The first destination in Portugal dedicated to astrotourism was born in 2007, Dark Sky® Alqueva, by the hands of Apolónia Rodrigues
Specialized in sustainable tourism and future tendencies in tourism, the creation of the concept and brand Dark Sky® was the best way to develop and implement different skills in a destination and to contribute for a better future.
Certified in 2011, it is the first Starlight Tourism Destination in the world, as well as the first cross-border Starlight Destination in the World. It covers an area of 10,000 square kilometres around the Alqueva Lake, including Portuguese and Spanish council areas. Having had the quality of the sky certified, Dark Sky® Alqueva offers a variety of daytime and night-time activities.
Within the certified territory, Dark Sky® Alqueva implemented The Official Dark Sky® Observatory in Cumeada, a village near Reguengos de Monsaraz. This Observatory is equipped with cutting-edge telescopes for solar and astronomical observations and has a certified team to welcome stargazers. These provide for a unique visual experience, from observing the planets to exploring the craters on the moon, moving on to the deeper sky with a cosmic journey among the nebulae, the galaxies and the star clusters which rise above us in one of the finest skies in the world.
The wide open spaces around Alqueva also offer a wide variety of activities which supplement the pleasures of observing the skies – experiencing an incredible variety of sensations and tastes, such as relaxing at sunset as you enjoy a cocktail or taking part in a blind wine-tasting under the star lit sky.
Outdoors, surrounded by nature, you can go walking, enjoy horseback excursions under the moonlight, or participate in the Astrophotography Workshops of the renowned Astrophotographer Miguel Claro, whether you are already passionate about it, or a beginner, or someone more experienced.