I want to provide a wonderful first observational astronomy experience to as many people as possible


Who I am

Stephane Mandelert
Aprende a contemplar el universo gracias a los telescopios y al personal de Sky Andaluz, turismo astronómico en Granada

My name is Stephane Mandelert, I am Swiss-Brazilian and I have spent the last 33 years in Switzerland.

My passion for astronomy started when I was around 7 years old and I received my first book on the subject and was hooked. Astronomy books for children always start the same, Galileo Galilei, his theories and being condemned by the church and then an explanation about the planets and the stars.

A year later, I received a comic from my teacher, a little more sophisticated, that explained the Big Bang and the expansion of the Universe and I was fascinated. So when I was 17 years old and I went to Switzerland on vacation, a time when foreign books were unknown in Brazil, I bought two things, the Larousse book on astronomy, which I still have, and a 110 mm telescope that he gave me problems. at customs. Reading about it gave me the dream of looking through a telescope, and I still remember the first time I saw the moon in one.

The 110 mm and the knowledge of my sky allowed me to see Saturn, the gem of the sky, Jupiter and double stars like Alpha Centauri, but nothing else.


The beginnings

Years later I bought a 150mm (6in) where I started to find galaxies, spending hours in my garden trying to find them. It took me hours to find just one, and they were essentially barely seen. A few years ago, I bought a 250mm (10-inch) “Huge Dobsonian” and could see a little more, but still not much.
I know that many great amateur astronomers stop at this size and spend hours and hours looking through them, but I was always disappointed and the “indirect vision” and its subtlety was not for me, I found it frustrating.

So I started dreaming of a bigger and bigger telescope and its associated expense.

Descubre la espectacular Nebulosa de Orión gracias al centro de turismo astronómico Sky Andaluz en Sierra Nevada

The specialization

By chance, in 2012, I came across an ad for Stellarzac, a place in France where my now friend Frédéric Gea was starting his astronomical resort with a 1 meter (40 inch) telescope.

It seemed like a dream, a 1 meter telescope available in a “perfect” place was an opportunity that I did not want to miss! I called him, very anxious, to see if in the week that my parents were in Europe it was possible to make a reservation. He was convinced that there was a queue taking care of the same thing. Little did he know that I was his first customer.

With the one meter telescope the sky is completely different, no more subtleties and galaxies look like galaxies, nebulae have colors and globular clusters are incredible. So I stopped trying to buy my own telescope and became a frequent Larzac guest, especially when Christmas coincided with the new moon.
I spent many, many hours in sub-zero conditions in the same clothes that I had worn in the winter in Greenland, enchanted by what I was seeing, particularly incredibly subtle galaxies as far as one could find them, which means a little less than a billion light years. .



The Larzac is a wonderful place, very dark, but it is still France and the weather can be a problem, so I started dreaming of having my own large telescope to share with more people in a better climate and in a more southern location.

sky andaluz

Two parallel searches: which telescope and where.


The telescope

A one-meter telescope is great, but you stand quite high on a ladder in the middle of the night and it’s very expensive. So I found out that the size of the telescope is a compromise between your wallet, the amount of unwieldiness you or your clients are willing to deal with, and the magic of what you are looking for.

I pondered for years on the subject, climbing steps in my house to decide how tall I felt comfortable and what was the minimum size necessary to give the magic of a “huge telescope”. In the end, the doubt was between 30 and 28 inches and I closed at 28. Not because of the cost, but because of the least necessary step on the ladder.


The best place

My goal is to provide a wonderful first observational astronomy experience to as many people as possible. My hope is that by having a good first experience, people start to take more interest in the subject than if they started with a “normal telescope” where everything except the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn is subtle. Even the planet Mars is almost always a disappointment.

And who knows how many of the children that will pass will experience a revelation, as I had with my first book, and will continue the hobby for a lifetime. I certainly won’t be able to know which ones for sure, but I’m sure this will happen and I’ll be proud to have been a part of this process.

So, going back to the location, I started to do incessant searches on the web trying to find the answer, but the answer is not obvious, at all. First of all, to find the website that addresses the subject, it took me years to find which is probably the best on the subject. In addition to Google Earth.

After finding it, hundreds of trials and errors were made to discover that the best place for it was Andalusia and southern Greece. Since my Spanish is considerably better than my Greek, the choice was based on that criterion.




Up to 5 persons
  • Up to 5 persons
  • Presentation of the Universe
  • Observations


Price per person
  • Entrance per person
  • Presentation of the Universe
  • Observations


Limit 15 people
  • A personal or group visit
  • Presentation of the Universe
  • Observations