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Star gazing and Spanish culture...why Tenerife is the best place to do it

Anyone living in an urban setting will know that while star spotting of the celebrity kind is a relatively easy feat, spotting stars is the cosmos is somewhat harder. With all the hustle and bustle of city life, and the pollution that comes with it, clear skies can be a rare sight.

But on one Spanish island, star lit skies are as common as sun-seeking holidaymakers, making it the perfect destination for travellers with a penchant for star gazing.

The Canary Island of Tenerife has won two leading accolades in recognition of the ideal night-sky conditions and low light pollution on offer from the Teide National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park has earned the “Starlight Tourist Destination” and “Starlight Reserve” certificates from the Starlight Foundation, adding to Tenerife’s appeal as a destination for budding astronomers as well as fans of beach holidays.

The ‘Starlight Initiative’ is an international campaign launched in 2007 and managed by the Starlight Foundation, with an aim is to protect the quality of the night sky and the general right to contemplate the stars.

Commenting, Mr. Carlos Alonso, President of the Tenerife Island Government, said: “Astronomy is becoming a more and more popular activity in Tenerife and we are extremely happy that the Teide National Park has achieved the ‘Starlight’ seal, recognising the excellent quality of the island’s skies, which keep attracting tourists and scientists from around the world.”

The island’s annual Starmus Festival, the next one of which will take place in 2014, plays host to a number of “astro tourists” who can take part in a range of events designed to give them an optimum view of the sky above. This includes a sunset session of star gazing and dinner at 2,000 metres above sea level on Mount Teide’s cable car. If you are planning to head to Tenerife for a spot of star gazing and sangria it’s important to organise european travel insurance in advance.

Date Created: 19 November 2013

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