Spain's smallest inhabited island, a premier stargazing destination

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Spain’s smallest inhabited island is an excellent spot for stargazing and has been awarded the ‘starlight spot’ certificate

Spain’s smallest inhabited island is the tiny Tabarca, located in the south of the Valencian Community. It measures only 4km in a straight line from Cape Santa Pola on the mainland, and has a total land area of just 0.3km².
Tabarca has become the first place in the south of the Valencian Community to obtain the ‘starlight spot’ certificate. This is an award that accredits the quality of the sky for the optimal development of so-called astrotourism.
Alicante City Council intends to place this small islet with just 70 residents among the main destinations in the country for this new type of stargazing tourism. Their idea is to develop and market tour packages with transportation and accommodation included, for visitors to enjoy nighttime stargazing, as well as educational and cultural activities that are linked to astronomy.
As far as stargazers are concerned, the big attraction of Tabarca is that in winter, the constellations of Orion, Taurus, Auriga, and Gemini can all be seen, while in summer Lyra, Swan, Eagle, Scorpio, and Sagittarius are visible. In addition, every night of the year, you can enjoy the circumpolar constellations.
Alicante City & Beach Board’s astrotourism commitment to Tabarca is aimed at deseasonalising tourism on the island. Traditionally, it starts from Easter and then especially, during the months of July and August.
Mari Carmen Sanchez, the deputy mayor, and head of Alicante City & Beach, stated that “the natural wealth of Tabarca makes the island the ideal place for astrotourism”, and added that the ‘starlight spot’ certificate entails not only the quality of the sky for observation, but also the commitment to preserve the enclave in a sustainable way.
Created by the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC) and the Consulting Corporation 5, the Starlight Foundation’s mission is to spread astronomy and science, as well as the protection of starry skies, through advice to minimize the impact of light pollution.
As a result, the observation point known as ‘Punta Falcon’, located at the easternmost end of the island, has been chosen as the observation point from where it is possible to enjoy the constellations during all seasons of the year.
Antonia Varela, the director of the Foundation, delivered the certificate to Tabarca. They are endorsed by UNESCO, and have the support of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), and the World Tourism Organisation, as reported by
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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at