Stargazing on a luxury ITC holiday
An ITC favourite destination has recently been named as one of the best places to see the stars.
The volcanic island of Tenerife has had its Teide National Park officially named a Starlight Tourist Destination and Starlight Reserve by the Starlight Foundation.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site is said to be a perfect spot for stargazing due to its lack of pollution and pristine conditions. The Canary Island has long been a favourite for stargazers, with a Starmus Festival held every year to celebrate the night sky. Carlos Alonso, President of the Tenerife Island Government, was reported as saying: “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.”
Whether you’re a budding astronomer or perhaps looking for a romantic spot to propose, we’ve picked our top ITC destinations for a luxurious night under the stars…
ABAMA Golf & Spa Resort, Tenerife
Keen to check out the ‘Starlight Tourist Destination’ for yourself? A break to the ABAMA won’t disappoint. The resort is managed by the Ritz-Carlton Company, and each of the rooms and suites have a private balcony or terrace – perfect for a little of your own nightly star searching. To experience something special head to the nearby Teide Observatory for a stargazing tour.
Hotel Quintessence, Quebec, Canada
As a Certified International Dark Sky Reserve, Mont Megantic near to Quebec, Canada, makes for a pretty spectacular place to see the stars. A visit to the ASTROLab at the entrance to the Parc national du Mont-Mégantic should be on the cards for any budding young scientists. We suggest staying at the Hotel Quintessence – a boutique country hotel sitting on Quebec's stunning Laurentian Mountains with views over Mont Tremblant and Lake Tremblant.
Blanket Bay Lodge, South Island, New Zealand
New Zealand is a special place to visit whether you’re off for an action-packed adventure or a relaxing spa break. The islands are known for their fabulous night skies, with the Aoraki Mackenzie on South Island being an International Dark Sky Reserve. For a break combining the best star gazing with action or relaxation (depending on what suits) try Blanket Bay Lodge - a grand alpine-style lodge in 59 acres overlooking Lake Wakitipu and the Remarkables.
Damaraland Camp, Namibia
Due to its lack of pollution, the NamibRand Nature Reserve was awarded Gold status as a Certified International Dark Sky Reserve. The perfect location we reckon to make the most of this natural night sky is the Damaraland Camp in Namibia. The eco-friendly camp is a truly unique spot, with sightings of the areas ‘desert-adapted’ elephants a highlight, and stargazing the clear night skies a must.