Join Sky & Telescope on a magical visit to the breathtaking yet otherworldly Canary Islands for an astronomical fantasy that combines exclusive tours of professional observatories with multiple nights of stargazing under some of the most pristine night skies on Earth.

Roque de Los Muchachos observatories
The summit of Roque de Los Muchachos on La Palma in the Canary Islands is home to a large number of professional observatories.

Travel with Sky & Telescope this coming September 10–17 to the Canary Islands! These seven volcanic seamounts, located just off the northwest coast of Africa, are a fantastic destination for stargazers and astronomy enthusiasts. With their unique geographical location and clear, dark skies, the Canaries offer a truly exceptional stargazing experience — one of the world’s three best locations for astronomical observations. And this exclusive tour will explore all aspects of the islands’ celestial offerings.

By day, we’ve lined up special tours for several world-class observatories. On La Palma’s towering Roque de los Muchachos, imagine standing at the base of the Gran Telescopio Canarias, whose 10.4-meter primary mirror ranks as the largest single-aperture telescope anywhere. On neighboring Tenerife, you’ll tour some of the world’s largest and most productive solar observatories.

Canary Island stargazing
Stargazing sessions are popular on both La Palma (left) and on Tenerife.

By night, you’ll have multiple opportunities to probe celestial treasures in the pristinely dark skies above. Some nights feature observing with telescopes operated by local amateur astronomers, and on others you can stagaze from the relaxed comfort of the tour’s hotels, which have been specially chosen for their location far from sources of light pollution.

Beyond the astronomical attractions, the Canary Islands themselves are breathtakingly beautiful, rugged landscapes forged by volcanic eruptions that were then shaped over time by the caress of wind and rain in a subtropical climate. The combination of natural beauty, warm climate, and excellent astronomical facilities make the Canary Islands a must-visit destination for any astronomy enthusiast.

Canary Islands coastline
There’s rugged beauty everywhere on the Canary Islands, which formed during extended volcanic eruptions beginning about 20 million years ago.

Those who want to extend their stay in Canaries can chose an optional one-day extension to the island of Lanzarote. There you’ll explore Timanfaya National Park, home to spectacular volcanic craters, lava fields, and geysers.

But please note: We can accommodate only 25 travelers on this exclusive S&T astro-adventure. So click below to get the full details:
• Itinerary for our 8-day tour of La Palma and Tenerife in the Canary Islands
• Itinerary for our optional post-tour extension to Lanzarote island
• What is and isn’t included; what conditions to expect
• Pricing, Payments, and Terms
• Reserve today using this online registration page

Here’s a 45-minute video showing what you’ll experience on this tour.
If you’re ready to join the tour, click here to make a reservation!

Accommodations for Canary Islands Astronomy & Stargazing 2023

Hotel Hacienda de Abajo on La Palma
Hotel Hacienda de Abajo ★★★★
Nestled in the historic quarter of Tazacorte on the island of La Palma, this meticulously restored 17th-century plantation estate oozes with welcoming charm and secluded comfort. The hotel is surrounded by a landscape of rich, lush vegetation and embraced by a nearby coastline lapped by pure, intensely blue waters. Best of all, its secluded location consistently delivers profusely starry nights. This blissful adults-only environment showcases valuable artistic collections and splendid botanical rarities.
Parador Canadas del Teide on Tenerife
Parador de las Cañadas del Teide ★★★
Can you imagine staying at the foot of the highest peak in Spain, in the midst of a lunar landscape? Situated at an altitude of some 6,500 feet, this mountain mansion is located in the heart of the Teide National Park — an ideal place for lovers of nature, volcanology, and astronomy. The unbeatable views of Mount Teide can be enjoyed while dining and even from some of the rooms. At night, the stars dazzle in all their natural splendor, thanks to the high altitude and absence of light pollution.

