Among the many details written in the stars, intel on where you should spend your summer holiday may just be up there in the night’s sky. So says astrologer Tashi Dos Santos, who studies the shifting influences of the stars and planets on our lives. Born into a line of mystics, soothsayers and healers, Tashi grew up learning the astrological wisdom of the ancient Greeks, Iberians and Algarvian Gypsies. As for the intersection of astrology and travel, she says, ‘An experience can be amplified based on where the stars, planets and asteroids sit in relation to that location.’ Here, she clues us in on the top five places to visit this summer according to the cosmos…
When to go: With the constellation Gemini overhead and a new moon, Tashi says early June is an ideal time to head to North Island in the Seychelles. ‘The stars will encourage your inquisitive and creative side at this time, so indulge with utter and dreamy privacy. On North Island, there won’t be a peek or squeak from other travellers… it’ll just be you, the waves meeting the shore and some of the best sunsets you’ll see in your life.’
Where to stay: North Island is the private-island escape where Prince William and Kate Middleton honeymooned. As you’d expect from a place with a royal endorsement, a stay here is certainly a splurge. But if the cosmos aren’t enough to convince you to to visit, maybe the PADI dive centre (with lessons included), clifftop infinity pool and beachfront villas will do the trick.
When to go: Tashi says, ‘The Aborginals call Australia “dreamtime” and what better way to make the most of the dreamscape than by visiting the Margaret River after 21 June, during Neptune’s retrograde in Pisces. This is the time for intuitive peaks and loving rejuvenation. This cosmic influence also supports family travels of merriment and creative expression.’
Where to stay: You’ll find plenty of merriment at Empire Retreat and Spa – a 12-acre wine estate where the chardonnay flows and the treatments at the spa are otherworldly. As the hotel is 18 and up, it’s the ideal place to reconnect with the adult members of your family – siblings, cousins or anyone who will find an open-plan villa with a sunken lounge area and fireplace cosy (so anyone, in other words).
When to go: ‘All the stars will practically be at your fingertips in this high altitude playground’, says Tashi. ‘But the ultimate time to visit will be 2 July, when a total solar eclipse will be visible from the Atacama Desert – one of the few locations on the globe where that will be the case. Visiting the desert during the weeks leading up to the eclipse, on eclipse day or even the week after means you’ll experience magnetising and transformative energy.’
Where to stay: Speaking of magnetic forces, you’ll feel a natural pull to the award-winning pool at Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa, which has views of the Licancabur Volcano and crescent-moon-shaped wicker loungers – an appropriately celestial setup. Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa is another ideal option. There, you can schedule an hour with an astronomy expert and go stargazing at the hotel’s own outdoor observatory with a telescope and rooftop swivel chairs.
When to go: Tashi says, ‘The August full moon in Aquarius opposing Mercury in Leo, plus Uranus’s retrograde encourages an out-of-the-box trip. So, voyage to a landscape that places you far away from what is habitual and inspires deeply spiritual exchanges. Paro, Bhutan is just that place. And while you’re there, don’t forget to check out Paro Taktsang – a Buddhist monastery also known as “Tiger’s Nest” that’s built into a cliff 3,000 feet above the Paro Valley – for many blessings.’
Where to stay: Amankora Paro Lodge is an ideal home base for exploring Tiger’s Nest – the hotel can arrange for a four-hour guided hike to the monastery and even have an herb-infused hot stone bath waiting for you back at the property post-excursion. Another Himalayan hideout is Como Uma Paro, where in addition to a Tiger’s Nest hike, you can also take part in mountain biking, yoga and the national sport of Bhutan – archery.
When to go: ‘Late August’s stellium in the constellation of Virgo is calling for a trip to the Algarve’, says Tashi. Around this time, many of the planets will occupy an earth sign, which means all your senses will be heightened. As Tashi points out, ‘There’s a lot to smell, taste, touch, hear and see in southern Portugal; plus, you can make the most of all the delicious food in the region, which will taste even better during this time of year.’
Where to stay: Treat your senses at Vila Monte Farm House, which is surrounded by citrus trees and bougainvillea, plus has two restaurants onsite. Inside, feast on fire-grilled fish at À Terra; outdoors, graze on tapas at Laranjal Restaurant. For a full-body sensory celebration, stay at seaside Martinhal Sagres and check out the spa. The Voya Leaf Body Wrap, which involves being covered head to toe in giant strips of skin-reviving seaweed, is a top treatment. Consider the slimy swathe your armour against whatever the cosmos throw your way.
Looking for even more astrological direction? Tashi is offering Mr & Mrs Smith readers a 20 per cent discount on personalised locational astrology readings. For more information, email Tashi@tarotbytashi.com
Featured image is Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa in Chile