DeLuxe Travel Awards 2020

Dark Sky® Alqueva is the first Starlight TourismDestination in the world and the first cross-border. It covers an area of 9,700 square kilometers around Lake Alqueva, including Portuguese and Spanish council areas.Together with the certified quality of the sky, Dark Sky® Alqueva also offers a diversity of daytime and night-time activities. Dark Sky® Alqueva works hard to protect this natural and human kind heritage - our night sky full of stars. The Official Dark Sky® Observatory in Cumeada, a village near Reguengos de Monsaraz, is equipped with cutting-edge telescopes for solar and astronomical visual observations. These provide for a unique visual experience, from observing the planets to looking at the craters on the moon, moving on to the deeper sky with a cosmic journey among the nebulae, the galaxies and the swarms of stars 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 on an excursion to a vineyard or simply try the mesmerising sensorial experience of a blind winetasting by the starlight. Outdoors, surrounded by nature, you can go walking, enjoy horseback excursions by moonlight, or participate in astrophotography workshops under the guidance of the international astrophotographer Miguel Claro, whether you are already passionate about it, simply a beginner, or just someone more experienced who wish to take a deep step to the next level of photography. Beyond these activities, Dark Sky® Alqueva also has a network of partners – the Dark Sky® Alqueva Route – who are specialists in different areas and who ensure a package of different activities that can be tailored to the requirements of each client, to provide unforgettable moments from sunrise to the end of the most star-filled night in the Alentejo. Among these you can choose between activities as distinct as nighttime canoeing, excursion by boat, or by balloon above Alqueva region, stand up paddle boarding, team-building, orientation, birdwatching, yoga and sports events, among many others. Because rest and relaxation paired with comfort are key elements in the reserve, there is a range of places to stay in the Alqueva countryside which complement the very high quality gastronomy that the region has to offer. The Network of Dark Sky® Destinations in Portugal has been created and includes now: Alqueva, Aldeias do Xisto, and Vale do Tua, representing the South, Center and North of Portugal´s countryside. The main mission is protecting the night sky as a resource for sustainable development, but also and above all, to raise awareness of the importance of protecting this resource from the growing problem of light pollution, respecting and preserve it in a delicate way as a delightful heritage of humanity! CON TA C T Dark Sky Association Apolónia Rodrigues President A B O U T DA R K S K Y ® A LQ U E VA | 35

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