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Alqueva becomes certified star-gazing destination

13th February 2012 Print

UNWTO and UNESCO have certified Alqueva in the Alentejo region of Portugal as a starlight destination for tourism. Alqueva, within which the Amieira Marina is set, is the first site to be granted official ‘Starlight Tourism Destination’ certification.

The Alentejo is the largest region in Portugal, occupying approximately a third of the country and yet the region has only 7.1% of the country’s population. The Alqueva Dark Sky Reserve covers 3,000 square kilometres of the region and is made up of six municipalities including the marina’s lakeside villages of Mourão and Monsaraz.

The Starlight Certification system was developed to highlight areas across the globe where star-gazing is at its very best. Upon receiving certification, the reserve has set up a ‘Dark Sky Route’ designed to highlight areas in Alqueva that offer the ultimate star viewing experience in which visitors are provided with telescopes to observe the night sky at their leisure.

The Amieira Marina offers the perfect holiday to combine a star-gazing escape with. Visitors can cruise across the Alqueva lake exploring the lakeside villages on route and relax on deck under a breath-taking blanket of stars as the evening sets in.

There are a range of vessels with a capacity of two to 12 people, which are fully equipped with a bathroom, kitchen, living area, bedrooms, deck and barbecue as well as safety equipment and navigation technology including GPS. Guests can navigate the Great Lake where swimming, kayaking and fishing can be enjoyed. Additional specialised activities also include wine tasting, horse riding and walking tours.

There are a number of fantastic packages available with prices for a two-night weekend break for two starting from 570€ which includes boat rental, boat insurance, gas and technical assistance, making a star-lit holiday at the Amieira Marina the ideal Valentine’s escape!

For more information on the Alqueva Dark Sky Reserve visit:

For more information on the Amieira Marina visit: