“Born in the dust and cradled in the dark,
It feels the fire of an immortal spark,
And learns to read, with patient, searching eyes,
The splendid secret of the unconscious skies.”
-Henry van Dyke
Looking at the stars above, we are often left to wonder at the magnanimity of the universe, and the world beyond. Take a break and go on this virtual tour of the most beautiful stargazing spots around the world.
Flanked by tall mountain peaks, Tromso in Norway is the best place to see the northern lights. Brave the polar temperatures and you are sure to be rewarded with breathtaking views of the starry sky.
Atacama Desert, Chile
The driest non-polar desert in the world, Atacama in Chile has many observatories and research stations that offer guided tours for star-gazing. Starry-eyed will have a whole new meaning after you visit this place!
Easter Island, Chile
With high altitude plateaus, scarce rainfall and clear skies, Chile has many places that are apt for stargazing. Easter Island is one such place where you can gaze at the galaxy for hours on end!
A favourite camping site in Colorado, Fruita is where you can spend a glittering night under the open skies. Surrounded by valleys, plateaus, cliffs and rivers, Fruita is a splendid blend of nature’s best!
Spotted here is the Berlin Funkturm against the backdrop of a million stars. Ansfelden in Austria has many such open areas where you can spot clear skies and many constellations. Make sure to check this off your itinerary while visiting Austria!
Being the highest mountain range in Germany has its advantages! With legendary summits and thick forests, Harz is what German fairytales are made of. Add to this the backdrop of the Milky Way and you are set to write your very own fable.
Lake Ontario, New York
One of the five Great Lakes of North America, Lake Ontario in New York is a picturesque place for stargazing. The phenomenon of northern lights, or Aurora Borealis is a bonus you won’t be able to resist!
Leh in Ladakh has some of the clearest night skies in India, with sweeping views of the galaxy. Leh is also home to the Indian Astronomical Observatory which has the world’s highest sites for gamma-ray, optical and infrared telescopes.
Pitch your tent in Mount Arapiles in Victoria and sit back with the stars shining above you. Lake Mitre flows by gently, drawing you in with its soothing rhythm. Drive up, climb or trek the peaks for some of the most spellbinding views.
Alta Lake, Washington
The sheer beauty of Alta Lake State Park will mesmerise you! Situated beneath stone cliffs, the lake and the park are a wonderful natural retreat. Apart from stargazing, you can also witness the northern lights shimmering over the lake!
Spiti Valley, India
Spiti Valley, a desert mountain in the Himalayan Range has some of the most clear skies in the world. Kye Gompa, situated at an altitude of 4,166 m is a prominent place of worship here and makes for a pretty picture under the star-lit sky!
Ushimado Sea, Japan
Known as the Aegean Sea of Japan, Ushimado Sea is no less than a scenic resort! Yachts line the harbour and this is where you can catch an eyeful of our galaxy. You just cannot miss this awe-inspiring site when you visit Japan!
Sutherland, South Africa
Right in the middle of South Africa is the Karoo, a semi-desert comprising of five sub-regions. The vast open spaces, dramatic shifts in landscape and the remoteness of this place make for interesting stargazing opportunities. You can take part in guided tours for a more informed experience.
The island of Borneo is a paradise for nature lovers, and with its open spaces, gives you ample opportunities for stargazing. Boasting of a vast coastline and surrounded by some of the highest mountain peaks of Malaysia, Sabah also doubles up as a romantic getaway.
Ackergill, United Kingdom
Hounding winds, highland moors and dark seas-don’t worry, this is not an Arthur Conan Doyle book. This is Ackergill in Wick, a Scottish retreat where you can spend a romantic holiday all the while gazing at the starry canopy!
Joshua Tree National Park, California
Camp away in the Joshua Tree National Park and take a tour of the Milky Way, albeit with binoculars! The forest rangers here give you a tour as well as regale you with folk tales of the yore.
Gatineau Park, Canada
Situated at the foothills of Gatineau Hills, the Gatineau Park in Ottawa is a conservation and recreation park. With a vast expanse of forest cover and Ottawa River gushing in the far fields, it is an ideal picnic spot. Also, the vividly painted clear skies with silver stars are a treat to the eyes!
These stunning stargazing spots around the world are just a handful of places where you catch the night sky in its full glory. If ever you plan a trip to these cities, make sure to get some shut-eye in the afternoon so that the night can be spent taking in these gorgeous views!
About the Author:
A wordologist, Etti Bali loves playing around with words, creating a world of absurd. In an ideal world, she would never wake up as she thinks slumber is the answer to all world problems.