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Planning visit to la palma and would love some advice


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Hi 

Ok so i and my wife have been travelling to the canaries in the winter for a few years. This coming January we are looking at la palma.

I will be taking a small travel scope for the evenings a sw 50 ed and small tripod also some 10x50 binos

I would like some guidance from those who have been before. Things like a nice hotel in a not to built up area where we can walk of an evening drink some wine and look up to the stars. 

Also iwould lile to visit the observatory and from what i can gather need to arrange independently so any info on this would be good. Also are the stargazing evenings on offer any good

Any info on must see tours or nice resturants etc are very welcome as this is a holiday so stargazing is only part of the reason to go. 

Thinking south or west of island but opento all suggestions ans experiences

Thanks Mark👍

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4 minutes ago, Mark Daniels said:

where we can walk of an evening drink some wine and look up to the stars

Sounds idyllic - especially on a wet day like today.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok so we are ready to book holiday and an update for those like me that have never been

thought i would use this thread to give out info for those who fancy the same at some point and will if it does happen! Post while i am away

so far worked out west coast is the best for sun and tgat they control light polution. Star watching trips are easy to find and the resorts have dark areas for some viewing but best is achieved above 1000ft. But as istand is a mountain that travelling by cab for a few minutes gets you up there easily 

i will when book give details of where i am going and the places recommended on the net where i am staying etc 

in the meantime i am working out what to take. The plan is to get it as light as possible and packed in a rucksack for easy use

picture of scope below i have posted on disscusion thread how i have turned finder into travelscope for those who fancy that scope 

cheers Mark👍

B7B304BD-7083-4CE2-BB20-C02230A456BE.jpeg

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  • 1 month later...

Got organising for my new year trip compacting my case so i can fit all i need. Used foam card to create spaces for bits and pinch some wadding from my wifes sewing stuff to cushion the scope. The case fits in small photograph rucksack and there is room for the other things like ipad and camera etc that will go on board as hand luggage. Just need to modify suitcase now to hold tripod and mount securely. Holding off to see if prices drop a bit for holiday but will post when i know exactly where we are going in la Palma 👍

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Edited by Mark Daniels
Rubbish spelling
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Will you have access to a car? It's common for the coasts to be cloudy/foggy and the clear skies to be higher up.. I've never been on one of the guided tours at the observatories but yes, they need to be booked well in advance (and it'll be chilly up there potentially!). I can't say whether one of the tours hosted by companies like Alacants link above ( http://www.starsislandlapalma.es/en/starsislands-companies/specialized-companies/astro-la-palma/ ) are going to be suitable for you but it's definitely worth speaking to them/picking their brains.

If you do have a car then it depends what part of the island you're on - distances are short as the crow flies but very long otherwise due to the winding roads!. If you're in the north west then try driving part (or all the way) up to the observatories and find a spot next to the road. This also applies if you're on the east side near Santa Cruz. If in the south west, get up as high as possible - I haven't tried around the Volcano visitor centre area but I bet it's nice up there. If in the middle area (Los Llanos/El Paso) then try driving up to one of the viewpoints ( https://www.adastralapalma.com/astronomical-viewpoints/ ). Not the best of maps.

The astro tour folks usually go to these miradors, some don't serve the title of viewpoint, at least not for astronomy (one in Puntagorda near where I've stayed has a streetlight at the corner!) but prepare for a treat though. I could see the Milky Way through the kitchen window from where we were staying. With the lights on. (albeit fairly dim ones). let us know when you know more precisely where you'll be staying :)

James

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2 hours ago, James said:

Will you have access to a car? It's common for the coasts to be cloudy/foggy and the clear skies to be higher up.. I've never been on one of the guided tours at the observatories but yes, they need to be booked well in advance (and it'll be chilly up there potentially!). I can't say whether one of the tours hosted by companies like Alacants link above ( http://www.starsislandlapalma.es/en/starsislands-companies/specialized-companies/astro-la-palma/ ) are going to be suitable for you but it's definitely worth speaking to them/picking their brains.

If you do have a car then it depends what part of the island you're on - distances are short as the crow flies but very long otherwise due to the winding roads!. If you're in the north west then try driving part (or all the way) up to the observatories and find a spot next to the road. This also applies if you're on the east side near Santa Cruz. If in the south west, get up as high as possible - I haven't tried around the Volcano visitor centre area but I bet it's nice up there. If in the middle area (Los Llanos/El Paso) then try driving up to one of the viewpoints ( https://www.adastralapalma.com/astronomical-viewpoints/ ). Not the best of maps.

The astro tour folks usually go to these miradors, some don't serve the title of viewpoint, at least not for astronomy (one in Puntagorda near where I've stayed has a streetlight at the corner!) but prepare for a treat though. I could see the Milky Way through the kitchen window from where we were staying. With the lights on. (albeit fairly dim ones). let us know when you know more precisely where you'll be staying :)

James

Thanks for all that

i have booked an island tour for the day time and an astro tour for the night time.

we are staying at Fuencaliente which is on the south / south west

the hotel is away from the beach and is up hill from the coast about 2.5 km or 25/30 minutes walk. From what i can make out  from details given not to built up and it has walks to nature sites. I believe it is surrounded by banana plantations.

first trip and holiday with some stargazing to test it out really.  

Might hire car for a day or two  ,take it roads are fairly quiet

plan though is to spend evenings finding area around hotel which are quiet and as dark as possible. If this trip is successful will look to a more secluded spot later

appreciate the mountain areas are cold and have appropriate clothing 👍

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  • 2 weeks later...

Spent morning working out what i need for trip and weighing it. Stripped down to basics. And will split between hand and hold luggage. Total weight allowance is 33kg and this lot cam to 16kg. So about half.  
set up should give chance to photograph stuff day and night and stargaze with scope up to around 60x. I can also use scope as spotting scope for day time. 
 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Got busy with my tools and adapted the telescope i am taking with me. Wieght is a premium as lugage allowance on my mind. Bought a fluid head which i adapted to tripod and scope. Works really well and now i don’t have to take alt az mount. Ican use it for camera also so will have ago at some night landscape pictures which is new to me. I will be taking my canon dlsr. Scope with lenses and bits now down to 4 kg which is brilliant. With tripod and head 7.6 kg so i get to take clothes with me to, my wife is very pleased i will not be in shorts and t shirts all week. 👍

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Just picking up from what @Jamesmentioned, here is a link to some of the 'astro' miradores in La Palma. And here is a brief translated description to many of them. 

Here is a map to some fine restaurants and here is a list to some of the most recommended.

Dress warmly. It will get cold on the island, especially if out at night. Average highs will be a nippy 15ºC or so, and at night expect single figures. Also, the Spanish estimate when dealing with its hills and mountains (the peninsula is the second most mountainous in Europe) is to prepare for a 1ºC drop for every 100m you climb above sea level.

The 6th is a Bank Holiday

Any help with translations, phone calls, or what have you, just drop me a line :thumbright:

 

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Picking up on what @Rob Sellent mentions about the cold. Have a look at this site:

http://lapalma.hdmeteo.com/index.php?user=meteo-fagundo
 

At this moment it’s about 10c up at the observatories but only 3c just half a mile to the east :) So I think his dress warmly advice is good!!

(the webpage in the link highlights the weather at the area I was staying in, on the website you can change it to another location).

James

 

 

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