Itinerary for Canary Islands Astronomy & Stargazing 2023

DateItinerary at a GlanceAccommodationMeals
Sunday, Sept. 10Depart for La Palma(aloft)
Monday, Sept. 11Arrive in La PalmaHotel Hacienda de AbajoD
Tuesday, Sept. 12Cumbre ViejaHotel Hacienda de AbajoB, D
Wednesday, Sept. 13Roque de los MuchachosHotel Hacienda de AbajoB, L, D
Thursday, Sept. 14Santa Cruz de La PalmaHotel Hacienda de AbajoB, L
Friday, Sept. 15Tenerife / Teide National ParkParador de las Cañadas del TeideB, D
Saturday, Sept. 16Teide ObservatoryParador de las Cañadas del TeideB, L, D
Sunday, Sept. 17Depart Tenerife, arrive home* B
* Optionally, remain in Tenerife one extra day for a tour of Timanfaya National Park on Lanzarote island.

Day 1 (Sunday, Sept. 10):  Depart the U.S.
Depart the U.S. for an overnight flight to La Palma, Spain in the Canary Islands.

Day 2 (Monday, Sept. 11):  Arrive La Palma, Canary Islands
Known as the “Isla Bonita” for its breathtaking natural beauty, La Palma features volcanic landscapes, lush forests, and stunning beaches. After arrival you’ll transfer to our hotel, a restored 17th-century sugar-plantation estate, with beautifully designed gardens and spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. This evening, gather for an orientation and welcome dinner at La Taberna del Puerto, located along the marina.
Hotel Hacienda de Abajo (D)

Day 3 (Tuesday, Sept. 12):  Cumbre Vieja
A three-month-long eruption in 2021 by the Cumbre Vieja volcano resulted in a vast lava flow that entombed everything in its path. As you tour the aftermath of this devastating eruption, note how the once verdant pine forests now lie buried under mounds of black ash, leaving only the tallest treetops and rooftops poking through. Learn more about the far-reaching impact of the eruption, and the ongoing recovery efforts. Dinner this evening is at the renowned Jardín de la Sal, specializing in fresh local cuisine and located on the southern tip of Fuencaliente, with endless views of the surrounding black volcanic landscape, white salt flats, and deep blue ocean. Following dinner, return to the hotel for the evening, or remain on site for an astrophotography workshop to guide you in capturing the spectacular starry skies over La Palma.
Hotel Hacienda de Abajo (B, D)

Cumbre Vieja caldera
The main caldera of Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma in the Canary Islands.

Day 4 (Wednesday, Sept. 13):  Roque de los Muchachos Observatory
After breakfast, board your bus for a spectacular ride through Taburiente National Park to reach the summit of Roque de los Muchachos, 7,860-feet above sea level. The observatory complex there is home to one of the largest arrays of telescopes in the world. Your visit includes a tour of the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), whose 10.4-meter primary mirror ranks as the largest single-aperture reflector in the world. You’ll visit other key installations on the summit, including the William Herschel 4.2-m reflector and the MAGIC high-energy gamma-ray collectors. After descending the mountain, enjoy a sumptuous dinner at Rincón de Moraga, located in a restored 18th-century home, followed by stargazing with local amateur astronomers and their telescopes.
Hotel Hacienda de Abajo (B, L, D)

Gran Telescopio Canarias with open dome
With a primary mirror 10.4 meters across, the Gran Telescopio Carnarias on La Palma ranks as the largest single-aperture telescope in the world.
Daniel López / IAC

Day 5 (Thursday, Sept. 14):  Santa Cruz de La Palma
Today is dedicated to the island’s rich culture and heritage. First, spend the morning at a local winery to sample and learn about the island’s varietals. Continue with lunch and a tour of Santa Cruz de la Palma, walking along the charming cobblestone streets in the historic quarter to admire the colonial-style buildings and homes bearing elements of traditional Canary Island architecture. As evening falls, enjoy hosted drinks and discussion back at the hotel — or take an optional cetacean-sighting and stargazing excursion with dinner (additional cost applies for this optional excursion; pricing is based on a minimum of 14 participants, otherwise a surcharge may be added or the excursion may be canceled).
Hotel Hacienda de Abajo (B, L)

Santa Cruz de La Palma
Located on the eastern coast of La Palma, the capital Santa Cruz has more than 500 years of history. The city reached its height of importance in the 16th century, serving as the third largest port in Europe (after Antwerp and Seville). Many of the riches that Spaniards brought back from their colonies in the Americas passed through its gates. Today the churches that line its cobblestone are home to a significant collection of Flemish religious art.

