For the ultimate stargazing experience, pick your spot carefully. Being immersed in nature, far away from the glow of city lights is fundamental. But would you prefer a silent, snowy, mountainous setting or would you rather stare at stars in the desert on a balmy night?
To reconnect with nature and see distant galaxies and constellations against the darkest of skies, head to one of the following destinations.
A surreal setting for stargazing, Sesriem, Namibia
Sesriem in the Namibian desert has practically no precipitation, making it ideal for clear night stargazing. It’s known for its massive red sand dunes, its canyon and the dead, black trees that twist out of the surrounding plains. The dunes are definitely worth admiring before the sun goes down, while they’re bathed in a sunset glow and ripple in the evening wind. Then, when darkness prevails, enjoy a dazzling display of shooting stars and constellations. To be right in the heart of the action, stay at Desert Quiver Camp, offering spacious and luxurious accommodation, including an outdoor swimming pool, amidst the graceful sand dunes.
Watch the sun set and the moon rise over the Sahara's mighty sand dunes, M'hamid, Morocco
M’Hamid is a small oasis town that serves as a launch pad for visiting the Sahara Desert and Morocco’s most impressive sand dunes, the Erg Chigaga. Reached on camel’s back or by jeep, these dunes tower into the sky, some reaching 60m tall. The area has long been inhabited by ancient Berber tribes, so a stargazing session is generally accompanied with live, traditional Berber music to surreal effect. Bivouac M'hamid offers traditional tented Berber accommodation just 2km from M'hamid as well as trekking, camel rides, and various excursions.
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
The International Dark Sky Reserve of Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
Lake Tekapo is an International Dark Sky Reserve, so you’ll enjoy exceptional visibility of the night sky. This is a great place to pitch up a tent for a few days, as it’s no less magical by day than it is by night. The milky-blue lake, its purple floral shores and surrounding pine forests are quite something to wake up to. While you’re here, you can also take a tour of the nearby astronomical observatory atop Mount John, with the largest telescope in New Zealand. Stay at TekapoB2 Lakeview Apartment for superb lake and mountain panoramic views, tranquility, and chic, rustic decor featuring uncarved wooden furniture.
Cabo Polonio, Uruguay
Cabo Polonio is a truly secluded hamlet with a pitch black night sky
Cabo Polonio is a hamlet sat on a sliver of sand stretching out into the Atlantic Ocean. With no roads leading to this little collection of shacks, this is genuine seclusion. And the perfect place to sleep under the stars. In this little-known hamlet, accommodations are fewer and farther between but Olga Veigas y Otros is a characterful collection of units in a remote and peaceful stretch of sand.
Wadi Rum, Jordan
Wadi Rum's lunar landscape makes for incredible stargazing
The barren wilderness of Wadi Rum is made up of craggy canyons and orange earth, so pockmarked and rugged that it resembles the surface of the moon. Camp with the Bedouin in isolated sites and enjoy a vivid view of our Milky Way at night. Of all the camping options around Wadi Rum, Wadi Rum Night Luxury Camp is probably the most spectacular; with king-size beds, white linen, and certain 'bubble' rooms whose see-through canvas rooves allow you to sleep under the starlit sky in the comfort of a hotel.
Sao Domingos Mine, Portugal
The unlikely stargazing spot of Sao Domingos Mine, Portugal
This eerie, deserted mine in Portugal has a history dating back to the Roman era. Though not intended to be, this man-made pit is rather beautiful, and a quirky and therefore special spot for stargazing. Explore the museum here, the English cemetery and old mine buildings during the day, then lie back and enjoy the celestial show at night. The Alentejo Star Hotel is a restored country manor only a few minutes walk from the Sao Domingos town, with its own private observatory offering special stargazing nights.
*The data analysts at Booking.com looked at endorsements for ‘stargazing’ by Booking.com customers. They then found the destinations that were most highly-rated for this endorsement.