astrotourism

Astrotourism

dark sky aldeias do xisto – under the stars

The right to dark skies in a part of the country where the conditions to enjoy them are excellent.

Presentation

Between heaven and earth is man and all that flows into him for self renewal. Progress has always been carried out with hands and feet on earth, but with eyes and spirit turned upwards, towards the heavenly vault, transcendent and symbolic. Stargazing has always inspired the development of cultures and civilisations, and many of the technical and scientific advances marking the progress of humankind have resulted from it. If we could turn off all the lights on earth, the sky would become wonderful and amazing everywhere. Unfortunately, as we turn on the lights, we turn off the sky. The conditions for observing the night sky have been deteriorating at a worrying rate in a process that faces humanity with cultural, scientific, and natural loss with unpredictable consequences. Hence the importance of preserving places where this relationship is still possible. Places like the Aldeias do Xisto.

Starlight Tourist Destination

The Starlight Foundation awarded the Dark Sky Aldeias do Xisto Project with the Starlight Tourist Destination international certification. Alongside the excellent conditions of visibility, transparency, darkness and number of nights with clean skies, this accreditation also attests to the commitment of public, private, and scientific bodies, and the readiness and quality of tourist services, augmented by the genuine interest of the resident community.

This combination of factors shapes a new tourist strategy that goes beyond merely observing the sky and becomes a strategic focus that reconciles tourism development with social and environmental sustainability, thus transforming an ostensible weakness in the area into a positively distinctive economic and cultural asset.

An apparent weakness

Why is the Aldeias do Xisto’s sky one of the most fantastic for stargazing? Because it is of an (apparent) weakness in terms of development. On the one hand, the absence of economic activity over time and population scarcity has resulted in less light pollution. On the other hand, its rugged terrain in a very particular area of the central mountain range protects it from light pollution from the coast, in particular the Açor and Lousã Mountains, which form a natural barrier from the glare of the cities of Coimbra and Leiria, as well as Serra da Gardunha, Alvéolos and Muradal, which provide protection from the glare of the cities of Covilhã, Fundão and Castelo Branco.

Astrotourism

At this stage, being an emerging product in the portfolio of the Aldeias do Xisto, and also relatively unknown on the national tourist scene, it is important to disseminate it through promotional activities. The organisation of events around the theme of the dark sky and its variants (enjoyment of the landscape at night, the symbolic relationship of man with the cosmos, the cycles of nature, among others) will essentially serve to affirm the Aldeias do Xisto as a destination of excellence for stargazing, as one of the places where the relationship with nature is more intimate and profound, and also as a tourism brand with services perfectly suited to the demands of astrotourists. The ongoing project involves building capacity and specialising the territory to welcome this specific public and promoting new business among the brand's economic agents linked to a theme still entirely unexplored.

Dark Sky® Destinations Network

Portugal has the world's first "Starlight Tourist Destination" under the Dark Sky® Alqueva trademark. Since 2007, the Dark Sky® Association has developed a sustainability strategy that combines the protection of the night sky with the development of astrotourism destinations. Dark Sky® destinations demonstrate that it is possible to promote economic development and light pollution reduction at the same time, resulting in great benefits for culture, human health, and the environment.

Aldeias do Xisto Laboratory

The Aldeias do Xisto (Schist Villages) are a brand destination that, over the past few years, have managed to establish a unique enclave within the Central Region, and in the country as a whole, based on tourism, innovation and intuition. The investment in the implementation of Dark Sky Aldeias do Xisto is another project that meets this philosophy: by recognising the night sky as a resource, it further reinforces the value of the landscape and the communities in the development of new products and services capable of attracting increasingly specific and demanding audiences.

darksky
aldeias do xisto

Look up, breathe and… feel amazed.

