Protected by legislation since 1988, the skies above La Palma are a dream for stargazers
Protected by legislation since 1988, the skies above La Palma are a star-gazers dream destination La Palma is the second westernmost island of the Canary archipelago. This, together with a mountainous
landscape that climbs to 2,396 metres, makes it one of the best places in the world for star gazing. Looking deep into the incredible night sky is an attraction that this little island – just a four-hour flight from central Europe – knows how to cherish: a legislation drafted in 1988 protects the beautiful skies from light pollution and invasive air traffic.
The joy of stargazing
The people of La Palma have great pride in their island’s clear, close and wonderful night sky. In 2012, astrophysicist Ana García Suárez founded the astrotourism operator La Palma Astronomy Tours. Her business has become greatly successful in the international tourism sector, thanks to the quality of the island’s night sky and the experiential model she promotes.
On a La Palma Astronomy Tour, visitors can expect to experience some of the best viewing points on the island, take advantage of the giant telescopes of the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, participate in astronomy workshops, and take night photography courses. They even offer a Tapas and Stars tour, an activity that combines tapas with astronomy in the incomparable setting of the San Antonio Volcano and its visitor centre.
"They even offer a Tapas and Stars tour"
Ana García, founder of La Palma Astronomy Tours, explains that part of her project’s success is attributed to her passionate team and their love for their island: “We have a team that loves what it does. You need to connect to your clients with a story,” she continues. “And that can only happen if you really have a feel for what you are doing.”
Along with her seven trained staff, she personally greets all her groups, which can exceed 100 people.
Astrotourism in La Palma
Astronomy is an integral part of the island’s tourism. Following the Cumbre Veja eruptions, the island continues to invest in their Astrotoursim. La Palma’s already impressive network of walking tracks will have more signage guiding visitors to the best nocturnal viewing points, and hotels are starting to provide guests with telescopes.