darksky

Darksky

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
Varanda do Casal
Varanda do Casal
Casal de São Simão
restaurants
Bem-Me-Quer
Bem-Me-Quer
Martim Branco
restaurants
Santo Amaro
Santo Amaro
Sertã
restaurants
Callum
Callum
Oleiros
restaurants
Museu da Chanfana
Museu da Chanfana
Miranda do Corvo
restaurants
As Beiras
As Beiras
Pampilhosa da Serra
restaurants
Fugas Restaurant
Fugas Restaurant
restaurants
João Brandão
João Brandão
Oliveira do Hospital
lodging
Sete Quintas
Sete Quintas
Retorta
lodging
Aldeia Ruiva Campsite
Aldeia Ruiva Campsite
Aldeia Ruiva, Proença-a-Nova
lodging
Casa da Moenda
Casa da Moenda
Benfeita
lodging
Casa do Caminheiro Hostel
Casa do Caminheiro Hostel
Talasnal
lodging
Casas do Favacal
Casas do Favacal
Favacal
lodging
Casas do Sinhel
Casas do Sinhel
Relva da Mó
lodging
Arganil Municipal Camping Park
Arganil Municipal Camping Park
Sarzedo
lodging
Casas da Mina - Hostel
Casas da Mina - Hostel
Cabeço do Pião
lodging
Hotel Parque Serra Da Lousã
Hotel Parque Serra Da Lousã
Miranda do Corvo
offer
Geological Walk in Sobral Fernando
Geological Walk in Sobral Fernando
offer
Dia e Noite no Centro da Natureza
Dia e Noite no Centro da Natureza
tour
PR2 MCV - Gondramaz Schist trail - In the Miller’s Footsteps
PR2 MCV - Gondramaz Schist trail - In the Miller’s Footsteps
heritage
Chapel of São Sebastião
Chapel of São Sebastião
offer
Passeio Geológico de Foz do Cobrão e Sobral Fernando
Passeio Geológico de Foz do Cobrão e Sobral Fernando
tour
PR1 PPS - Fajão Schist trails  – Climbing the cliffs
PR1 PPS - Fajão Schist trails – Climbing the cliffs
Casas do Rio
heritage
Religious tour in Pedrógão Pequeno
Religious tour in Pedrógão Pequeno
village
Comareira
Comareira
tour
Panoramic Road: Barroca - Fajão
Panoramic Road: Barroca - Fajão
village
Benfeita
Benfeita
village
Martim Branco
Martim Branco
heritage
Igreja Matriz de Aldeia das Dez
Igreja Matriz de Aldeia das Dez