Friday, 20 November 2015

Stargazing Holidays

Enjoy starry, starry nights on a stunning stargazing holiday

CHILE
Serious stargazers should head to the remote Atacama Desert in northern Chile, where there’s little of the usual light pollution from towns and cities so the night skies are stunning. Last Frontiers offers a 10-day tour, which includes the country’s wine valleys, the city of Santiago, the coastal oasis town of Arica and three nights in the Atacama Desert itself. Accommodation is at the Alto Atacama, outside the town of San Pedro de Atacama, which has its own observation deck with telescope.
From £4,280 per person including flights: 01296- 653000, www.lastfrontiers.com

IRELAND
The Kerry International Dark-Sky Reserve, on the remote Iveragh Peninsula in southwestern Ireland, has been awarded ‘gold tier’ status, which is given for particularly clear and bright night skies, with easily visible phenomena such as meteors and the Milky Way. UTracks’s eight-day Ring of Kerry Walk trip, from Killarney and back, via Killorglin, Cahersiveen, Waterville and Kenmare, includes five days of walking with an expert Irish guide through the region’s spectacular landscapes.
From £950 per person, excluding flights: 0845-241 7599, www.UTracks.com


globetrotter-590-2Alto Atacama hotel in Chile has its own observation deck


NEW ZEALAND
Mount Cook National Park (aka Aoraki National Park), which lies at the heart of the Southern Alps in New Zealand, encompasses a classified Dark Sky Reserve, so is a great destination for astronomy enthusiasts. Discover The World’s 11-night self-drive holiday on South Island features time there plus the chance to buy a guided stargazing tour from its accommodation, the Hermitage Hotel, and an excursion to Lake Tekapo’s Mount John Observatory.
From £2,401 per person, including flights, hire car, some sightseeing: 01737-900621, www.discover-the-world.co.uk

SCOTLAND
Stargazing and astrology are combined on a special fournight break on the private island of Eilean Shona off Scotland’s west coast, starting on 21 January 2016. The Astrological Short Course and Nature Retreat will feature group discussions, lectures and stargazing sessions, and the price includes full board, wine, course materials, nature walks and boat transfers.
From £800 per person: 01967-431249, www.eileanshona.com
globetrotter-590-3Mount Cook National Park Below: Milky Way viewed from Teide National Park

TENERIFE
Teide National Park offers some of the clearest night skies on Earth. Stay at Parador Las Cañadas, which has a great view of Mount Teide, a telescope for guests’ use and stargazing sessions. u Three nights’ half-board at Parador Las Cañadas costs from £328 per person including car hire, as an addon to the seven-night Timeless Tenerife walking holiday, from £580 per person: 01653-617001, inntravel.co.uk 

Contact Wendy at wendy.gomersall@lady.co.uk. Prices are correct at the time of going to press.



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