telescope in Europe.

Located at 2,390 metres above sea level and next to Mount Teide – Spain’s highest peak at 3,718 metres – Teide Observatory is perfect for studying stars at night due to its geographical location, low-light pollution and extremely clear night skies, which are protected by laws relating to contamination levels and flight paths. The Observatory rests above the clouds in the volcanic Teide National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, globally recognised as a ‘Starlight Tourist Destination’.

teide_parque nacional_volcanes_legendarios_estrellas_4221

The largest island in the Canaries, Tenerife offers a huge choice of ‘star tourism’ experiences for visitors to enjoy on their island getaway. Those with an interest in outer space can learn about the important astrophysics research carried out by the IAC at Teide Observatory by joining a guided tour to see the stars and marvel at dazzling displays. Visitors also have the opportunity to enjoy a free “open day” at the Observatory every summer, with many activities available for children. They can also tour the Planetarium at the Museum of Science and the Cosmos in La Laguna or stay overnight in a rural cottage or country hotel complete with a telescope for a private observation of the stars. Mount Teide’s cable car also offers a very special ‘Sunset and Stars’ stargazing trip, with a dusk-time dinner served at 2,000 metres above sea level.

The Canary Islands, specifically Tenerife and La Palma, have the privilege of being among the few locations in the world that will install new telescopes of the future. The island of Tenerife also leads the EUSky Route, a pioneering project funded by the European Commission which aims to create “astrotourism” routes in the participating European countries, including Poland, Italy, Portugal, Bulgaria, Greece and Spain.

Next year, Tenerife will welcome stars of a different kind, such as Stephen Hawking and astrophysicist-musician Brian May, when it hosts the Starmus Festival – a unique celebration of science, art and music – from 27th June to 2nd July 2016. This special event is the brainchild of Dr. Garik Israelian of the IA.

For more information on stargazing in Tenerife, please click here.

Starry, starry night

Last week Tenerife hosted the European representatives of the new EU Sky Route project, whose main objective is to create different astro-tourism routes in the member countries. Taking part in this project, funded by the European Commission, and granted by the Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry of the Commission, are Tenerife, Valencia, Poland, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria and Portugal.

The group had the opportunity to enjoy a stargazing activity in the Teide National Park with local company Discover Experience. The evening was spectacular and we were able to see first hand the exceptional quality of our night sky.

Discover Experience
Discover Experience


Our guide, a fully trained Starlight Guide, explained the some of the constellations visible in Tenerife’s winter sky and the exceptional conditions for star gazing at the Teide National Park. Then we took a peek through the observation telescope and enjoyed seeing the stunning Orion Nebula and the charms of Jupiter. The group photo with this post put finishing touch to a fantastic evening under a unique star-spangled sky.