Although it may seem otherwise, the majority of the population cannot see the stars. Light pollution puts a veil that, at best, significantly reduces our perception of the sky and its lights. Perhaps that is why an astro-tourism route leaves such good memories, as we can see in any of the Starlight Tourist DestinationsVisitable places “that have excellent qualities to contemplate the starry skies and develop tourist activities based on them”, according to the definition of the Foundation that develops this initiative.
Some Extremadura destinations already have the certification of the Starlight Foundation, such as the Monfragüe National Park and Biosphere Reserve (Cáceres) or the surroundings of the Great Alqueva Lake (Badajoz).
With this endorsement and with the values of darkness, good weather and atmospheric transparency, the province of Cáceres has launched this summer-autumn the AstroCáceres Astrotourism Program that, from August 27 to October 9, during 7 weekends, will take place in 14 places with as many activities.
The program starts the last weekend of August in Valverde de Fresno, with ‘The sun like you’ve never seen it before’; and in Alcuéscar, with ‘Cerca de las estrellas’, an astronomical observation from the Basilica of Santa Lucía del Trampal, the only Visigothic temple that remains standing in the south of the Iberian Peninsula.
Some of the astroexperiences that can be enjoyed during September and the first two weekends in October will bring us closer to towns such as Salorino, which will host ‘Heaven and taste under the stars’, an introduction to the celestial universe through observation with a telescope and a picnic with local products; until Tornavacas, in the Jerte Valley, where the ‘Stars with stories’ activity will take place, which consists of a night observation with mythological stories and legends.
There will also be an opportunity to know the skies of Las Hurdes with the activity ‘Starytelling, accounts and tales of the night’, which will allow us to discover the universe through observation with the naked eye. Other locations to discover the Caceres sky through these astrotourism activities are Guadalupe, Cuacos de Yuste, Trujillo, Hervás or the Roman site of Cáparra.
The activities program can be consulted on the web www.livinglavidacaceres.com/astrocaceres
The province of Cáceres has a Sky Viewpoint Network, star maps that are illuminated at night to be able to interpret the sky showing schematically the main stars and constellations that are seen from the point where they are located. They are, among other places, in the Castle of Montánchez, the Interpretation Center of the Dehesa de Arroyo de la Luz, the Roman City of Cáparra or the Town of Granadilla.
To this network it would be necessary to add other places to get closer to the sky, such as, for example, the Monfragüe Astronomical Observatory, in Torrejón el Rubio, with a dome about four meters in diameter from which to see the night sky; the Astronomical Viewpoint of Villarreal de San Carlos or the Trujillo Planetarium.