The island is rich in places with magical skies: Macarella cove, Pilar cove, Cavalleria beach, Punta Nati, Santo Tomás beach, Monte Toro, the S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park … It has been a heavenly paradise since ancient times. “It has a spectacular archaeological heritage, especially from the Talayotic era (during the Bronze and Iron Ages) that can be linked to stargazing,” said Irene Estaún, insular director of the Biosphere Reserve.
TERUEL / Exists and excels
There are 23 towns in Teruel with outstanding skies. “The Gúdar-Javalambre region is one of the best areas in Europe to observe the sky,” proclaims the Starlight Foundation. This image is from the Javalambre Astrophysical Observatory, at the Buitre peak. Different places in the province offer activities to look at the stars. The El Olivar Monastery guesthouse, for example, organizes dinners, concerts and stellar evenings.
EXTREMADURA / Night viewpoints
Extremadura shines at night with its network of viewpoints to enjoy the stars. They are in Montánchez, Olivenza, Arroyo de la Luz and in the Monfragüe National Park (in the image), among other places. There is also a network of night trails and places that give off a special magic, such as the El Mellizo dolmen, in Valencia de Alcántara, dated around 3,000 BC. “The people who built it saw the sky the way we see it”, in words of the astrophotographer Francisco Javier Rodríguez Álvez.
CANARY ISLANDS / La Palma, nature reserve
Lighting on La Palma is regulated by law. You have to ask permission to put a light bulb on the porch of your house. It is a Natural Reserve of the Sky, free of light pollution, an astrotourism destination of international prestige. On La Palma there is the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory with telescopes and instruments from more than sixty scientific institutions from different countries. There is the very powerful Gran Telescopio Canarias.
MÁLAGA / Sierra Brilliant
The Junta de Andalucía maintains that the Milky Way can be seen from 82 percent of the region. This image is from Malaga, a province with sites of imposing stellar night, such as Alfarnate, Algatocín, Genalguacil, Tejeda peak and El Sierra de las Nieves National Park. At the Torcal de Antequera Astronomical Observatory, located at an altitude of 1,200 meters, in the heart of a beautiful natural setting, they organize didactic sessions to read the sky.
LA RIOJA / Pursuing constellations
There are night routes with guides to learn about the incredible skies of Treguajantes –de Soto en Cameros–, Enciso, Navalsaz, Arnedillo and the Ocón valley. Constellations, planets such as Saturn, Mars, Uranus or Neptune, the moon, galaxies, nebulae or the tears of San Lorenzo will be some of the stellar objects that can be observed through telescopes. Here, a pure place: the night next to a church in La Santa (La Rioja).
GALICIA / A side by side wonder
From the top of Peña Trevinca –in the municipality of A Veiga, (Ourense) – at 2,127 meters above sea level, you can see the Milky Way from side to side. It is one of the best Spanish watchtowers to enjoy the sky, with two viewpoints in the Tablilla das Lagoas and O Rañadoiro from where you can see, for example, the Andromeda galaxy. Interesting Astrotourism Xornadas are organized there. It is a place with such an impressive sky that even the accommodations in the area have telescopes.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism