Cecilia Garland - Jun 15, 2009

Star gazing is a nice hobby. To achieve the best experience people who want to observe the night sky travel to destinations that are not “light-polluted”.


People always looked up to watch the stars. Nevertheless, with the current development there are fewer places from where we can observe the night sky. Big cities cause light pollution which makes star gazing quite difficult if not impossible. For that reason people who want to see stars in dark sky, travel away from the big cities. But where to travel? It is estimated that for example in the USA 99 per cent of skies are light-polluted and by 2025 all authentically dark areas in the US will be gone.

For now, nevertheless, the USA has destinations from where sky gazing is very good. For example the Sonoran Desert is one of these destinations. Hawaii island of Mauna Kea is even home to the world"s largest observatory. Another luring destination for star gazers is northern Chile, where the Observatorio Cerro Mamalluca offers wonderful possibilities to observe the stars. This desert region has an ideal climate for star gazing because clouds are really rare here. Local towns even put shades on their streetlights to limit the light pollution. Among the things that lure tourists to this part of world is the possibility to observe the Southern Cross.

Some of the darkest skies in Europe are in Scotland. According to “Dark Sky Scotland” one can see fewer than 100 stars with naked eye from a big city. On the other hand we can see more than 1,000 stars in the rural areas.

Star gazing can be connected with regular tourism as some of the best star gazing destinations are in New Zealand, South Africa, Stonehenge, the Galapagos Islands, southern Spain, the Canaries, the island of Nevis, the Caribbean or Algarve in Portugal.


  1. You left out one of the best places to stargaze in the world, which is Namibia! Due to low population density and controlled development, there is very little light pollution. There are a few properties that offer telescopes and observatories, some with in-house guides on astronomy and close to Windhoek is the H.E.S.S. Observatory.

    (United Kingdom)
  2. I'd agree with the comment about Scotland's dark skies. A couple of years ago I was able to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) from the centre of Edinburgh on a number of very dark nights.

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