La Palma has one of the world’s darkest skies, preserved due to naturally protected areas of the island and the observatory light regulations on the island. La Palma is also a paradise for hikers, beach goers, and nature lovers. The program includes trips to various parts of the island and stunning overlooks to the giant caldera with sea of clouds underneath.
, the island’s airport (SPC) has direct connection to mainland Spain (by Iberia) and seasonal flights to major European cities (UK, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, France, Scandinavia). See the list here. And there are more option via a stop in neighboring islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria (Las Palmas). Flights from North America are usually through Madrid or Barcelona.
Astromaster brings together both hobbyist and professional photographers with the passion for starry skies, but its recommended to enthusiasts with some experience on night imaging and photo processing. If you are an absolute beginner with interest to attend, do some practice in the next few months and make yourself ready for the program.
Astromaster started in 2013 in collaboration of La Palma Astronomy Tours
and The World at Night
. We shared the knowledge with many photographers from across the globe. Join the Astromaster Facebook Group
to communicate with the past participants or view the results. See videos during previous Astromasters by the more experienced participants: 2016
How to Join
Please make sure you are able to participate and Astromaster is the right program for you before booking. You can cancel by December 31st without any fee and the deposit will be fully refunded. After this date the deposit won’t be returned on cancellation.
Step 1: Secure your spot by paying 300€ ($355) deposit here with credit card or PayPal.
Step 2: You will be contacted by us to complete the booking and fulfill the payment by bank transfer or check between January 1st and March 1st.
Step 3: We will be in touch with you over emails with recommendations to prepare you for the trip.
Price 1750€ (EUR) – 10% discount to past Astromaster participants
The fee covers:
– Over 30 hours of theoretical sessions in classroom
– All photo shooting excursions and transports from (4-6, weather depending)
– Main Meals (except for the free day), hot beverages & snacks at photo sessions
– Visit to the Observatory at El Roque de Los Muchachos
– Accommodation at the Observatory (only, not the entire week)
– Insurance, tax, assistance
Please note you should book your own accommodation except for the observatory night. In the past we had this covered in the package but it was too complicated with those wishing to stay at different places. Therefor this option has been removed.
Also note the practical sessions transport is from/to meeting point in Los Cancajos where most people stay.
Venue, Accommodation, Itinerary
The venue is Hotel Las Olas
in Los Cancajos area between the island capital, only 5-10 minutes drive from the airport towards the city, Santa Cruz de La Palma. There are plenty of affordable options to book in this area.
The itinerary below may slightly change in daily details according to the weather and local circumstances. You will be updated.
Day 1, Sun May 26: Arrivals. Evening meeting and first group dinner, continued by a brief imaging session with Babak in a walking distance from the hotels. Sunset is ~9pm and darkness at ~10pm
Day 2, Mon May 27: All day class 10:00-18:00 with lunch and other breaks. Possible imaging session. Milky Way rises at ~11pm.
Day 3, Tue May 28: All day class 10:00-18:00. Possible imaging session
Day 4, Wed May 29: 10:30 drive to the observatory. Sandwich lunch at the caldera. Visiting the telescopes. Short class in the afternoon. Group dinner at the observatory. Long imaging session continue to early morning. Moonrise at ~ 4:20am. Accommodation at the observatory.
Day 5, Thu May 30: Late breakfast in the observatory. Check out rooms by noon. Sandwich lunch. Afternoon class in the observatory. Group dinner. Imaging session to 1am at the caldera. Drive down to hotels.
Day 6, Fri May 31: Free day to rest and enjoy the island
Day 7, Sat June 1: Early morning Moon & Venus conjunction over the ocean. Optional imaging session 6-7am at Hotel Las Olas. Class 10:00-16:00. Drive to southern tip of island for a farewell group dinner and fantastic sunset. Imaging session next to an iconic lighthouse. Drive back to the hotels after midnight.
Day 8, Sun June 2: Departures
The workshop is fully booked. Contact to be on the waitlist in case of cancellation and to be updated with the 2020 Astromaster program.