In order to visit the GTC telescope on La Palma, one has to register on the following website. According to the website there is only a limited number of places for each visit. So in case you are not flexible you should register early enough before you plan to visit the GTC.
One thing should be said as a warning: Since most people probably use a motorized vehicle to get up to the top the big difference in height can be a problem. If you are not used to this altitude or you have a weak blood circulation you should pay attention. According to the telescope staff it is quite normal that 1-2 people per visit have some problems.
I just parked the car beside the road close to a helicopter landing zone. There some other visiors were already waiting. While I was still wondering why the others didn’t leave their cars I suddenly found the answer when I stepped out. It was dammed cold up there and an unpleasant wind blew from the west. After waiting some minutes one man and a woman came to the cars and introduced themselves to the visitors. Since it was cold we were directly heading into the telescope.
The tour was planned for about 1 hour. The first part of the tour was just a presentation of a long list of facts about the telescope – but of couse almost no technical details were given to not bore the audience. Everything was presented in English and in Spanish vice versa. The explanations took place right behind the entrance while all visitors were standing in the corridor. For me this was ok but some people already felt the altitude.
My conclusion: Go up to the Roque and take the GTC tour! And while you are up there also step bye at Roque de Los Muchachos – the highest peak of the island and enjoy the great view all over the island and on the other telescopes 🙂 Last updated: September 5, 2016 at 20:57 pm