Day 6 (Friday, Sept. 15):  La Palma / Tenerife / Teide National Park
After breakfast and checkout, take a short flight to the neighboring island of Tenerife, then head to Teide National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Showcasing towering volcanic peaks, sprawling lava fields, and a diverse range of unique flora and fauna, Teide National Park is a mesmerizing natural wonderland, including Spain’s highest peak at 12,198 feet. An expert local guide will lead a tour of this otherworldly landscape — including Cañadas del Teide, one of the largest calderas in the world. Walk the rocky trails and bask in the radiance of the sunset from a breathtaking viewpoint with a glass of cava in hand. Following dinner in the park, marvel at the night sky while stargazing through telescopes set up at a local site — then contemplate the infinite possibilities of the universe from the dark skies above our exquisitely located hotel.
Parador de las Cañadas del Teide (B, D)

Day 7 (Saturday, Sept. 16):  Teide Observatory
Today features a visit to Teide Observatory, located 7,840 feet above sea level. The observatory’s geographical location, combined with the excellent quality of the sky, allows the instruments there to conduct world-class studies of the Sun. Take in behind-the-scene tours of the 1.5-meter diameter GREGOR — the largest of its kind in Europe. Then explore the newly built SPECULOOS telescope, tasked with searching for planets around other stars. Following the observatory visit, hop aboard the cable car as it climbs to the summit and look out across the magical landscape of Tenerife. Reflect on these travels, while enjoying fresh local seafood and spectacular views of the sea, during a farewell dinner at El Mirador restaurant.
Parador de las Cañadas del Teide (B, L, D)

Teide observatory tour
Enjoy a tour of the world-class solar observatories atop Mount Teide on Tenerife.

Day 8 (Sunday, Sept. 17):  Tenerife / U.S.
Following breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home. (B)

Optional Post-Tour Extension to Lanzarote Island

Timanfaya National Park

Our optional tour extension takes advantage of the close proximity of Lanzarote to its neighboring islands. From the tour’s convenient “home base” on Tenerife, you’ll fly to Lanzarote and back in a single day — returning to Tenerife in time for dinner.

The easternmost of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote is known as “the fire island” — famous for its unique volcanic landscapes and sunny beaches. One of its most popular attractions is Timanfaya National Park, a unique area that features an alien-looking terrain of volcanic craters, lava fields, and geysers. The black and red earth contrasts with the island’s typically whitewashed houses, deep blue sea, and bright blue sky.

Note: This optional extension requires a minimum of 10 participants.

Canary Islands map
The seven Canary Islands are clustered in the Atlantic Ocean not far from Morocco and northwestern Africa. Because of their compact cluster, it’s relatively easy to fly from one island to another.
DateItinerary at a GlanceAccommodationMeals
Sunday, Sept. 17Lanzarote / Timanfaya National ParkParador de las Cañadas del TeideB, L
Monday, Sept. 18Depart Tenerife, arrive home*B

Day 1 (Sunday, Sept. 17): Lanzarote / Timanfaya National Park
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for a quick flight from Tenerife to Lanzarote. You’ll be met at the airport and then head off with an expert guide on a day-long tour that will explore the stunning natural wonders of Timanfaya National Park, including the famous “Fire Mountains” that were formed by volcanic eruptions in the 18th century. Additionally, the island is home to several observatories and astronomy centers. At day’s end, take a flight back to Tenerife and then transfer to your hotel for a final night. Parador de las Cañadas del Teide (B, L)

La Geria vineyard on Lanzarote
Among the amazing landscapes on Lanzarote are the vineyards in La Geria Valley, which look like they have been transplanted from another planet. Local farmers have dug more than 10,000 funnel-shaped hollows into the thick layers of coarse volcanic ash. These are filled with soil and surrounded by low, semicircular walls to protect the vines from constant strong winds.

