Mountain-top Stargazing in Tenerife
Tenerife sparkles with endless opportune moments to catch a glimpse of that starry night sky.
Have you ever watched E.T. tinged with the greenish glow of jealousy? I certainly have. That iconic scene where Elliot magically ascends into the air and peddles across the starry night sky dangled in front of us like a tempting carrot, only to be quickly snatched away again with the fast realisation of its impossible reality.
Well I am here today to hand you back that carrot, like a golden trophy of triumph, giving you a tangible chance to capture constellations of celestial beauty (minus the alien and flying bicycle of course!)
Proudly standing as the largest and most popular Canary Island, Tenerife sparkles with endless opportune moments to catch a glimpse of that starry night sky. Traipse, hike or heave your way to the top of Mount Teide at night and you will witness an extraordinary sight. Twinkling before you, like a set of shimmering diamonds upon a silken sheath of black velvet, are countless colourful constellations. Dazzling with celestial bodies from the Great Bear to the Big Dipper, you don’t have to be an avid astronomer to appreciate these breathtakingly beautiful starscapes, (yes I did just make up that word).
Stargazing is one of the most dazzling things to do in Tenerife. As Spain’s highest peak, not to mention the third largest volcano in the world, Mount Teide offers the perfect stargazing spot. From an elevation of 3,718 meters, witness the wondrous stars that populate our galaxy away from the bright lights and frenetic buzz of neighbouring tourist resorts. Amongst this craggy, stratospheric rock and luscious flora and fauna, it is clear to see why this soulful spot was considered so sacred to the ancient aboriginals. This sanctity extended even further with the Guanches aboriginals, who believed Mount Teide was solely responsible for holding up the sky. Well, we will forgive them for that as after all, for a split second there, we did believe a bicycle could fly with an alien in its basket!
For further delving into the mysterious depths of the starry sky, head to Teide Observatories; located midway up the mountain, this lunar facility is considered one of the best in the world and is a real must-see for budding astronomers. With super-strength telescopes (not the technical term, I know), here you can capture even the most fleeting of celestial activity; be it a soaring shooting star or a microscopic speck of dust, (let’s hope for the former).
For a place to stay beneath this starry hot-spot, we recommend the Parador de Canadas del Teide. Owned by the state, this luxurious hotel occupies a prime position at the foot of Mount Teide. And, with free Friday night tours of the stars (celestial not celebrity); this is a great place to make the most of Tenerife’s sensational night sky.
So without further ado, and because words really can’t do justice, here is a truly amazing video-montage of one man’s lone trek across Mount Teide to capture the magical and majestic beauty of Tenerife’s starry sensation.*
*Disclaimer: Please note this video of gorgeous gazing is best enjoyed with a chilled glass of white wine in hand and watched with not another soul in sight.