How to combine extreme stargazing with an extra-special vacation in some of the world's dark sky destinations.
The universe is back in fashion. Perhaps it's because light pollution on the increase as white LED streetlights across ever-expanding cities, but there seems to be a growing interest in astro-tourism.
However, is just looking at the night sky enough to justify a long journey into the wilderness? Probably not, which is why we've found some unique vacations and organized activities that take place in areas beloved of stargazers. All of them combine an adventure with enjoying the night sky. Sometimes that means hauling along a telescope on a kayaking adventure, other times it's a hike-and-camp expedition that will have you come face to face with the night sky at its best.
To make it easy to find a dark place, there’s a network of places designated as having dark enough skies for stargazing and astronomy. The International Dark-Sky Association runs a certification scheme that monitors light pollution, and has certified Dark Sky Parks (to recognise the world’s very darkest places) and Dark Sky Reserves (dedicated to preserving the quality of night skies) across the world.
Either way, look skywards from one of these wilderness trips and you're sure to see stars. Want the best advice ever? If you want to see a sky full of stars, avoid the week before a full moon and three days afterwards, and for the Milky Way arching overhead, go during that same time-period between June and September.