10 Amazing Places to Stargaze
A night spent under canvas or open to the night sky with the stars for company is the stuff of dreams. Here we choose our top 10 experiences from across our destinations.
Elqui Valley, Chile
Famed for having the clearest skies in the southern hemisphere, this blissfully tranquil area houses a large number of observatories. The focus here is on the appreciation of the area's fabulous skies and activities include specialised astronomic tours, night-time horse rides and telescope handling.
Feynan Lodge, Jordan
A stay at Feynan Lodge in the Dana Nature Reserve is an experience in itself. Wonderfully remote, this desert ecolodge is solar-powered and candlelit at night. It's ideal for stargazing, with a telescope on the roof terrace and knowledgeable staff on hand to answer questions about the constellations.
Flinders Ranges, Australia
Nestled at the foot of the majestic Flinders Range is Rawnsley Park Station, which includes a collection of luxury eco-villas where you can get away from it all. Designed to complement the natural surroundings, the villas feature a spectacular retractable ceiling offering night-sky viewing from the comfort of your bed.
Soneva Kiri, Thailand
The villas at Soneva Kiri can be found either on the seafront or set into the hills that rise from the sea. The delicious organic gourmet meals can be sampled in the treetop restaurant, on a moonlit beach or in the privacy of your villa. Best of all is the state-of-the-art observatory for admiring the starlit sky at this remote resort.
Wahiba Sands, Oman
The Wahiba Sands is a large desert area just four hours' drive from Muscat. Here, you can stay at the Desert Nights Camp, a luxury tented camp set between two 30m dunes. In the evening dinner is provided in the main restaurant with a chance to relax afterwards under the stars and listen to local musicians.
Sand Rivers Fly Camps are small, simple and delightful. They are not for everyone as they are set deep in the park and often frequented by wild animals. There is a fully stocked bar, a kitchen and a camp fire where sumptuous meals are cooked. Eating is outdoors on tables lit with lanterns under the night sky.
Gobi Region, Mongolia
Three Camel Lodge represents the finest accommodation available in the Gobi region, and has one of the best reputations of any establishment in Mongolia. The main lodge, with a veranda overlooking the desert steppe, is the perfect place to sit and watch the stars over the desert.
The Namib Desert, Namibia
Sossusvlei Desert Lodge is situated in the heart of the Namib Desert and has its very own resident astronomer and telescope. The suites each have a bed with a skylight above, so you can gaze at the stars from the comfort of your bed. Spend the following morning floating over the dunes in a balloon as the sun rises.
An innovative spa treatment at the Spa Village Resort in Tembok, the starlight gazing session takes form under a sea of stars. Guests lie weightless on a floating platform in the middle of the pool taking in the enormity of the universe above listening to a specially selected soundtrack.
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Lake Tekapo on the South Island of New Zealand is ideal for walking, but also happens to be a designated 'International Dark Sky Reserve'. Take a tour from the Mount John Observatory, or during the day visit the Church of the Good Shepherd and walk around the turquoise lake, surrounded by lupins in early spring.
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