Day 8 (Sunday, Sept. 17):  Tenerife / U.S.
Following breakfast, transfer to the airport for flights home. (B)

What the Tour Does/Doesn’t Include

The main tour and post-tour extension to Lanzarote include:
• Inter-island airfare (La Palma to Tenerife; to/from Lanzarote on post-tour extension)
• Nightly accommodation in high-quality hotels
• Private group transfers from airport to hotel and to airport on return
• English-speaking tour director (requires 10 participants on Lanzarote extension)
• Daily sightseeing tours with expert English-speaking guides
• Private coach for ground transportation
• Lectures and discussion from a S&T representative on the main tour
• Entrances fees to national reserves and other venues on the itinerary
• Virtually all meals (see itineraries), including welcome and farewell dinners on the main tour
• Beer with group lunches; wine and beer with group dinners (except box lunch at Roque de Los Muchachos)
• Bottled water during outings
• Baggage handling
• Tips to local guides, drivers, service charges, and taxes on the main tour
• Customized luggage tags and name tags with Sky & Telescope logo
• Pre-trip planning information and resources

The main tour and post-tour extension to Lanzarote Island do not include:
• International airfare to La Palma and from Tenerife
• Passport and visa fees
• Trip Cancellation and Travel Insurance (highly recommended)
• Medical insurance and COVID-19 testing, if applicable
• Medical or quarantine expenses
• Airport transfers if not arriving or departing with the group
• Hotel accommodation for extra nights before or after the tour dates
• Individual excursions or deviations from the scheduled tour
• Meals or beverages not listed in the detailed itinerary
• Personal expenses (room service, laundry, email, wi-fi, telephone calls, etc)
• Excess-baggage fees
• Tip for the Tour Director (at participant’s discretion)
• Unforeseen cost increases for internal flights, security, or fuel surcharges

What Conditions to Expect on the Tour

This exclusive Sky & Telescope expedition is designed for travelers who are interested in learning about the Canary Islands, visits to the professional observatories there, stargazing from very dark locations, and experiencing the island’s superb natural landscapes.

To enjoy this experience, participants must be in good physical and mental health and be able to keep up with the pace of the group. Participants requiring extraordinary assistance must be accompanied by someone who can and will provide all required assistance. While long-distance travel is by jet aircraft and motorcoach, daily excursions will often involve some walking or hiking over uneven terrain. The pace of the walks will be leisurely, though some hiking activities near Cumbre Vieja will be more strenuous.

September is early autumn in the Canary Islands and average temperatures at low elevations average between 81°F during the day and 70°F at night.  At higher elevations, temperatures are cooler; at the summit of Roque de Los Muchachos, September’s average daytime high is 52°F.

Pricing, Payments, and Terms for Canary Islands Astronomy & Stargazing 2023 and Post-Tour Extension to Lanzarote Island

Pricing (per person)Double OccupancySingle Occupancy
Canary Islands Astronomy & Stargazing 2023
(Sept. 10-17, 2023)
Cetacean Sighting, Sunset Dinner, and Stargazing (Sept. 14)$350*$350*
Post-Tour Extension to Lanzarote Island (Sept. 17-18, 2023)$1,750$2,200

