Travelling doesn’t have to be all white sand beaches, azure blue water and beach babes: just ask astrotourists.
Astrotourism is a new travel trend which sees travellers seek out the best ‘black sky’ locations – that is, places with the least light pollution – to enjoy the beauty of the galaxy.
This means astrotourists choose their holiday hotspots not based on where they can get the best tan, but rather where they can witness celestial events at their most vibrant.
Just last year, CN Traveller reported a rise in prime-location hotels booking out ahead of the solar eclipse, with astrotourists travelling from far and wide to catch the phenomenon.
The more remote the better: think the far corners of Iceland to watch the Northern Lights, planet-spotting from an astronomical observatory in Southern Vietnam, or star-gazing sessions in a remote reserve in Indonesia.
Fancy yourself a bit of a space geek? With the help of Perowne, we’ve selected some of the best star-gazing spots in the world to stretch your astrotourist legs…
The Northern Lights in Icleand
The Aurora Borealis – otherwise known as the Northern Lights – is one of the world’s most stunning celestial events, and Iceland is the best place to see it from.
Witness a ballet of light dancing across the sky from one of the countries remotest areas, such as Bodo, Lofoten Islands, Lynjenfjord or Narvik.
If you want to see the lights in luxury, watch them from geo-thermally heated pool at Deplar Farm on the Troll Peninsula in Northern Iceland.
A word of warning: Iceland summertime experiences 24 hours of sunlight a day, so make sure you visit between September and mid-April.
Spot Saturn Jupiter and Mars in Southern Vietnam
If you’re prepared to head further afield, why not do a spot of planet-spotting from an astronomical observatory in Vietnam?
At Six Senses Con Dao you can look through the observatory’s Maksutov-Cassegrain 127mm telescope to marvel at Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and open clusters such as Pleiades and the Beehive Cluster.
Star-gaze in Indonesia
Why not book in at the Bawah Reserve in Indonesia – located between Malaysia and Borneo – where you can book in at one of the resorts nightly star shows?
Here, you can enjoy weekly star gazing sessions, accompanied by an expert identifying different constellations and stars.
If you’re really lucky, you might even be able to spot some shooting stars and meteor showers. What’s more, is that the star-gazing spot is located by ocean, reflecting the stunning activity above.
Sold on astrotourism? Race you to Iceland.
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