Dark Sky Park
Albanyà is a municipality in the comarca of Alt Empordà, in Girona, Catalonia, consisting of the eponymous village of Albanyà and surrounding lands containing the headwaters of the La Muga river in extreme northeastern Spain. The rural setting of Albanyà and geographic isolation near the French border have helped preserve its relatively dark night skies.
In recent years, locals have begun promoting astrotourism as an antidote to the otherwise economically depressed conditions in the region. Tourists now come from around Catalonia and beyond to partake of stargazing and formal nighttime interpretive programs offered principally at Bassegoda Park. Other popular spots within the municipality for self-directed stargazing include El Casalot, El Coll de la Creu, El Pla de la Bateria and El Pla de la Teularia.
In 2015 Bassegoda received accreditation by the Starlight Foundation for its dark skies conservation efforts, which led to an effort to seek complementary IDA certification. In the time since then, in consultation with municipal authorities, Bassegoda has continued to build out capacity for public nighttime events that now draw hundreds of attendees in the summer months. In July 2017 the park inaugurated a new 40-cm telescope dedicated to public education and outreach — the largest such in the province of Girona.
Click here to find ideal environmental conditions for viewing the night sky in the village of Albanyà, Spain (42.305, 2.70917). Don’t forget to plan your trip during the new moon and astronomical twilight to enhance the viewing experience!