Visits to the Calar Alto Astronomical Center

Get to know the Calar Alto astronomical observatory, its facilities and the science that is carried out from it.

The Calar Alto astronomical observatory is the largest observatory in continental Europe, with professional telescopes with an aperture of up to 3.5 meters. It is operated by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (Spain), producing cutting-edge science at an international level.

The visit consists of a didactic talk about the observatory, the scientific use of telescopes and light in astronomy, followed by a visit to the building of one of the telescopes*. The visits are guided by qualified personnel with scientific training. The approximate duration is 2 hours.

*The telescope to visit will depend on availability due to scientific and maintenance tasks. Normally and as the first option it will be the 3.5 meter telescope.


  • Visits will be made exclusively by reservation and prior confirmation
  • Requests or reservations will only be addressed by email (groups) or through the web (public)
  • For security reasons, the visit to the facilities is not suitable for children under 8 years. This includes school visits.
  • It is essential to bring enough warm clothing, since the observatory is located at an altitude of 2,200 meters and the domes are refrigerated to the expected outside night temperature for that night. This is applicable even in summer. Mountain conditions are unpredictable and can change drastically in short periods of time.

Meeting Point:

Visitors’ reception center at the western entrance to the observatory. See Plane.


The price of the activity is €15 per person.

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