Passion of the People – 1.6.2

Searching for the Unpolluted View of the Stars

The topic of “light pollution” is directly related to (un)polluted stargazing, and you will learn a lot of interesting facts about this from various aspects in chapters 1.5. and 1.7. In this chapter, we want to devote ourselves to the tourist search for the unpolluted sky.

Indeed, there are a number of premium destinations in the world when it comes to clear views of the stars. These include:

  • natural parks and reserves, such as Big Bend National Park in Texas, USA, and Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve in New Zealand;
  • remote areas, such as the Atacama Desert in Chile, or the Namib Desert in Namibia;
  • dark sky communities, such as Flagstaff, Arizona, and Wanaka in New Zealand;
  • high-altitude locations, such as the Mauna Kea Observatories in Hawaii, USA.

Attractive regions can also be found in Europe:

  • die Island communities, such as Sark in the Channel Islands, Tenerife Island, and the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic;
  • the certified star parks in countries such as Germany and Austria, among others;
  • in many other regions, which are designated by special maps.

In fact, there are quite a few people who visit these regions in their holidays. Depending on the season, they travel after the unpolluted starry sky, so to speak, in their luggage their astronomical equipment and, of course, appropriate photographic equipment. Light pollution maps help identify attractive regions for stargazing.

For specialised tour operators, stargazers are a highly attractive target group, because like all clearly defined target groups, they have certain needs, their travel behaviour is easy to assess, they are reliable in their planning and open-minded for well-designed offers. They usually search for starry regions that interest them, arrange their own accommodation and travel by car – otherwise it would be difficult transporting the equipment. This target group leaves nothing to chance, they are usually very well-informed and quite interested in talking to other interested people and exchanging professional views. They are well-connected in their respective communities. These are all prerequisites that you should take into account when planning tourism products.

Camping under the stars – Image by Michael TWNPixabay
Star walks – Image by Felix MerlerPixabay
Highway to heaven – Image by un-perfektPixabay
Travel experiences with the stars – Image by StockSnapPixabay
Travelling to the stars – Image by riya mishraPixabay

Further resources

Links below will redirect you to external websites. In accordance with the European data protection declarations, we would like to point out that by clicking on these links you may send data to external providers. We cannot prevent that. 


World’s Best Stargazing Sites – MojoTravels

Online Resources

Light pollution map

Dark site finder

Light pollution map – Go Stargazing

Light pollution map – David Lorenz’s Light Pollution Atlas 2020


Attrattiva stellare e sostenibilità ambientale: i DARK SKY nel Great American West – Italiavola & Travel

Astroturismo, Isnello conquista il certificato di ‘Stellar Park’ – Travelnostop

5 incredibili cieli stellati da scoprire Europa – Lonely Planet

Further Readings

11 Best Astronomy Tours in the World – Karyn Wofford

Erfahrungsberichte und Empfehlungen für astronomische Reisen

Astronomy-themed travelSky & Telescope

Top spots for astronomy fans: starry skies – Germany Travel

Guida alle costellazioni/Prepararsi per l’osservazione – Wikibooks

Teaching Materials

Getting oriented to better learn the night sky: Stargazing Basics 1 of 3 – Eyes on the Sky

HOW TO SHOOT THE STARS (Easy beginner guide) – Ryan Borden

Star Trails Photography Tutorial: Take Pictures at Night – Tony & Chelsea Northrup

For Kids