Star Gazing

aurora star filled sky istk

For an incredible stargazing experience in Europe, look no further than Iceland. We know some of the best rural hotels and lodges, far from artificial light pollution, where you can not only fall under the spell of the aurora borealis, but also study the constellations and planets such as Venus, Mars and Saturn.

Some properties, like Hotel Ranga in southwest Iceland, have state-of-the-art observatories, allowing remarkable close-up views. Or you can combine stargazing with wellbeing, lying back in an outdoor hot tub, gazing up at the heavens.

northern lights over hotel ranga in south west iceland

In Swedish Lapland, the Aurora Sky Station in Abisko National Park is renowned for its clear night skies, while a winter trip to Svalbard, high in the Arctic, can offer 24hr polar pight conditions for maximum stargazing and aurora-watching potential.

Of the dozen or so International Dark Sky Reserves (officially recognised for the exceptional quality of their starry nights), we feature two of the most exciting destinations in our portfolio of worldwide holidays.

sweden lapland abisko aurora sky station evening view rth

In New Zealand, a stargazing tour in the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve reveals the night sky of the southern hemisphere in all its vivid glory. Using telescopes at the Mt John Observatory, experienced guides will point out the Southern Cross, Magellanic Clouds (satellite galaxies to the Milky Way) and other features of the cosmos.

In Chile, the Atacama Desert is another stargazing hotspot – a high-altitude plateau located in a rain shadow between the Pacific Ocean and Andes, it is not only one of the driest places on earth, but also boasts incredibly clear skies.

chile atacama stargazing adstk