Tenerife is usually acclaimed for its its great climate, sunny sky and warm winters, but if you're willing to look past that you will find that the island is a great place for many types of activities, ranging from water sports, cycling, trekking to stargazing, as the Canary Islands are one of the best places in the world to watch the stars (especially Tenerife and La Palma).
Stargazing in Tenerife
In 2013, Teide National Park was declared a Starlight Tourist Destination and Starlight Reserve by the Starlight Foundation and since then the number of tourists interested in astronomy has grown, making Tenerife a popular destination for astronomers worldwide. The low light pollution inside Teide National Park (declared also a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is what makes it the perfect place for stargazing in Tenerife, as here you're almost guaranteed great night sky conditions, which will allow you to observe various stars and constellations.
Tenerife has a special law in place in order to protect these pristine star watching conditions inside Teide National Park, by controlling the flight routes and limiting the light pollution inside the park.
Teide By Night ® - The best way to enjoy Tenerife's night sky
If you want to explore Teide National Park, you have either the option of renting a car and going on your own, or going with an organized tour that will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the best places in the park.
Although we had a rental car and we had visited the park in the past by ourselves, we were happy to rediscover the park again under a new light with the fantastic team at Teide By Night.
We went on one of the English tour from the South of Tenerife and we had Jack as our guide and Marcos as our driver. From the start, we must say that they make a great team and they really made the entire experience feel special from start to finish.
The Teide by Night tour includes pickup from your hotel, stops at various points for coffee or pictures, a magical sunset inside the national park, followed by a 3 course dinner and then a session of watching the night sky and its constellations.
1st stop: Vilaflor - Tenerife's highest village
Our first stop of the day was in Vilaflor at a cafe where we enjoyed an almond tart, followed by the typical barraquito. If you haven't tried yet this typical coffee from Tenerife, then we strongly recommend you give it a try on your next visit, or you could event try to recreate it at home following our barraquito recipe.
Vilaflor is situated at 1400 m altitude and you can already see the landscape change as you start to go up towards the volcano.
Next stops: viewpoints inside Teide National Park
After you've entered the park you will stop to admire the majestic Teide in all its glory, as well as other symbols of Tenerife like Roques de Garcia.
Here you'll have the chance to take some beautiful photos of Teide and the park and if you want some memories of this day, we must say that Marcos is an excellent photographer (besides being a great driver) and he took some really lovely photos for us (as well as for all other participants), which everyone really appreciated.
Best sunset in Tenerife: enjoy a sunset above the clouds with Teide By Night and a glass of bubbly champagne
The highlight of the evening was by far our stop to watch the sunset at over 2000 m / 6500 feet, with a glass of champagne in our hand and Teide in the backdrop. We got to see sun go down behind a sea of clouds, which is not something you get to see everyday.
Tip: the light during golden hour is simply amazing up there (it's like a photographer's dreams come true), so if you're passionate about photography, take full advantage of this stop to get your best pictures of Teide and the sun.
Depending on the day and/or weather you may go to some other spot in the park to watch the sunset (Jack was prepared with more than just one back-up plan), but given the beauty of the entire park, the experience will probably still be amazing anywhere you go.
Dinner at the highest restaurant inside Teide National Park
The 3 course dinner with wine and also coffee is included in the price of the tour and it's a nice and tasty break, before going outside to watch the stars.
Stargazing in Tenerife inside the national park with Teide By Night
After our meal we got into the bus and drove to a dark spot where we could admire the beautiful night sky.
By this time it had gotten rather chilly outside, given the fact that we were there in January, so we really appreciated the warm blankets that Jack and Marcos had provided us with.
Best tip if you want to come on the Teide By Night tour: bring warm clothes with you, preferably more layers and a warm jacket if possible. Of course that it depends on the time of the year when you come to visit, but it gets chilly even in the summer, given the high altitude that you are at.
Jack showed us different constellations and gave us a lot of information that we found fascinating. The night sky inside Teide National Park is really something that you have to see with your own eyes and no photograph can do it justice.
We want to thank Jack and Marcos again for being so friendly and attentive throughout the day and for providing us with so many nice memories. We were able to learn more about Tenerife and Teide and so we got to appreciate even more the places we got to see during our tour.
More info on the Teide By Night tour:
- the tour is available both from the North and the South of the island
- the tour is available in several languages: English, French, German and Dutch
- you can book the Teide By Night tour directly on their website
- you get to see the key points of Teide National Park, as well as an unforgettable sunset
- you will take part in a session of stargazing in Tenerife inside the national park, where the guide will give you details about the various constellations you're seeing
Disclaimer: We were invited as guests on the Teide By Night tour, but all opinions and impressions are our own.