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.

During the summer of 2024 visitors may join us for the open days of the Observatory on the following days which coincide with the full moon: 
Thursday May 23, Friday June 21, Sunday July 21, Monday August 19, Wednesday September 18

A special event will be also organized on Sunday August 24, at the "Shepherd's Land", just outside the town of Anogeia.

The open days are also supported by the Astronomy Club of the Students of the University of Crete, with personnel and their portable telescope.

Since the open days depend of the weather conditions on the Skinakas peak, please visit this web page for last minute updates before heading up to the mountain.

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 aproximately 20:30, when the night has already fallen and the sky is dark, 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.

A 16minute video, taken through a car which depicts the drive from the Dept. of Physics of the University of Crete, along with the quality of the road as it was in 2014, is available here, while a video of the peak from a drone can be seen here.

Moreove, an impressive 3D view of of the peak of Skinakas Observatory is available here, while many pictures of the observatory, the surrounding area and the beautuful night sky can be found in our photo gallery. More videos are also available at the dedicated Youtube channel of the Institute of Astrophysics-FORTH.