Discover the world’s best stargazing sites

Stargazers looking for the best spots to see some of the galaxy's most breathtaking constellations are being advised on top locations around the world.

Astrotourism has become a growing trend with tourists willing to travel around the globe to witness extraordinary astronomical events.

The Milky Way is no longer visible to one-third of humanity because of light pollution, so many are choosing to escape to remote locations to experience space.

More than 7,000 stars and planets can be seen from Galloway Forest in Scotland, while Canada's Yukon Territory provides exceptional odds to catch the elusive northern lights.

Travel experts at StressFreeCarRental.com have researched the eight most breathtaking destinations for stargazing.

“With interest in the stars, skies and space growing, many are switching out beaches and sun loungers for dark skies and meteor showers," said John Charnock, CEO of StressFreeCarRental.com “We expect that astrotourism will be a huge trend in 2024, and more people than ever will flock to remote spots to witness celestial events like the northern lights and a lunar eclipse."

Galloway Forest, Scotland

The region has some of the darkest skies in Europe as barely anyone lives in the area, resulting in very little light pollution. Visitors can see more than 7,000 stars and planets in the sky.

Churchill, Canada

Located directly under the auroral oval, Churchill is one of the top places in the world to see the northern lights which are visible up to 300 nights per year. Its long nights and cold conditions make the spectacular display of lights appear brighter and remain longer.

Northumberland, England

Home to a Dark Sky Park, Northumberland has the largest expanse of protected dark skies in the UK, meaning the Milky Way is visible stretching across the skies.

Malin Head, Northern Ireland

Malin Head is fitting as a Star Wars filming location because epic views of the Milky Way and northern lights are common. Meteorites are also often spotted making an entry into the atmosphere before burning up along the coast.

Brecon Beacons, Wales

Aside from the Milky Way, major constellations, meteor showers and bright nebulae are a common view for stargazers. The pristine dark skies mean visitors can catch a glimpse of galaxies such as M81, M82, and the Leo triplet.

New South Wales, Australia

From sleeping under the stars to spotting glowing lights from inside caves, there are many astronomical adventures to experience in New South Wales. Dark Sky Park in Warrumbungle hosts various tours to get to know the planets and galaxies.

White Desert, Egypt

The White Desert National Park is home to pristine night skies and its distinct landscape offers a unique experience of observing the stars, constellations and meteor showers.

La Palma, Canary Islands

The Canary skies are protected by ‘Sky Law’ to limit night-time pollution, making them some of the cleanest in Europe. The best spot in La Palma is the San Borondon viewpoint which offers a clear view of the North Star and the Cassiopeia and Cepheus constellations.

Mayo Dark Sky Park

While not on the list, Mayo Dark Sky Park merits a mention as it is just up the road in northwest Mayo, and boasts some of the darkest skies in the world. By day Wild Nephin National Park offers 15,000 hectares of remote unspoilt wilderness to explore; by night it becomes Mayo Dark Sky Park, the perfect place to enjoy spectacular views of the Milky Way, the planets, and meteor showers.

 

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