Visitor Center in Penteli

The Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing has been operating the Visitor Center in Penteli since 1995. Its purpose is science education and public outreach aiming in particular at middle- and high-school students. This is accomplished through special seminars, talks, and observations with the historic 62.5cm Newall refractor in Penteli. The Center also produces educational movies on various astronomy related topics, which are presented to our visitors during the tours. The Visitor Center is also open to the general public during the evening at least four times a month. The evening tours consist of oral and video presentations, followed by a tour of the Newall telescope and observations, weather permitting.

The Visitor Center is housed in the original building, with the 14m diameter dome, of the Newall refractor at the Penteli Astronomical Station, about 18 km from the center of Athens at an altitude of 500m. The telescope was commissioned by Robert Stirling Newall (1812-1889), a wealthy Scottish engineer and amateur astronomer for his private observatory in Ferndene (Gateshead). In 1890 the telescope was donated to the University of Cambridge and in 1957, to the National Observatory of Athens. The building, as well as the telescope, was fully refurbished in 2013. More than 200.000 people and about 6.000 schools have visited the Center since it commenced its operations.

2019 - Evening Tours Schedule
Date Time Date Time
Saturday 7 September 20:00 Sunday 8 September 20:00
Sunday 15 September 20:00 Saturday 28 September 20:00
Sunday 6 October 20:00 Saturday 12 October 20:00
Sunday 13 October 20:00 Saturday 19 October 20:00
Saturday 2 November 20:00 Sunday 3 November 20:00
Saturday 9 November 20:00 Sunday 24 November 20:00
Sunday 1 December 20:00 Saturday 7 December 20:00
Sunday 8 December 20:00 Saturday 14 December 20:00


The evening tours of the Center are listed below. In case of adverse weather conditions the tour is restricted indoors and observing from the telescope may not be possible.

The Visitor Center can accommodate up to 125 people. The regular evening tours are suitable for individuals above 10 years old. It operates on a first-come first-serve basis and no advance reservations can be made. All presentations are in greek. The tours and star gazing end around midnight. Entrance fee: 5 €. Doors open at:

June, July & August: 20:00 and close at 21:00.

For all other months doors open at 19:00 and program starts at 20:00.

Private evening and morning tours for groups are offered by appointment. It is possible to arrange that the presentations are in english. Please contact the reservation office of the Center for details.

Daily tours designed for elementary and high schools students are also available by appointment. They are scheduled during regular working days from 9:30-11:00 and 11:00-12:30 during the academic year. Entrance fee per student: 3 €.

For more information please read the following brochure or contact the IAASARS Visitor Center, National Observatory of Athens, Phone: 2108109107, 2103490022, Fax: 2108040453, E-mail:

The Coordinator of the Visitor Center is Dr. V. Kolokotronis with the support of Dr. Ch. Papadimitriou, T. Varsos, K. Varsou and Dr. L. Koutoulidis.


A Google map indicating the location of the Visitor Center (marked in red) is shown below. More details on how to reach the area using public transportation are available here.


Visitor Center (red color), IAASARS (blue color)
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How to reach us

Access via public transportation

National Observatory of Athens
Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications & Remote Sensing
Vas. Pavlou & I. Metaxa, 15236 Penteli, Greece