explore

restaurants
Sabores da Aldeia Restaurant
Sabores da Aldeia Restaurant
restaurants
Museu da Chanfana
Museu da Chanfana
Miranda do Corvo
restaurants
Callum
Callum
Oleiros
restaurants
Fiado
Fiado
Janeiro de Cima
restaurants
Fugas Restaurant
Fugas Restaurant
restaurants
Bem-Me-Quer
Bem-Me-Quer
Martim Branco
restaurants
Casa da Ti Augusta
Casa da Ti Augusta
Figueira
restaurants
As Beiras
As Beiras
Pampilhosa da Serra
restaurants
Varanda do Casal
Varanda do Casal
Casal de São Simão
lodging
Casa Lausus
Casa Lausus
Talasnal
lodging
Casa do Caminheiro Hostel
Casa do Caminheiro Hostel
Talasnal
lodging
Casas de Água Formosa
Casas de Água Formosa
Vila de Rei
lodging
Aqua Village Health Resort & SPA
Aqua Village Health Resort & SPA
Caldas de São Paulo
lodging
Mountain Whisper
Mountain Whisper
Gondramaz
lodging
Casa Cova do Barro
Casa Cova do Barro
Janeiro de Cima
lodging
Casas da Serra do Açor
Casas da Serra do Açor
Casal Novo, Arganil
lodging
Aldeia Oliveiras
Aldeia Oliveiras
Proença-a-Nova
lodging
Casa do Talasnal
Casa do Talasnal
Talasnal
heritage
Church of São Bartolomeu
Church of São Bartolomeu
village
Ferraria de São João
Ferraria de São João
heritage
Alvoco das Várzeas Medieval Bridge
Alvoco das Várzeas Medieval Bridge
village
Figueira
Figueira
tour
Cyclin' Portugal Centre - Aldeias of Xisto de Oliveira do Hospital: P5 – Red
Cyclin' Portugal Centre - Aldeias of Xisto de Oliveira do Hospital: P5 – Red
offer
XL Epic Adventure
XL Epic Adventure
offer
Passeio Geológico de Foz do Cobrão e Sobral Fernando
Passeio Geológico de Foz do Cobrão e Sobral Fernando
village
Sobral de São Miguel
Sobral de São Miguel
tour
Cyclin'Portugal Centre of Fróia River Beach (P31 - Green)
Cyclin'Portugal Centre of Fróia River Beach (P31 - Green)
tour
The Tagus Route - Fontes > Souto Rest Area - GRZ on Foot: Stage 3
The Tagus Route - Fontes > Souto Rest Area - GRZ on Foot: Stage 3
heritage
Roman Villa of Rabaçal
Roman Villa of Rabaçal
offer
E-Bike Getaway in Aldeias do Xisto
E-Bike Getaway in Aldeias do Xisto

next events

event
“A Ver Figueiró dos Vinhos” (Seeing Figueiró dos Vinhos) Photography Contest
“A Ver Figueiró dos Vinhos” (Seeing Figueiró dos Vinhos) Photography Contest
01 mar 2024 - 30 sep 2024, 10:00
event
Teatro, música, artes e jogos nas Praias Fluviais de Vila de Rei
Teatro, música, artes e jogos nas Praias Fluviais de Vila de Rei
15 jun 2024 - 15 sep 2024
Vila de Rei
event
Verão nas Aldeias do Xisto
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15 jun 2024 - 30 sep 2024, 10:00
event
Macrocosmos
Macrocosmos
01 jul 2024 - 31 jul 2024, 10:00
Talasnal
event
Animação no Geoscope
Animação no Geoscope
03 jul 2024 - 14 sep 2024, 18:00
Fajão
event
Nautical Summer
Nautical Summer
07 jul 2024 - 08 sep 2024, 10:00
event
XJazz - Encontros do Jazz nas Aldeias do Xisto 2024
XJazz - Encontros do Jazz nas Aldeias do Xisto 2024
07 jul 2024 - 24 aug 2024, 21:00
event
Explorando o Surrealismo
Explorando o Surrealismo
10 jul 2024 - 30 aug 2024, 10:00
event
ATASCAr - Mostra de Petiscos e Doçaria
ATASCAr - Mostra de Petiscos e Doçaria
12 jul 2024 - 04 aug 2024
Aldeia das Dez
event
Ciência Viva no Verão
Ciência Viva no Verão
17 jul 2024 - 14 sep 2024, 10:00