With 22 inhabitants per square kilometer, the Alentejo is one of the less densely populated regions of Portugal. The existing cities and villages are scattered throughout the vast countryside and particularly the area around the Alqueva lake offers perfect conditions for stargazers.
In fact, Alqueva has been designated as the first Starlight Tourism Destination in the World. Starlight destinations are places which have very low light pollution and where one can enjoy unique and unparalleled opportunities to view the night sky. The Dark Sky Alqueva has on average 286 nights with clear skies and is ideally suited to observe the universe.
At www.darkskyalqueva.com you can find lots of information on this Starlight destination. This project offers including stargazing sessions, solar observations, astrophotography workshops, night tours with canoes on the lake, wine tastings and many more.
The project runs it’s own observatory near Reguengos de Monsaraz, where guests can book viewings with cutting-edge telescopes for solar and astronomical observations. Prices start at 20 EUR per adult and 12 EUR for children between the ages of 8 and 12. Children younger then 8 years old have free entry.
The Dark Sky Alqueva project also hosts an online store where you can purchase astronomy related postcard, books, fine art prints, etc.
Recommendations for accommodations and restaurants are also online.
The Dark Sky Alqueva project has gained many international awards and is a perfect example for the sustainable promotion of tourism in the Alentejo.