All tour prices are based on costs and U.S. dollar exchange rates in effect at the time of posting. As such, prices listed here are subject to change. Royal Adventures and/or AAS Sky Publishing LLC will inform clients of any changes prior to departure. * Free if you register by June 13th; excursion pricing is based on a minimum of 14 participants (otherwise a surcharge may be added or the excursion may be canceled).
  • To make a reservation: A reservation request can be submitted by completing this online reservation form. Reservations are recorded and acknowledged in order of receipt. Royal Adventures (CST #2009579-40) handles all invoicing.
  • Deposits: An advance payment of $1,000 per person is required to secure your reservation. Initial deposits may be paid by credit card or PayPal or by check, payable to “Royal Adventures” and mailed to Royal Adventures, 9 Crow Canyon Court, Suite 205, San Ramon, CA 94583 (USA). Final payment (by check only) is due by July 12, 2023.
  • To cancel a reservation: Notification of cancellation must be received in writing by Royal Adventures. Until July 12, 2023: Cancellations made within seven days of booking receive a full refund; cancellations made more than seven days after booking receive no refund. After July 12, 2023: There are no refunds of any deposits or payments made, regardless of booking date, nor for unused meals, accommodations, or other features during the tour.
  • Itinerary: The itinerary is subject to change at the discretion of AAS Sky Publishing LLC and Royal Adventures. All tour prices are based on costs and U.S. dollar exchange rates in effect at the time of posting. As such, prices listed here are subject to change. AAS Sky Publishing LLC and/or Royal Adventures will inform clients of any changes prior to departure.
  • Tour size: This tour, exclusively designed for AAS Sky Publishing LLC. The minimum group size is 14. Should the minimum group number not be met, we reserve the right to levy a small-group surcharge.
  • Travel insurance: We highly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance including “Cancel for Any Reason” because the cancellation penalty for this program will apply. Trip-cancellation insurance can be purchased through our recommended provider, Travel Insured International; click here to get a quote, or call 1-800-243-3174 and mention Royal Adventures #53140. Most insurance plans need to be purchased within 14 days of paying the initial deposit in order to waive preexisting medical conditions as well as to purchase “Cancel for Any Reason” insurance. Neither AAS Sky Publishing LLC nor Royal Adventures accepts liability for any airline cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a non-refundable airline ticket or other expenses incurred by tour participants in preparing for the tour. Trip cancellation can enable you to receive a refund for the tour cost including your deposit due to unexpected illness, injury, or other “covered reasons” in the policy.
  • Disclaimer: Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information presented here. AAS Sky Publishing LLC and Royal Adventures are not responsible for errors in or damages resulting from use of the information contained herein. Information contained herein is subject to change.
  • Responsibility: Royal Adventures (CST #2009579-40), its owners, and employees act only as agents for the various independent suppliers and contractors providing transportation, hotel accommodations, restaurant, and other services connected with this tour. Such travel and services are subject to the terms and conditions under which such accommodations, services, and transportation are offered or provided; AAS Sky Publishing LLC and the American Astronomical Society (hereinafter collectively referred to as “Sky”) and Royal Adventures and each entity’s respective board of directors or trustees, officers, shareholders, members, employees, agents, representatives, and assigns accept no liability therefor. Sky and Royal Adventures assume no liability for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or other irregularity which may be caused by the defect of any aircraft or vehicle or the negligence or default of any company or person engaged in carrying out or performing any of the services involved. Additionally, responsibility is not accepted for losses, injury, damages, or expenses of any kind due to sickness, epidemics, pandemics, weather, strikes, local laws, hostilities, wars, terrorist acts, acts of nature, quarantine, force majeure, animal or insect bites, or other such causes. All services and accommodations are subject to the laws of the country in which they are provided. Sky and Royal Adventures reserve the right to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their sole judgment, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of the tour participants. Sky and/or Royal Adventures shall not be deemed to be in breach of these terms and conditions or otherwise be liable to you, and shall not provide any refund, by reason of delay in performance, or by non-performance, of any of our obligations hereunder to the extent that any such delay or non-performance is due to any force majeure event. A force majeure event, in relation to this tour, shall mean any circumstances beyond our control, including, but without limitation, to acts of God, explosion, flood, forceful wind, fire or accident, war or threat of war declared or undeclared, acts of terrorism, sabotage, insurrection, riots, strikes, civil disturbance, sickness, epidemics, pandemics, quarantines, government intervention or other unforeseeable events. Limitations on travel arising from the COVID-19 pandemic shall be considered a force majeure event. If this tour is affected by a force majeure event, Sky and Royal Adventures shall be entitled to, and may in their sole and absolute discretion, vary, cancel or postpone any itinerary or arrangement in relation to this trip. The right is also reserved to decline to accept or retain any person as a member of the tour or to substitute another qualified leader or special guest. Baggage and personal effects are the sole responsibility of the owners at all times. The price of the program is given in good faith based on current tariffs and rates and is subject to change. Any tariff, exchange rate, security surcharge or fuel increases will be passed on to participants. Neither Sky nor Royal Adventures accepts the liability for any airline cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable airline ticket. The air ticket when issued shall constitute the sole contract between the passenger and the airline concerned. As part of the consideration and right to participate in this tour, each participant will be asked to sign a liability release, an assumption of risk, and a hold-harmless agreement.
  • Questions: Please contact Royal Adventures at [email protected] or call 800-453-4754 or 925-820-6260 (Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time).