Skinakas Observatory offers a number of open days each year in order to help the general public become familiar with the wonders of the night sky, as well as the recent advances in astrophysics and technology. This provides the opportunity to visitors to be introduced to the operation of the observatory, to be informed about the latest astronomy results, as well as to observe through the 1.3m telescope, if the weather conditions are good.
Unfortunately, due to COVID19 restrictions regarding gatherings of large number of people in confined areas,
we are forced to postpone the open days for the summer of 2020.
During the οpen days the Observatory facilities can be visited from 18:00 to 23:00. There are presentations of the telescope and its operation up to 20:30. Due to the limited time, space and number of stuff, the presentations are in Greek. Depending on the available time and the number of visitors, there may be short presentations in English as well. After 20:30, the telescope points to pre-selected astronomical objects and the visitors can view them through an eyepiece. Commentary will be provided (mainly in Greek).
Due to the low temperatures at the altitude of Skinakas, having warm clothes is highly recommended. There is very limited number of seating available on site and due the large number of people visiting, it may often take over an hour to wait on queue. Please note that there are no public restrooms on site, or guest areas providing food and/or drinks.
The road to Skinakas Observatory is very narrow, so extreme caution is needed and parking space on the site is limited. For these reasons it is strongly advised that buses are not used to carry visitors to the Observatory during open days since, depending on their size, they are often not able to reach the peak.
A Google map with driving directions from the city of Heraklion to Skinakas Observatory is available here.