One of the best things to do and one of the best outdoor activities in the Canary Islands is stargazing in Gran Canaria. What is stargazing? There is no mystery, it is basically to observe and watch the stars — but it is undoubtedly magic.
This island is blessed with many positive climate factors that make it perfect for spending your holidays — the perfect weather, temperature and swimming conditions. But, apart from that, it also has the perfect conditions for stargazing while you are delighted by the beautiful spectacle of a starry night.
In Gran Canaria you will find high peaks rising in those majestic clear skies. On this basis, stargazing lovers can enjoy a front row seat at celestial spectacles. You just have to look up to the sky at the different vantage points located all over the island.
Why is Gran Canaria such a good spot for stargazing?
As you can imagine, the best vantage points are situated around the highest points of the island. This is due to a cloud phenomenon known by Canarian people as “Panza de burro”, translated as “Donkey’s Belly” — this phenomenon helps to obtain a clearer image of the sky, so it is perfect for stargazing in Gran Canaria.
The “Donkey’s Belly” function is to protect the image from the city lights and block out the light contamination. It draws this protective screen in clouds to an altitude around 500 metres above sea level, allowing best views of the stars. This phenomenon occurs mainly during the months from April to August, when the north of the island has more days of clouds than sunny days.
The best places for stargazing in Gran Canaria
At Villa Gran Canaria, we have created a list that you will find here below with the best places to watch the stars. So if you are planning a trip to the Spanish Islands and you are looking for a great outdoors activity, don’t hesitate to stargazing in Gran Canaria.
Presa de Las Niñas
’Presa de Las Niñas’, which means the ‘Dam of the Girls’, is a place where you will find a water reservoir with some flat areas. You can get here driving and park your car with ease. Then, you just have to enjoy stargazing all night long.
There is also a free camping area provided with some facilities like barbecues, toilets and water available. Nevertheless, you need permission from the local authorities to stay at this spot during the night.
There are some other dams which are also good places for stargazing located close to Presa de las Niñas – Presa del Mulato, Presa de Soria and Presa de Chira.
‘Roque Nublo’ means something like ‘cloudy rock’ in Spaish. Roque Nublo is a rock formation, but at the same time it is an iconic sight on the island. Although it is named this way, don’t worry — it will probably not be cloudy at all when you decide you spend the night there!
You will probably need a car to get there, but there is a parking right next to the road. Once you are there, you have two options — stay there and enjoy stargazing in Gran Canaria, or carefully climb the huge rock.
Think it twice before climbing, because you have to remember that you are in the mountains, and it means that there are some risks. Furthermore, we strongly recommend you to do it during the summer months, because it can be really cold during the winter.
El Garañón Camp and Tamadaba National Park
These two spots are both heavily wooded areas, so it is very important that you choose a good place. We strongly recommend you to find a spot where you have an open wide view in all directions and you will be able to enjoy the best stargazing in Gran Canaria.
As in the other places mentioned previously, there are camping facilities available and a parking where you can park your car, but you need a previous authorisation to stay there overnight.
Wherever you finally decide to go, we recommend you to plan it ahead, so you will know exactly where you are going. You will also need to check that you have all the authorisations that you need if you want to camp.
Moreover, you should make sure that you are properly prepared for night excursions in rugged terrain, and full equipped with the right warm clothes, the proper footwear, food, water and a flashlight.
Join a stargazing tour in Gran Canaria
If you want to maximize your stargazing experience in Gran Canaria, you just have to sign up for a stargazing tour. One of the greatest advantages of this activity is that it doesn’t require a good physical condition, so it is suitable for everyone — from children to seniors, and people with reduced mobility.
There are companies specialized stargazing. So they can advise you on the best nights to go, or take you to some of the best island’s spots for stargazing. They will also provide you a guide to help you spot constellations, planets and other celestial attractions. These are some of the best stargazing tours in Gran Canaria:
Enjoy the stunning views of a starry night sky from the beautiful mountains near Maspalomas, in the south of the island, on this stargazing tour with AstroGC.
As part of the tour, they will pick you up at your hotel in a minibus or a van and they will take you to a hillside viewing station where you can gaze at the stars without interference from artificial light.
It is a brilliant opportunity to learn the basics of how to use a telescope and identify planets, galaxies, constellations and more. These small group tours are ideal for families and couples.
This scientific company offers a wide variety of astronomical tours throughout the Canary Islands. There are private and group tours available that will give you the chance to take part in stargazing or hikes at stunning locations in Gran Canaria — such as Roque Nublo. These tours will also permit you to visit a local scientific observatory.
AstroEduca also organises a StarParty once a month. This StarParty is a family-friendly event that offers a great opportunity to use telescopes, and learn about astrophotography. This option is perfect for an unforgettable evening in Gran Canaria.
Roque Saucillo Astronomical Center
Centro Astronómico Roque Saucillo (CARS) is perfect for stargazing and it is located in the town of Vega de San Mateo, in the centre of Gran Canaria. It is easy to get there by car or by bus.
It is very popular among tourists, school groups and locals. They have a lot of telescopes and other advanced observational equipment that is used for scientific work as well as for its educational program.
They organise public activities and events that bring astronomy to life. So this tour is a great chance, above all if you are visiting Gran Canaria with children.
If you have enjoyed this post and you have imagined the amazing scene while stargazing in Gran Canaria, don’t hesitate to contact us in order to help you solving all your doubts and help you finding the best accommodation in Gran Canaria!