Observatorio do Lago Alqueva

Observatorio do Lago Alqueva

Observatorio do Lago Alqueva
4.5
Science MuseumsObservatories & PlanetariumsEducational sites
2:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Tuesday
2:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Wednesday
2:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Thursday
2:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Friday
2:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Saturday
2:00 PM - 10:00 PM
About
The Observatório do Lago Alqueva – OLA (Lake Alqueva Observatory) is the first and largest an astronomical observatory in Alentejo. Located in the heart of rural Portugal, near to the medieval village of Monsaraz, its location offers a trully magnificent dark sky to all visitors. OLA offers almost daily tours of the magnificent night sky of Monsaraz, where one can learn the orientation by the North Star, identify the constellations and know their legends, relate stellar colours with their ages, observe star clusters, nebulas and distant galaxies with the help of telescopes. The explanations are presented with clear examples and language by OLA’s guides. When the weather is cloudy, we resort to a simulation using astronomy software. The observatory also promotes courses on astronomy and astrophotography and has a vast program of outreach talks and activities for the general public, schools and senior groups.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Adam G
    Spain2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great experience
    Great experience, the guide was very informative and helpful. Short, interesting briefing at the start then outside for star gazing through two telescopes. Saw the moon, Mars, constellations, nebulas and galaxies inbetween lots of info from the guide. Well worth it.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 25, 2023
  • ruthiecoop
    12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A really interesting visit and we’ll worth it
    We visited with two adults and three teens. The guide was really interesting and passionate about the subject. We did the sun visit and were sad not to have the time to see the night show. I really recommend a visit here.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 12, 2023
  • Travel546754
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Brilliant evening
    Last time we visited the observatory was fully booked so we made sure to book early this time! And we are glad we did, we had a fabulous evening, Catarina was knowledgeable and friendly and had endless patience for our many questions, and those of our two young children! We saw constellations, nebulas, we were shown how stars develop and we saw the craters on the moon, Andromeda, Saturn (along with her rings and four of her moons). It was brilliant, thank you very much
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 22, 2023
  • barneypalf
    70 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unforgettable Experience
    Yesterday we attended both the solar experience and the evening astronomical observations. As a complete novice on this stuff I can honestly say I wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy it but it was absolutely amazing. We had Fred for both sessions and his knowledge and passion for his subject is a joy to listen to. He also has the skill to share his knowledge in a way which is easy to understand. I loved all of it but seeing the ring around Saturn and stripy Jupiter and it’s moons were the highlights for me. It was a night I will remember and talk about for the rest of my life.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 15, 2023
  • Bo G
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An amazing winter experience watching the stars!
    Was an amazing experience! Eduardo was very expressive in telling us all about the stars, nebulas, comets and planets!. Would recommend for people who are first time star watchers, as you also get an explanation about the basics. I would go again in summer, to see the different constilations.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written February 7, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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Nityasri
Vila Nogueira de Azeitao, Portugal7 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021
I have chosen and paid for a tour in English. Upon arrival we were told to wait for an introduction. During the introduction I kept waiting for the guide to switch to English. He didn't. After that it turned out that the English speaking guide had already left with his group. We went down to the site with the Portuguese group trying to make peace with the fact that we wasted our money as we can do star gazing at home by ourselves perfectly fine. Luckily we heard someone speaking English in the dark. It turned out the other group was close by. We joined them having missed the first 15 minutes. The rest of the tour was fine but the fact that we were misinformed and neglected from the beginning left a bad taste. As a total amateur I would be happy to hear the basics about the planets and star constellations and to see them with a naked eye instead we were focusing on looking at various object through the telescope. Perhaps it was done in the beginning that we missed.
Written August 15, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Adele K
23 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023
This review is about our experience in booking and not about the visit that we never got to have due to no fault of our own. Mid-day, we called and booked a tour for 21:30 that evening. At 21:15, we approached the site. There was what appeared to be a tour guide waiting in his car. We entered the area and were approached by the director who was not pleased we were there, stating he was in the middle of a private tour we could not join and we were supposed to come at 23:00. He stated that his "colleague" must have made a mistake. We left puzzled. Then, checking messages, there was one confirming our appointment that had been sent at 21:13 stating we were to meet at 22:50! In conversation on text, it was said that an attempt to call us had not gone through (we had our phones on all the time) and he should have texted us the change in time, admitting it had been changed. But, it appears that another better opportunity had bumped us, pretty last-minute. When he was told where were we staying, he seemed embarrassed (as he knows the owner) and offered us the 22:00 time again or the next day. It was an empty offer, as we had already stated we would never had made an appointment that late in the eventing. Well, we were leaving and that was unacceptable. Please beware.
Written March 15, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Triptip
Utrecht, The Netherlands41 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Couples
We had a great evening with Nelson (and other families). He explained a lot about the (newborn) stars, planets, galaxies etcetera. And showed them with his telescopes. He has an enormous knowledge and can explain it very well. And every question was answered in a very clear way.
Written July 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andre Archie C
9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Solo
I went on July 28,2022. I specifically wanted to see a galaxy outside of our own. I SAW THREE!!! I saw our neighbor Andromeda and 2 others. The professor was so patient and helpful. One of his students, Susana, led our tour and she was great. Our group was in english and another group was in portuguese.
Many thanks to Susana and her professor, I'm sorry I don't know his name. He was great and we are both fans of Carl Sagan!!!!
Written July 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Felipe8aP
Madrid, Spain83 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Couples
It was a real pleasure to hear Dr. Nelson engage with us about the universe. We were lucky enough to be a small group so Dr. Nelson really has time to talk to us and show us a lot of things. We will certainly return (provided we can hear Dr. Nelson and all his astronomy related humor).
Written August 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Adam G
Spain2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
Great experience, the guide was very informative and helpful. Short, interesting briefing at the start then outside for star gazing through two telescopes. Saw the moon, Mars, constellations, nebulas and galaxies inbetween lots of info from the guide. Well worth it.
Written July 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Travel546754
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
Last time we visited the observatory was fully booked so we made sure to book early this time! And we are glad we did, we had a fabulous evening, Catarina was knowledgeable and friendly and had endless patience for our many questions, and those of our two young children!
We saw constellations, nebulas, we were shown how stars develop and we saw the craters on the moon, Andromeda, Saturn (along with her rings and four of her moons). It was brilliant, thank you very much
Written August 22, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ruthiecoop
London, United Kingdom12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
We visited with two adults and three teens. The guide was really interesting and passionate about the subject. We did the sun visit and were sad not to have the time to see the night show. I really recommend a visit here.
Written August 12, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ChurchMoore
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021 • Family
Long drive from our home outside Lisbon, but well worth it at the end of a long day exploring the marble quarries and cork forest. We ended at the observatory and saw star clusters, nebulae, dying stars, Jupiter and Saturn. Very professional. Lovely to be able to view the stars on a warm evening and very reasonable.
Written September 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Monique L
holland62 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
We came at the worst possible time for stargazing (full moon), but had a great time. The talk of the astronomer about seafaring by stars and tons of other info was interesting and fun. Would certainly go again (in another month and when it's darker. Even in June, bundle up!
Written June 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Observatorio do Lago Alqueva - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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