August is a month to look up at the heavens. Year after year at this time, the night sky puts on a spectacular performance. Tonight and tomorrow, 12 August, when the show will be even more intense, the heavens will be lit up with the magical meteor shower of the Perseids, or the ‘Tears of St. Lawrence’.
This year though the shooting stars will have to ‘battle’ a supermoon, which occurs when a full moon coincides with the closest approach our satellite makes to the earth, making it appear more luminous, which makes it harder to see the Perseids. The phenomenon sees the Earth receive 30% more light and the moon appear 15% bigger to our eyes; which is bad news for the meteors, because to see them it’s best to have a sky with little other light.
That said, many of the shooting stars will overcome the light of the moon – normally 100 meteors can be seen per hour, while this year it will be around 60.
Where to see the Perseids
As we said, to see the shower of shooting stars clearly it’s best to choose a place away from streetlights, and the later into the night the better. Here are some of the best places to see the Perseids in Spain.
La Playa de las Salinas, Roquetas de Mar, Almería
A tranquil beach, with low levels of light pollution, where you can watch the meteor shower in an incredible natural setting. It’s best not to use binoculars, as they limit your field of vision. All you need to do is head down to the beach, sit on the sand and look up.
*Sunset at the Playa de las Salinas, Roquetas de Mar, Almería. / Photo: buscounchollo.com
Just 9km away is the hotel Vincci Selección Envía Almería Wellness & Golf 5* Almería. Here you’ll find peace and quiet to enjoy these days in which the night sky takes centre-stage. Located in the La Envía zone, it has a Nammu Area Spa, where you can be pampered to your heart’s content, and it gives you the chance to play in La Envía Golf. Moreover, its rooms have spectacular views over the golf course, the pool or the mountains. Views to leave you gazing out at the horizon.
La Albufera de Valencia
An amazing location, which is perfect to enjoy the show the universe is putting on. A lake where the evening sky glows with never-before-seen colours, deserted beaches backed by dunes and a forest, where wilderness meets tranquillity. It offers you perfect peace to enjoy the night of St. Lawrence, watching the stars shoot across the sky.
*La Albufera de Valencia at night. / Photo: Chrischroschrus.
La Albufera is just 10 kilometres from Valencia, where in the city centre Vincci has two hotels: Vincci Palace 4* and Vincci Lys 4*. Two hotels just made for relaxing during these August days, and perfect to enjoy the delightful Mediterranean climate. These two establishments have made elegance and comfort their watchword in the city.
Playa de La Barrosa, Sancti Petri, Chiclana de la Frontera, Cadiz
The best area to watch the shower of stars is Torre Bermeja, commonly called ‘Barro Colorado’, an area at the start of the splendid Playa de Barrosa, where there is less light.
In the prestigious Novo Sancti Petri residential area you’ll find our hotel Vincci Costa Golf 4* Cádiz. A hotel with a golf course and Nammu Area Spa, located just a stone’s throw from the wonderful La Barrosa beach. A place where the sunsets are straight out of a dream; a privileged spot that will be etched on your retina forever.
*Playa de La Barrosa, Sancti Petri.
Parque Natural del Teide, Tenerife
It´s one of the most beautiful destinations to see the Tears of San Lorenzo. The Teide Natural Park is a unique place to watch the performance, because of the intense darkness, the respect of the zone for the species that live there, and all of course, without leaving a trace of our visit.
* Meteor shower above the Teide Natural Park. / Photo: diariotierra.com
And yesterday, Tenerife saw another of nature’s masterpieces. The supermoon lined up with the shadow of Teide on the horizon, resulting in a unique, magical scene that saw the witnesses rushing for their cameras, such as Imágenes Históricas y Antena 3 Canarias:
Sombra del Teide alineada con la Superluna. Hoy a las 19:55 pic.twitter.com/MEnXZvZmQv
— Imágenes Históricas (@ImgenesH) agosto 10, 2014
La sombra del Teide frente a la superluna… ¡Preciosa estampa! pic.twitter.com/hWvzR3xinW
— Antena 3 Canarias (@Antena3Canarias) agosto 10, 2014
Vincci has three hotels on Tenerife: Vincci Selección Buenavista Golf&Spa 5* Lujo, Vincci Selección La Plantación del Sur 5* Lujo and Vincci Tenerife Golf 4*. Located in the north and south of the island they are all enjoy incredible natural surroundings and all three have a Nammu Area Spa where you’ll find all the relaxation you need. Vincci Selección Buenavista Golf&Spa 5* Lujo and Vincci Tenerife Golf 4* give you the chance to play golf, while in the Vincci Selección La Plantación del Sur 5* Lujo, on the Costa Adeje, you’ll be immersed in the island’s colonial style.
*Hotel Vincci Tenerife Golf 4* Tenerife.
In cities such as Madrid, Seville and Barcelona you also have the chance to watch the meteor shower. Up in the Sierra de Guadarrama, close to Madrid; in the Doñana Park near Seville; or at the Santa Fé de Montseny Lake in Barcelona. Relax, gaze at the heavens and don’t forget to make a wish.
What are the Perseids and why do they occur?
Every year, halfway through August, the Earth crosses the orbit of the comet Swift-Tuttle. The comet’s path is full of small particles, like grains of sand, which the comet leaves behind as it goes. When one of these particles enters our atmosphere, it heats up until it vaporises high up and for a couple of seconds it shines as a shooting star. Though of course they aren’t really stars, simply particles of incandescent dust.
So, tomorrow evening, 12nd August, go to a dark place and live a magical night while you look at the sky. Don’t forget make a wish!