Astronomical Viewpoints in the Montaña Alavesa Region

Who hasn’t been awestruck on a starry summer night, while gazing at the Milky Way cutting across the sky?

Come and discover the region by visiting its different astronomical viewpoints, which are ideal places for stargazing.

Iturrieta Mountain

Parzonería

Hermitage of Santa Teodosia

Valle de Arana

  • Hillside near the hermitage of Santa Teodosia, with a recreational area equipped with tables, barbecue and children’s playground, in a beautiful mountainous landscape.

Hermitage of Andra Mari

Ullibarri-Arana

Hermitage of Our Lady of Larrauri

Urarte

Hermitage of Our Lady of the Rock

Korres

  • Behind the hermitage, located in Izki Natural Park, with a clear horizon. Near the Mirador del Barranco viewpoint, ideal for watching the sunset.

Fresnedo river pools

Santa Cruz de Campezo

Peña Hueca Mountain. Baroja-Loza

Peñacerrada

  • Very open area with good quality sky, away from the village, located on the hill between Baroja and Loza. Medieval ruins nearby.

Hermitage of San Bartolomé

Lagrán

  • Large space with a barbecue area and clear horizon, except in the south, as it is at the foot of the Sierra de Toloño-Cantabria mountain range.

Seasonal skies

To all appearances, the Earth seems to be motionless, while all other celestial bodies revolve around it in approximately 24 hours.

These celestial objects are seen moving from east to west, giving the impression that it is the celestial vault that rotates around the Earth, when in fact it is the Earth that rotates around its own axis, in a west-east direction.

If we gaze at the stars for hours, we can see a common movement with no change in the shape of the constellations.

The stars that are towards the east, rise; those towards the south move towards the west, and those towards the west move down towards the horizon until they disappear.

In the Cuadrilla Montaña Alavesa region, the stars that are less than 42º from the north celestial pole will never set; these stars never rise or set, they are always above the horizon and can always be seen.

They are known as circumpolar constellations and typical examples include Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Cassiopeia, Draco, etc.

The rest of the visible constellations are divided by seasons. This does not mean that they are only visible at that time of the year, but that they are best observed in the early evening.

Some fascinating projects have been undertaken, such as the installation of the Behatokizki Remote Astronomical Observatory, located in Korres, in Izki Natural Park, in collaboration with the La Otra Mitad astronomical association, the Town Council of Arraia-Maeztu and the Provincial Council of Alava.

The initial logical sequence for the construction of this observatory included its ‘assembly’, ‘set-up’, ‘first images acquisition’, ‘optimisation’ and ‘remotisation’, so that it can be used remotely. It is currently in the ‘robotisation’ phase, so that sequences of processes and tasks can be automated and programmed, allowing the system to operate autonomously and manage the equipment without requiring constant technical control.

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