We’re in an era of Astro-tourism; a new concept that puts stars in our eyes in the form of terrestrial trips and astrological adventures. Yep that’s right, people are now traveling far and wide to experience the beauty of our solar system, from the aurora borealis to sun, moon and star-themed activities. And in this world of ours, there’s no lack of open plains on which to witness the milky way. So, if you’ve ever taken a photo of something so astonishing that even the iPhone X Camera falters under the pressure? Well these starry-eyed places follow suit, with views so magnificent they’ll have you twinkling with excitement. It’s safe to say we’re pretty star struck!
Renowned for its annual Dark Sky Festival, best enjoyed in October, where solar viewings, rocket launches and, of course, stars can be enjoyed in abundance, Jasper National Park is something of a dream when it comes to enjoying starry skies. Very Twilight-esque, the forests are intimidatingly beautiful, and you’ll be able to huddle together with celestial celebrities and enjoy learning about our wonderful world.
Jasper National Park extends over 11,000 square kilometres and is the largest National Park in the Canadian Rockies – watch out for the bears!
Hawaii isn’t all Hula skirts and Aloha shirts – intact its pretty amazing for a star gaze; Mauna Kea in particular. The location is home to the world’s largest optical telescope, and visitors can enjoy a Star Gazing Program weather permitting, to enjoy the magnificent views at the 9,200 foot (2,800 m) level of Maunakea. The peak closes to tourists come nightfall, but the visitors centre stays open later, allowing visitors to enjoy some spectacular sunsets and in the morning, sunrises.
The Atacama Desert in Chile is one of the driest places in the world, but it’s also one of the most striking, and most probably a dream for astronomers. The Atacama Desert Stargazing Tour from San Pedro de Atacama is a two and half hour extravaganza that will put the stars straight into your eyes. The austrotourism experience will see you observe constellations, planets, shooting stars and all manner of celestial bodies, and is definitely one to tick off the bucket list.
Stars have the tendency to be somewhat overlooked when it comes to Nepal, what with it being home to the renowned Mount Everest. However Sagamartha, which translates to Forehead in the Sky, in Nepali, is a National Park perfect for a stargaze as they sparkle over the world’s highest peak, allowing you to be at one with the Milky Way. The UNESCO site is located at the base of Mt. Everest, a mountainous park consisting of 443 square miles (1,148 square km) of land. Staying over for the night is the best bet, to get the most out of the views.
Photo Credit: @royalmountaintravel
Death Valley National Park is designated as the largest Dark Sky National Park in the country, and it’s positioned pretty much in the middle of nowhere, located 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas and 295 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Don’t be put off by the name Death Valley as it is really rather beautiful, with an abundance of tours available for stargazing enthusiasts. During the winter and spring months, Death Valley National Park rangers hold stargazing events with various astronomy organizations, but the beautiful dark skies are an attraction for astronomy enthusiasts year-round.
Photo Credit: Travel Pirates
It’s that part of the world absolutely synonyms for night sky views; Norway of course has to be on the stargazing list, most notably Trysil. Stargazing Experience is run as an interactive experience to be enjoyed by one and all, where those who want to see the stars can go along with an English speaking guide and an experienced photographer to capture that insta-worthy picture of you under the stars. What’s more, you’ll see the Northern Lights, and that’s always a plus!