The Alqueva Dark Sky Route

Place: Monsaraz
Photo: Dark sky Alqueva, Miguel Claro
Photo: Dark sky Alqueva, Miguel Claro

Don't miss
  • take a boat ride in Alqueva
  • gaze at the sky at night
  • go up to Monsaraz

Imagine a place where we feel covered by a majestic starry sky. 

The feeling is indescribable, and usually only possible artificially, in a planetarium, where we sit comfortably for a lesson on the stars. In Portugal, we are lucky to have that feeling in the open air.

Right in the middle of Alentejo, the wonderful Alqueva sky is like dark velvet cloaked by a huge blanket of stars. It is a protected area and internationally certified as a Dark Sky Reserve, or "Starlight Tourism Destination", which extends over an area of about 3000 square kilometres.

Recognising it as an exceptional place for star-gazing, the municipalities around the great Alqueva lake - AlandroalReguengos de MonsarazPortelMourãoMoura and Barrancos - joined together in an effort to preserve this special feature and so at night public lighting is reduced to a minimum to enable a better enjoyment of this natural phenomenon.

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