The 25 most inspiring Milky Way pictures taken by Spanish photographers

Photographing the Milky Way not only requires a great planning, basic photography gear or the right parameters set on our camera. A good source of inspiration is also necessary; breathtaking photographs that make us think how they were taken. Photographs that stay on our minds and encourage us to travel and to explore those hidden corners where we can still see a sky full of stars.

From the western area of North America to the southern island of New Zealand, passing through places like Namibia, the Everest base camp, the Dolomites, and of course the most magical corners of Spain, we will travel across the skies and stars from all over the world, with photographers who one day dreamed of taking these photos, and we hope that make you dream today.

“DOUBLE Arch” – César Vega

best milky way photograph

“Double arch” – César Vega

I shot this panoramic picture last May. I planned my trip for this time of the year as during March and April we can see in Namibia the full Milky Way arch with the galactic center in the middle of the arch, in a very different way from how we see it in the northern hemisphere.

I was lucky enough to camp by this arch, where I wanted to take a panoramic view with both arches overlapped. Finally I added my figure to the frame to stand out a bigger sense of scale.



Milky Way stars tajinaste Tenerife Spain

“Crossing Way” – Efrén Yanes

At the end of May Teide National Park takes a special colour with the arrival of the late spring. This time of the year is the best to photograph the Red Tajinaste, (Echium Wildpretii), an endemic plant just found on Tenerife and La Palma Islands, both of them belonging to the Canary Islands. In addition to this, we can find some of the clearest and cleanest skies not only in Spain but in the world, which create the perfect conditions for night and Milky Way photography.

In this composition I found very interesting how the Milky Way crossed this two Tajinastes, creating in my opinion a very effective frame.


“lights in the night” – javier camacho gimeno

Everest base camp Milky Way khumbu icefall Lhotse night

“Lights in the night” – Javier Camacho Gimeno

I shot this photograph on my last Olympus expedition to Everest. Through this image, I tried to capture the right moment when an alpinist was having a rest in his tent, meanwhile several mountaineers were climbing the Khumbu icefall towards Everest Camp 1, all under the majestic Milky Way.

“dreamy night at covadonga ” – julio castro

Covadonga lakes Milky Way Stars Asturias Spain

“Dreamy night at Covadonga” – Julio Castro

Since the first time I visited the Covadonga lakes a picture of the two lakes with the Milky Way arch on the top was on my mind. 

As I was living at a far distance by car from this location and it is very rare to find snow during the time of the year when the galactic center is visible, I knew this photography would be a hard challenge. However, an April afternoon a good friend of mine told me that it was snowing the same morning so as soon as I heard this I went there to capture this dreamy moment.

“The View” – david martín castán 

Milky Way night photography Dolomites alps world war cave

“The View” – David Martín Castán

I was familiar with this area from previous occasions and I knew that there were many caves from the I World War, as there were several battles over this area and many strategic border locations. 

I planned the caves where I could include the Milky Way from, and once there I decided to shoot from this because of the outline of the cave, resembling a wild boar. 



Milky Way  brihuega Spain night stars lavender

The reason that took me to capture this image was the following; Until then, I had previously seen many night photographs of the lavender fields, but none of them with the full arch of the Milky Way. 

To get this image with the full arch, I stitched a panoramic image with 7 vertical shots for the sky and 7 vertical shots for the ground. The light pollution behind the tree comes from the nearest village, “Brihuega”.


“Sagittarius” – Inigo cia

Milky Way Mesquite Sand Flat dunes Death Valley California Stars

“Sagittarius” – Inigo Cia

I took this photograph in the famous “Mesquite Sand flats” dunes in Death Valley, California; the lowest point in the United States at 200 meters below sea level.
The great dunes and the clean starry skies inspired me to take this picture,  where I included a human figure in order to enhance a bigger sense of scale over the desert night immensity.

“illuminating the south” – hugo valle

Nugget Point lighthouse Miljy Way Starry night New Zealand

“Illuminating the South” – Hugo Valle

The Milky Way in the Southern Hemisphere has a peculiarity compared to the way we can see it in the northern hemisphere; It is just the opposite way.

One of the places I wanted to photograph that night was the Nugget Point lighthouse, maybe one of the best known on the New Zealand south island, where I spent an unforgettable night gazing at the stars.

“milky way over monument valley” – néstor rodán

Milky Way Monument Valley stars Navajo photography tour

“Milky Way over Monument Valley” – Néstor Rodán

The American desert is one of the most magical places to gaze at the stars and the Milky Way on earth.

