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Stargazing in Alberta ranked among the best in the world (PHOTOS)

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DH Calgary Staff Sep 26, 2016 10:38 am

A quick drive out of Calgary and you’ll be able to see constellations with the unaided eye easily. Away from the light pollution and noise, Alberta ranks as one of the top places to stargaze in the world according to our friends at Booking.com.

The global leader in connecting travellers with incredible places to stay, gave us their list of top places to stargaze in the world with Alberta’s Jasper National Park making the cut.

Start off in Alberta and cross off a bucket list that will take you around the world.

Jasper, Alberta – Canada

A gorgeous colourful display of Aurora Borealis over the mountains near Jasper, Alberta, reflecting in the waters of Talbot Lake (Booking.com)

A gorgeous colourful display of Aurora Borealis over the mountains near Jasper, Alberta, reflecting in the waters of Talbot Lake (Booking.com)

At 11,000 square kilometres, Jasper National Park is home to one of the World’s largest Dark Sky Preserves and also the host of the annual Jasper Dark Sky Festival. The national park has made a special commitment to protect and preserve the night sky and to reduce or eliminate light pollution in all its form so you will definitely be blown away by the view. 

Located within the magnificent Jasper National Park, the iconic Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge offers a variety of nature and outdoor activities, making it the perfect accommodation for adventure seekers and stargazers.  The lodge also offers luxury lodging with impeccable service for those looking to unwind and relax after a long, adventurous day.

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

A shooting star in the skies above the Atacama in Chile (Skreidzeleu/Shutterstock)

A shooting star in the skies above the Atacama in Chile (Skreidzeleu/Shutterstock)

It’s very fitting that one of the best places on Earth to view the stars also happens to bear an odd resemblance to the Red Planet. You can almost always count on clear skies here as some parts of the Atacama haven’t seen rain in 400 years.

Popular among travelers who endorsed San Pedro de Atacama for stargazing is the boutique Hotel Pascual Andino which features cozy but elegant rooms. Enjoy a soak under the clear sky in the Jacuzzi or alternatively, if you want some privacy you can admire the starry night from your own private terrace.

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand

Mt John Observatory ticks all the boxes – it’s located in the world’s largest dark sky reserve, its home to New Zealand’s largest telescope and it also has gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains.

Book Tekapo Holiday Homes are scattered around the stunning Lake Tekapo Village and are only a short drive to Lake Pukaki. The holiday homes have great features including balconies overlooking the stunning mountains and offer cozy fireplaces where you can warm up after an evening under the stars.

Sedona, USA

The starry skies above Bell Rock near Sedona (cpaulfell/Shutterstock)

The starry skies above Bell Rock near Sedona (cpaulfell/Shutterstock)

Though it can get pretty chilly out in the Arizona desert, it’s worth it to get away from all that light pollution and see the beautiful night sky revealed. In Sedona you can discover cosmic wonders like the Andromeda galaxy but it’s best to grab a tour with a telescope so you can marvel in the sight of binary stars, the Orion nebula and a whole lot more.

Located along Oak Creek and offering beautiful views of the Red Rocks is the Amara Resort and Spa. The spa here is award-winning and the hotel offers stylish and modern rooms with balconies where you can enjoy stunning desert views. Take advantage of the free morning yoga classes and enjoy sun salutations under the Arizona sun. Afterwards you can cool off in the stunning infinity pool or enjoy a cocktail out on the sun terrace.

Vilaflor, Tenerife – Spain

The Milky Way and a Perseid meteor, over Teide Izana astronomical observatory in Tenerife, Canary islands, Spain (David Herraez Calzada/Shutterstock)

The Milky Way and a Perseid meteor, over Teide Izana astronomical observatory in Tenerife, Canary islands, Spain (David Herraez Calzada/Shutterstock)

One of the best places in the northern hemisphere to stargaze is the Observatorio del Teide in Vilaflor, on Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, off West Africa. Scientists from all over the world come here to study and as a visitor you can have a free tour and add your name to the list of those who’ve seen through the mammoth telescopes scattered here.

Far from the town centre amongst pretty gardens you will find Hotel Rural San Miguel. The hotel is made up of two 17th-century country houses and the rooms still have old century décor but with all the comforts of modern living. This is a great stay for those after rejuvenation as in this peaceful hotel you will find a sauna, hot tub and even a hot spring bath – you’ll unwind in no time.


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DH Calgary Staff
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