Observatório do Lago Alqueva


Offers two-hour open-air sessions taking in the marvellous star-filled skies of the Alentejo. You'll get an overview of constellations visible with the naked eye, then use telescopes to view some of the planets and moons in the solar system, and peer at distant galaxies and nebulae. Entertaining and knowledgeable guides also touch on mythology and history. Bring warm clothes, as it can get chilly at night even in summer.

The observatory is about 3km east of Monsaraz (head north towards Telheiro, then take CM 1127 towards Alqueva Lake, following signs for Centro Naútico).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Monsaraz attractions

1. Museu do Fresco


Housed inside a fine Gothic building beside the parish church, this museum includes a rare example of a 14th-century secular fresco. The striking work…

2. Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Lagoa


The parish church, near the turismo, was rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake and again a century later. Inside is an impressive nave and a 14th-century…

3. Igreja da Misericórdia

0.72 MILES

Opposite the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Lagoa, this 16th-century church was once part of the Hospital do Espírito Santo complex.

4. Castelo

0.76 MILES

The weather-beaten castle at the southwestern end of the village was one in the chain of Dom Dinis’ defensive fortresses along the Spanish border. It’s…

5. Casa da Inquisação

0.76 MILES

Near the castle, this small two-storey museum touches on the Jewish presence in Monsaraz during the Middle Ages and the persecutions that unfolded after…

6. Praia Fluvial de Monsaraz

1.11 MILES

When you need a break from the heat, head down to this beach on the edge of Alqueva Lake. You can go for a swim (there are lifeguards in summer), hire…

7. Menhir do Outeiro

2.37 MILES

Situated 6km north of Monsaraz is the granite, 5.6m-tall Menhir do Outeiro, one of the tallest megalithic monuments ever discovered.

8. Jardim Dr Santiago & Spa

21.12 MILES

The lovely, shady Jardim Dr Santiago, at the eastern end of Praça Sacadura Cabral, is a delightful place. There are good views, a bandstand and shady,…