We spent two days in Monument Valley looking for the best locations to photograph across the Park. When I found this location and checked through Photopills that I could plan the full arch of the Milky Way, I did not hesitate and come back early at night to take this panorama.

“The guardian” – José Antonio hervas

Ibiza Milky Way moonset Es Vedrà Coast Jose Antonio Hervas

“The Guardian” – Jose Antonio Hervas

The Islet of “Es Vedrà” on the balearic islands has been a source of inspiration for countless legends and supposed paranormal phenomena throughout history. It is also believed that this islet was in the past part of the Ibiza Island, one of the reasons to be also known as “The guardian” of the island.

Inspired by all these stories, my aim was taking a photograph where the Milky Way formed a vertical line with the main islet, and the moon setting at the same time, something that required a great planning.

“The Light path” – Fina león

Milky Way stars barcenas Navarra Spain night

“The light path” – Fina León

Capturing the Milky Way in the “Bardenas Reales” area was a big dream that looked like impossible not a long time ago. 
The night I went to try this photography with a group off friends, the forecast was clear skies.
After a long hike across difficult desertic trails leaving behind the step of the deers, we finally set our tripods. And there it was, the Milky Way just waiting to be photographed by our cameras and a dream about to be fulfilled.

“NIght explorer” – Carlos m. almagro

Milky Way night photograph explorer Tenerife Spain

“Night Explorer” – Carlos M. Almagro

“La Zapatilla de la Reina” is with no doubt one of the best places to explore inside Teide National Park. 

I had previously taken a similar picture but what really inspired me to get back was taking this panoramic including a person on the frame, trying to create a bigger sense of  scale related to the big rock and the vast landscape.

“infinitely small” – javier m. morán

Milky Way La Palma Canary Islands starry observatory Sea clouds

“Infinitely small” – Javier M. Morán

I have always been fascinated by the Canary Islands landscapes. It might be because when I turned 4 I moved to live there and the majestic landscapes had nothing to do with any others seen before. If we add to these landscapes some of the best skies in the world, we can find a perfect match. 

The sense of immensity after being at the top of an island, more than 2000 m above sea level, all covered by the darker and starriest sky I have ever witnessed, is something I wanted to express in my photos.

For this reason, I decided to include myself in the composition of this picture, located at the top of one of the far rocks. I would definitely recommend to everyone trying that of feeling tiny. 

“Perfect reflection” – javier de la torre

Milky Way Mount Rundle Canada Rocky Mountains photography

“Perfect Reflection” – Javier de la Torre

For our trip across the Canadian Rockies, There were on our minds hundreds of photos that we had already seen of the lakes and the incredible reflections. In the afternoon, and after dusk, the wind stops creating a calm atmosphere  and the perfect conditions to photograph reflections.

Thanks to Photopills, we could plan the time the Milky Way would be on Mount Rundle. After a first attempt where all the sky was covered, the second night we tried back again. Everything was in place; the stars and the Milky Way, and again, the water seemed to be totally calm. We nervously prepared our equipment and when the photo was shown on our screens we could not believe it. The reflection of the stars and the Milky Way in the lake was simply perfect. We had never seen anything like this, stars reflected as perfect points on the water. This picture was a huge reward for us and we were quite happy after taking this dreamy picture.

“Milky way over izaña” – abián san gil

Milky Way Tenerife observatory stars night

“Milky Way over Izaña” – Abián San Gil

Two years earlier I took similar picture on La Palma island, with one of the telescopes of the “Roque de los Muchahos” observatory and the Galactic center arising behind.

After taking this challenging but rewarding photograph, one of my new goals was photographing the telescopes of the neighboring island, Tenerife, and the Milky Way in the same position.


“earth and universe” – fran ros

Milky Way stars night photography earth

“Earth and universe” – Fran Ros

After a long time looking for textures to photograph one of the harshest earth conditions together with the universe, we found the “Linares Reservoir”.
Once there, we came across the image we had on our minds; the draught which every year isolates more and more Spain during the summer together with the Milky Way, creating a very powerful scene to witness and photograph.


“Night at the melero” – iván ferrero

night bend river Melero night Milky Way photography

“Night at the Melero” – Iván Ferrero

“Melero Bend” is a place I wanted to visit since a long time ago, but curiously did not know it was a good location for night photography, something discovered by my friend Julio Castro Pardo.

The night was difficult since it was a new moon night and both the valley and the bend were in utter darkness.  Despite all the technical difficulties the night at the Melero ended up as a magical night under the stars and the Milky Way.


