With this astronomical getaway you will enjoy the starry sky of the Sierra de Gredos in the most emblematic accommodation in the province of Ávila, which also has the Starlight certification: the Parador de Gredos. From this place, located in Navarredonda de Gredos, just by looking up, you will be able to contemplate the wonders of the sky and visit, a very short distance away, the Polaris astronomical observatory, a small place of wood intended for learning astronomy and observing the stars and planets while a Starlight guide explains and shows you the most outstanding celestial objects of the night with the professional telescope.
Accommodation at the Parador de Gredos
Night visit to the Sierra de Gredos Observatory with sky observation
Starlight monitor with professional telescope
Hotel pick-up and drop-off service
Other transfers not mentioned
It is recommended to wear warm clothing even in summer, since it cools down at night, and comfortable shoes.
If you want to add transport to get to Avila, if you need a rental car in Avila, if you want to add or remove days from the proposed experience or if you want to customize your trip, do not hesitate to contact us and we will find the option that best suits you.
The astronomical getaway to Ávila includes Starlight accommodation at the Parador de Gredos, the most emblematic building in the province of Ávila and the first Parador in Spain, and the night visit to the Polaris Observatory . In this observatory you will have a guide certified by the Starlight Foundation who will explain the history of astronomy, the mythology of the constellations, how to orient yourself in the sky, curiosities... and will show you the celestial objects of the night sky through a professional long-range telescope. In addition, the observatory is a beautiful wooden house with a mobile roof where you can also enjoy the sky with the naked eye and with the help of a laser you will discover some of the galaxies, planets and constellations. As if that were not enough, in the cold months you will warm up your body with a hot chocolate under the stars. What more could you want?
The Starlight Certification is an international system whose objectives are the protection of the night sky, the cultural dissemination of astronomy and local sustainable economic development through astrotourism. This certificate is awarded by the Starlight Foundation, a non-profit entity, born from the I International Starlight Conferencein April 2007, promoted by the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands. Based on it, the "Declaration on the Defense of the Night Sky and the Right to Starlight (Declaration of La Palma)" was created. The Starlight Certification unites science and tourism for the first time and is supported by the UNWTO (World Tourism Organization) and IAU (International Astronomical Union). Receiving a Starlight Certification means having excellent sky quality and representing an example of its protection and conservation, promoting sustainable star tourism or astrotourism. Within these certifications are: Starlight reserves, Starlight tourist destinations, Starlight accommodations, star parks and other modalities that promote sustainable astrotourism.
The astrotourism is a sustainable and responsible way of traveling that combines the observation of the night and day sky, astronomical dissemination and the conservation of the quality of the sky together with related leisure activities. you swim with astronomy. Without a doubt, a different and interesting way of traveling avoiding light pollution and discovering the sky.
A parador is a type of publicly managed accommodation typical of Spain, located in a place of cultural interest and offering a high quality service, with facilities and design in accordance with the traditions, history or typical art of the region In which it is found. It is not a hostel or a hostel at all, it is a type of hotel that has an average of 65 rooms and that was created by reusing and reconditioning, in general, emblematic buildings such as mansions, mansions or castles. The first parador to be built was the Sierra de Gredos, in Ávila, promoted by the Marqués de la Vega-Inclán, in 1926, and now paradors can be found in all the autonomous communities of Spain, with the exception of the Balearic Islands . In fact, throughout the Spanish and Portuguese territory, there are almost 100 inns, 30 of them classified as Bien de Interés Cultural (BIC) and another 15 located in historical BIC complexes. The mission of Paradores is to preserve the valuable historical-artistic heritage of the buildings it offers as accommodation, as well as promoting sustainable and quality tourism. Hence, the Parador de Gredos is an ideal hotel to enjoy sustainable astrotourism.
Remember to bring warm clothes even in the summer months since it is cold at night in the mountains.
If you are looking for a place to eat, the accommodation itself has a restaurant, otherwise you can go to the center from the town of Navarredonda de Gredos, 2 km from the Parador de Gredos.
The time of the astronomical observation varies according to the season of the year since it depends on the time of darkness.
You will visit the astronomical observatory, Polaris, inaugurated in 2020. Located in Navarredonda de Gredos, in Ávila, in the flat Starlight Reserve of Gredos.
Duration: 2 hours
Start time: between 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., depending on the season of the year and the time the sun sets. Schedule will be confirmed with your reservation.
What is included?
Monitor accredited by the Starlight Foundation and CPC-800 telescope, from 2000 mm focal length and 200 mm aperture, equipped with GPS technology to facilitate the search for more than 40,000 celestial objects (nebulae, galaxies, planets, stars...). In the cold months, hot chocolate is also included; in the summer months, constellation pen gift.
What will you do on this visit to the Polaris astronomical observatory?
First, you will receive an introductory talk to astronomy of about 30 minutes. With it you will learn some basic concepts of astronomy: history, distances, birth of the stars, units of measurement in the sky, mythology.
Then, the observation will be carried out with the telescope. The Starlight monitor will alternate the explanation of the sky with the observation of the telescope and will guide you through the sky that changes according to the season of the year.
If it is cloudy, the activity will be adapted consisting of a didactic talk by a Starlight monitor with explanations about the Solar System, planets, galaxies, nebulae, comets, shooting stars, the Moon. ...and in winter a hot chocolate will also be offered. The observatory is very nice, cozy and has an astrophotography exhibition so it is worth visiting despite not being able to see the sky clearly.
What is the observatory like? Polaris?
The Polaris observatory is a 12-meter wooden house with a mobile roof where you can observe the sky with the naked eye, with a telescope and with the help of a laser pointer. It has an insulated wooden floor for the coldest days and two three-meter benches to sit on and, in winter, it has blankets and an outside radiator to keep warm. In the center, on an iron pillar, the CPC-800 telescope is installed. The walls are decorated with more than 50 astrophotographs taken in Gredos by various amateurs, as well as explanatory posters, stellar poetry, books and paintings.
If you have any questions about this experience, if you want more details or if you want to customize your trip, don't wait any longer! Contact us and we will help you tailor your trip.
Contact us if you need to add flights, rental cars, transfers or events to your trip. We will solve all your doubts and we will help you finalize your reservation.