Observatorio do Lago Alqueva

Observatorio do Lago Alqueva, Monsaraz: Hours, Address, Observatorio do Lago Alqueva Reviews: 5/5

Observatorio do Lago Alqueva

Observatorio do Lago Alqueva
Science Museums • Observatories & Planetariums • Educational sites
4:30 PM - 11:30 PM
4:30 PM - 11:30 PM
4:30 PM - 11:30 PM
4:30 PM - 11:30 PM
4:30 PM - 11:30 PM
4:30 PM - 11:30 PM
The Observatorio do Lago Alqueva – OLA (Lake Alqueva Observatory) is an astronomical observatory next to the medieval village of Monsaraz. 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.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Top ways to experience Observatorio do Lago Alqueva
The area
Best nearby
We rank these restaurants and attractions by balancing reviews from our members with how close they are to this location.
14 within 5 kms
25 within 5 kms
Popular mentions

278 reviews
Very good

Kerzers, Switzerland2 contributions
Jun 2021 • Family
Very informative, friendly, nice views of planets, stars and nebulas. A lot of knowledge shared to gain and improve the understanding of the stars and the universe
Written 18 July 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Monique L
holland60 contributions
Must do in this area
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 24 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

15 contributions
Late, though 15€ very well applied
May 2021 • Couples
Starting only at 21:30hrs (+/- 1.5 hrs); full of explainations and images; one of the most interesting things during the holidays
Written 20 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Miguel C
16 contributions
Brief history of our time.. Told in funny, relaxed way!
Oct 2020 • Couples
Was expecting only a session of watching stars, planets, clusters.. Never cross my mind that this would end up being a wonderful history lesson, led by one of the astronomers (Fred, which by the way.. Have terrific storytelling skills, keeping everybody captivated by the wonders of the universe and how it influences trivial stuff of our daily business).

100% recommend!!
Written 11 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Utrecht, The Netherlands40 contributions
Fantastic and interesting stargazing experience
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 24 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lisbon District, Portugal7 contributions
Jul 2020 • Couples
The night helped, no moon or clouds, and the weather was good.
Great guide very knowledgeable and not too "scientific", just enough.
Written 20 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

André S
Paris, France14 contributions
Fun and educational!
Jul 2020 • Couples
We found this observatory by chance on our trip to deep and beautiful Alentejo. A bunch of passionate cousins, who happen to be also high level scientists.

The stargazing tour was facilitated by an incredible, funny and knowledgeable Portuguese scientist who belongs to the team who won the Nobel prize by discovering the gravitational waves. The tour has been delivered in English, which was very enjoyable.

A very good and unique experience in the middle of the uncovers.
Written 8 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

London, UK8 contributions
Horrible experience. Truly awful.
Jul 2019
Me and my partner visited here in July 2019. We had such high hopes as we had always wanted to visit an observatory. We made a trip here especially. We had the worst experience ever.

Firstly, this place claims to be a designated dark area. It is not. It is surrounded by brightly lit buildings which are very distracting. I have attached photos, so you can see.

Secondly, this terrible place discriminates against non Portuguese speakers. If you speak Portuguese you will be placed into the Portuguese group and get to see a video presentation at the start of the night. English/Other speakers have to stand in a corridor and look at a wall of pictures. Absolutely disgraceful.

Thirdly, and worst of all, the Portuguese speaking group get to view the sky with the larger and better equipped telescope while the English/Other group get saddled with the smaller one. Beyond disgusting. Nothing short of racist

We ended up leaving early as the experience was so bad. We complained to the owners but our concerns were dismissed.

Light pollution, poor telescopes, discriminatory behaviour. It really does not get any worse.

Cannot recommend this horrendous place to anyone. It has scarred us for life,
Written 27 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
It is policy of the observatory not to answer to either positive nor to negative evaluations, but this one goes way beyond tolerance given the allegations stated. On the 2nd of August, our staff replyed to the visitors' comments with the following email: --------------------------------------------- Firstly, I would like to thank you for your contact and honesty. I'm also very sad to hear you had such a bad experience. I would, however, like to clarify a few points you made. There is no video presentation inside. The pictures shown on the wall are exactly the same as the ones shown in the auditorium. We separate both groups, foreign and national depending on the size of the group, had we had more English speaking than Portuguese speaking, the situation would have been reversed. What you saw on the wall was exactly what the Portuguese group saw, no changes. The alternative would have been to give the presentation inside in both English and Portuguese but given the small size of your group we thought a more personalized experience was worthwhile. Regarding the telescope your group was given. I understand your point of view. Why should you be stuck with a small scope when there is a big one right next to you. In visual astronomy size does not matter, its all about the optical tube design. I can point you to tubes that have twice the magnification of the tubes the Portuguese were using (Newtonian) but half the size, Schmidt-Cassegrain tubes. Whilst the tube you were using was smaller and of the same design as the ones the Portuguese group was using, it is allot more manoeuvrable and easy to look through allowing for more objects to be viewed, the difference in quality is minor. Given the small size of you group allot more objects were viewed than the Portuguese group. Should you wish to submit any letter, you are of course free to do so. Should you wish to write a negative review on Tripadvisor or any other online publisher, you are also free to do so. Given all of this however, we are of course not satisfied with the fact that you had a negative experience. The best we can do on our behalf is to offer you two free tickets for a new session on a day of your choice. I was with the Portuguese group that night but I would be very happy to be your guide for a night and give you the experience you were hoping for. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Visitor SybilKU2014 and partner were at the time invited to leave the group as their were disturbing the observations to the point of "spoiling the experience for us" in the words of another non-portuguese visitor of the same group. Regarding the accusation of racism, this is a very serious statement that cannot be taken lightly. Portuguese is spoken by 220 million people as first language in 10 different countries in several different continents, which means, by several different races. How can one confuse a portuguese to non-portuguese speaking divide with racism? Not to say that one of these visitors is portuguese! Smartphone photos taken at night are known to authomatically over expose the image. Zooming in the photos as it was done here (as the pixelization shows) gives the false impression of too much light pollution. We consider that all of the visitor's concerns were adressed and we imensely regret such confusion of ideas.
Written 31 October 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Washington DC, DC3 contributions
Great experience
Sep 2019 • Couples
Learned a lot about astronomy and history while seeing incredible views of the moon, stars, planets, and galaxies. Fred the guide is fluent in English and did a fantastic job - knowledgeable & funny!
Written 6 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lisbon, Portugal3 contributions
Midsummer Alentejo night dream
Aug 2019 • Family
2nd time here and looking forward for the 3rd!
An out of the box experience: a quiet and warm night, the Greek mithology around the physics of astronomy.
And, as usual, a great team, inciting your curiosity and always in a good mood :)
Written 15 August 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 65
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Observatorio do Lago Alqueva

Observatorio do Lago Alqueva is open:
  • Tue - Sat 16:30 - 23:30
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Observatorio do Lago Alqueva tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 2 Observatorio do Lago Alqueva tours on Tripadvisor