“Milky way in the Picos de europa” – pablo ruiz garcía

Milky Way Mountain pass snow night photography mountaineer

“Milky Way in the Picos de Europa” – Pablo Ruiz García

In the area of Camaleño (Cantabria, Spain), we can find one of the most  impressive mountain huts in Spain.

The plan was climbing up there looking for a high mountain landscape still with snow and the Milky Way on top of the hut. We made all this plan thanks to Photopills.

The hut is located at a height of 2325 meters, so there are very clean starry skies. We had a wonderful night; clear and with no wind, with the best conditions for photographing the beautiful Milky Way.

“touching the sky” – paco farero

Milky Way Castle Starry night sky sense of scale Zafra Castle Game of Thrones

“Touching the Sky” – Paco Farero

When you discover a new place like the “Castle of Zafra”, with such an impressive sky, you would like to be a child again and imagine that you can be anything you want; a medieval knight, or even better, having the ability of touching the sky.

And that is exactly what I did, I took a picture of myself in the composition and lighted the castle while I lifted my arm to touch the Milky Way.


“The odle little hotel” – juan pixelecta

Milky Way Dolomites night tent stars mountain

“The Odle little hotel” – Juan Pixelecta

It took us three hours to reach this location in the Dolomites. It was snowy and according to the forecast we wouldn’t see anything once we got there, but there was a small window at 2:30. According to the plan we thought about sleeping over that mountain pass with the aim of photographing the Odle mountain range as soon as we got clear skies. As previously checked on the forecast, right at 2:30 the Milky Way was just in time for our date.
In the picture you can see we lived that night; the impressive mountain range illuminated by the moon, light pollution coming from the village behind the mountains and an unforgettable Milky Way.
With Pablo Ruiz and the legendary Iñaki Larrea.

“THE PHOTOGRAPHER” – JOSé d. riquelme

Milky Way photography sky stars night

“The Photographer” – Jose D Riquelme

In Murcia it is rather difficult to find a hidden corner where there is no light pollution. A friend of mime told me the possibility of photographing a dam in which center is located a tiny island with the Milky Way at the background.

After this plan I couldn’t wait until turning this idea into reality. My friend in the frame was the perfect element to enhance and humanize the composition.

“aurora dancing with steve” – daniel viñé

aurora steve alberta canada Milky Way night photography

“Aurora dancing with Steve” – Daniel Viñé

Serendipity is the phenomenon of finding value things by chance or accident, and that is exactly what happened to me the night shown above.

While I was trying to shoot the Milky Way with the likely northern lights according to the forecast, I captured on my camera a kind of pink cloudy ribbon that I linked to light pollution at first. 

My surprise came after returning back to Spain when a Canadian photographer told me the pink ribbon was Steve, a very rare atmospheric phenomena that can be witnessed from time to time in the Canadian area of Alberta, and which has nothing to do with the famous Aurora Borealis. After that I could realize how triply lucky I had been that night.

“The study of the universe” – mario rubio

Milky Way observatory night photography Spain

“The study of the universe” – Mario Rubio

Best libraries are in Oxford, Cambridge or Stanford. Best places to observe the sky, area, besides other places,  in the magic island of Tenerife. 

If we really want to know, observe and understand the sky and the universe, ¿What better place to do it than the place where they are dedicated to this?

The Milky Way keep attracting us and make all the photographers feel an immense admiration for it. 

“Mermaids and stars” – francisco josé ruano

Milky Way stars Spain Almeria reef arrecife

“Mermaids and stars” – Francisco José Ruano

Being completely by yourself in one of the remotest areas of the Iberian Peninsula, listening just the roar of the waves crashing against the rocks and witnessing millions of stars just above you, are some of the reasons to live a magic night at this Reef that so many legends has inspired over the last centuries. 

The “Cabo de Gata” hides authentic jewels, and the skies and stars are with no doubt one of the best-kept secrets. 


“Night spell” – juan carlos cortina

Milky Way La Palma Canary islands Spain

“Night Spell” – Juan Carlos Cortina

For many years I have been attracted by the Canary Islands starry skies, and especially for the lighthouses. These , have always cast a spell on me, as I found very interesting the hermit life of the lighthouse keepers.

For that reason, when I found the Lighthouse of “Fuencaliente” on the southern coast of La Palma island, I started looking for a picture where I could capture the lighthouse with the Milky Way at the background.

If we managed to inspire you with these Milky Way images, we also hope that this article encourages you to go out and find all those skies that have been waiting for us for millions of years.