Milky Way over in Roques de Garcia Canadas del Teide.

136237164

Milky Way over in Roques de Garcia Canadas del Teide.

Photo by: This is a dream, live it.

This is a dream, live it.

7 Places for the World's Best Stargazing

By: Lucy Sherriff

For those of you who have already got your telescopes packed, here are some of the world’s best destinations to make you feel truly humbled.

July 15, 2020

Star-studded desert skies, top of the world mountain perches, and remote islands, the best stargazing spots depend on dark skies. You’ll need to be prepared to venture far afield in order to be wowed by the galaxy. But before you go, please make sure you check the local pandemic-related travel and safety guidelines before starting your adventure.

Westhavelland International Dark Sky Reserve, Germany

This is a great one for those who don’t want to venture too far from civilization: it’s located just 100km west of Berlin. It’s also the closest International Dark Sky Reserve to a major populated city. The best times to go are between mid-May and mid-July. But if you head there during autumn, you’ll catch the thousands of migrating birds which provides some interesting, and almost otherworldly, sound effects.

Brecon Beacons, Wales

1189978017

Photo by: Michael Roberts

Michael Roberts

Thanks to a community-led effort, the country’s first dark sky reserve has minimized enough light pollution to create incredible conditions clear enough to view meteor showers. Strap on your hiking boots and climb the mountains to be rewarded with a spectacular night show. If you’re lucky you might even be able to see the Northern Lights – it’s rare, but not unheard of.

Death Valley National Park, USA

Despite being just 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas, the national park holds stargazing events during the spring and winter months. Visitors can join the Las Vegas Astronomical Society for a free Star Party at the Ranch at Death Valley. There are also great views from Ubehebe Crater, which has some of the darkest skies in the park, and Harmony Borax Works.

Atacama Desert, Chile

Photo taken in San Pedro De Atacama, Chile

1191060063

Photo taken in San Pedro De Atacama, Chile

Photo by: Konstantinos Ouzounidis / EyeEm

Konstantinos Ouzounidis / EyeEm

Photo taken in San Pedro De Atacama, Chile

Perhaps one of the world’s most famous spots, the desert's exceptionally dry conditions and little cloud cover make for some awe-inspiring star activity, particularly thanks to the desert’s 5000m elevation. Pitch up on your own, or head to the ALMA Observatory to watch how the experts do it.

Tenerife, Canary Islands

Milky Way over in Roques de Garcia Canadas del Teide.

136237164

Milky Way over in Roques de Garcia Canadas del Teide, Tenerife.

Photo by: This is a dream, live it.

This is a dream, live it.

Milky Way over in Roques de Garcia Canadas del Teide, Tenerife.

Far away from the risk of tropical storms, a proximity to the Equator and high altitude is the perfect recipe for stargazing. Tenerife even passed a law to control flight path in order to not obstruct views of the sky. Lie on the beach and enjoy the sounds of the tide lapping, or hop on a cable car to the top of the volcanic Mount Teide for a seat closer to the stars.

NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia

mesmeringing evening moon at NamibRand Naturreservat with mountains and desert sand and the moon in Namibia, Africa

1214765731

mesmeringing evening moon at NamibRand Naturreservat with mountains and desert sand and the moon in Namibia, Africa

Photo by: caughtinthe

caughtinthe

The reservation is perched on the eastern edge of the Namib Desert and has incredibly clear skies thanks to this low humidity. Viewers can see the Milky Way, the Megellanic Clouds--two irregular dwarf galaxies--and numerous planets. Wolwedans is a campsite that lends out small portable telescopes to guests, as well as having guides on hand who are trained in the astronomy basics.

Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Mauna Kea

590301747

Mauna Kea

Photo by: Grant Kaye

Grant Kaye

Keeping an eye trained on the skies at Hawaii’s Big Island is almost second nature. Visit the telescopes at the summit and combine it with the sunset for a stunning start to your night. Or, join one of the volunteer-led stargazing programs that take place four nights a week and depart from the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Visitor Information Station. Believe it or not, but you can actually see more stars from the center than the summit–-due to the difference in oxygen levels.

Next Up

A Canadian Teen Once Discovered an Ancient Temple – Using Google Maps

Most teenagers while away hours playing video games, scrolling TikTok, or texting friends. Not William Gadoury, a 14-year-old from Saint-Jean-de-Matha, Quebec. Back in 2016, Gadoury was holed up in his bedroom, plotting ancient Mayan constellations against modern satellite images and coordinates.

Meet the Ancient Egyptian Gods Who Empower DC Comic's Black Adam

Get to know the six ancient Egyptian gods behind the latest DC Comics film Black Adam, starring Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, in theaters starting October 21.

Giant’s Causeway: The Fascinating Legend Behind Ireland’s Most Famous Landmark

The Giant’s Causeway is known around the world for its beautiful interlocking basalt columns – over 40,000 of them in fact – which look out towards the stormy, gray North Channel.

What's Inside the Secret Chambers in the Pyramids of Giza

A powerful new cosmic ray scan of the Great Pyramid of Giza could finally reveal what’s inside two voids in the structure that have baffled scientists for years.

A Majestic City Carved into Rock, Thousands of Years Ago

Carved into soft stone cliffs, the ancient sandstone city of Petra was built in the 3rd century BC by the Nabataeans. These people were a nomadic Arab tribe–Bedouins–who roamed the Arabian Desert in search of pasture and water for their herds.

Discover this Quaint Gem on the English Coast

Tucked in the corner of the southwest of rugged England, lies one of the country’s most-loved gems – Cornwall. The county forms a peninsula fringed with golden sandy beaches, lined with towering cliffs, and dotted with picturesque fishing villages that harken back to days gone by.

Mt. Shasta, California’s Mysterious Volcano, is an Enigma Waiting to be Explored

At the northernmost tip of California lies the southern end of the dramatic Cascade mountain range. And the crowning glory of the range, which ripples down through British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon, before it comes to a stunning crescendo at Mount Shasta.

Explore the California Redwoods

Coastal redwoods are a type of evergreen tree that can live to be more than 2,000 years old. They are the tallest trees on Earth, with some reaching more than 250 feet tall. Redwoods provide habitats for many forest creatures and pull more carbon out of the air than any other tree species. Where can you find these magnificent perennial plants?

Panama has Hundreds of Islands, Each More Beautiful than the Last

Panama is often overlooked for its more famous neighbors Colombia and Costa Rica, who are renowned worldwide for their biodiversity, colorful cultures, and jaw-dropping scenery. But Panama, which links Central and South America, has a few of its own gems to offer – including the 1,400-plus islands that dot its coast.

The Romantic, Heartbreaking Love Story Behind the Taj Mahal

Ivory white columns rise from the earth, framing the central masterpiece: an intricately carved marble domed structure stood on a square plinth, resplendent with arched doorways, and topped by a bronze moon that reaches for the sky.