About Montsec

Montsec is a calcareous mountain range more than 40 kilometres long, covering an area of 18,696 hectares divided between Aragon and Catalonia. The Catalan side covers various municipalities in the counties of Pallars Jussà and La Noguera.
The thrust and erosive power of the Noguera Pallaresa and Noguera Ribagorçana rivers have carved out and shaped the spectacular gorges of Mont-Rebei and Terradets, at the same time dividing the mountain range into three sections: running from west to east, Montsec d’Estall (in Aragon), Montsec d’Ares and Montsec de Rúbies (in Catalonia).

Official sites:

http://www.montsec.cat/ : Website of Montsec Consortium. This is a public institution to implement a regional development project in this area of Catalonia. This Consortium is the owner of Parc Astronomic Montsec, so this is the organizing institution too.

http://www.parcastronomic.cat/ : Website of the Astronomical Park. This park is placed 20 km far from the Conference venue. We will use some nocturnal facilities of the Park for the observing activities.


We do not organize accommodation for participants. All the participants are requested to make their own accommodation arrangements, but we are happy to help.

We recommend accommodation of different categories with different pricelist. The best idea is to stay close to the town of Cellers as all the lectures will take place in Hotel Terradets in this town. But if you have car you can select other accommodation facilities, all of them are placed not far than 15-20 minutes by car of the conference venue.

We recommend book early to have low prices and more options of accommodation.

You can have a look to all of the accommodation facilities in this area through Montsec Consortium official website (http://www.montsec.cat/). In this pdf file you will find some recommended accommodation, the list is sorted by category and distance to the conference venue.


The venue of the Conference is Hotel Terradets
(http://www.hotelterradets.com/). This hotel is placed close to Terradets lake in the town of Cellers in the Montsec Area (Lleida province).

GPS coordinates: 42º 04′ 08,54″ N 0º 52′ 58,92 ” E

To reach Montsec sometimes you need to use different public transports or use a car. If you need a detailed info for your trip, please contact us darksky@montsec.cat.

Here you can find some general options:

• By plane:
– You can flight to Barcelona  (http://www.aena.es/csee/Satellite?pagename=subHome&Language=EN_GB&c=Page&SiteName=BCN). Barcelona is 170 km far away from the Venue then you can rent a car or use public transportation (train).
– You can flight to Lleida airport (http://www.aeroportlleida.cat/). Few flights are arriving to this airport, but typically these are low cost flights (RyanAir or Vueling). Lleida-Alguaire airport is 60 km far from the Venue. But you can take the bus to Lleida-Pirineus train station and then take the train or rent a car.

• By train
– From Barcelona, you can take the AVE or AVANT (high velocity trains) to Lleida-Pirineus railway station. We recommend AVANT because is fast and not so expensive (22 Eur per trip). You can find more info about these trains using http://www.renfe.com/ or for buying tickets use this direct link (https://w1.renfe.es/vol/index.do)

– From Lleida-Pirineus train station. You can take the FGC train (as known as La Pobla train) to Cellers-Llimiana station (tickets available at Lleida station). There are three trains departing from Lleida at 9.10, 13.45 & 20.30. After one hour and 15 minutes you will reach Cellers-Llimiana station. Cellers station is 10 minutes walking from the hotel and if you say us your arrival time we can take you to the hotel with car.

• By car
This is probably the best option and fast option. We can help you to explain how to arrive, but probably with Google Maps or ViaMichelin.es you can prepare your trip. Use as destination option the town name “Cellers”.

General information about Montsec area is available at http://www.montsec.cat/.


Participation fees are as follow:


 Before 30 April 2011

 After 30 April 2011

 Invited speakers            




 40 Eur

 40 Eur


 40 Eur

 100 Eur

 Members of Dark-Sky   Associations

 40 Eur

 100 Eur


 90 Eur

 150 Eur

 Companies (Sponsors)

 Contact us

 Contact us



Monday 27th of June

15:00 – 16:00 Registration

16:00 – Official Opening
          * Sr. Ramon Farré, Vicepresident of Consorci del Montsec and
          High-representative of Government of Catalonia in Lleida region.
          * Sr. Albert Alins, High-representative of
          Government of Catalonia in Pyrenees region.
          * Sra. M. Assumpta Farran, Head of Environment Quality Area of
          Government of Catalonia.
          * Sr. Josep Castells, Mayor of Castell de Mur municipality
          * Sr. Salvador J. Ribas, Science Manager of Consorci del Montsec

16:30 – Invited Talk: 
           “Preserving the Starlight: A new challenge for environment 
          by Cipriano Marin (Coordinator Starlight Initiative / UNESCO Urban
          Futures Programme)

17:15 – Coffee Break

17:45 – Contributions:
          – “The Starlight Initiative in the Reserve of Biosphere of La

          Jesús Ruiz Tutor & Susana Gómez Urizarna (Government of Rioja)
          and Alberto Bañuelos & Susana Malón (AAC Acustica+Luminica)
          – “Dark Sky Protection in Catalonia”
          Sergi Paricio (Servei per a la Prevenció de la Contaminació Acústica i
          Lluminosa, Government of Catalonia)
         –  “International Dark Sky Reserve Project in French Pyrenees:
          starry nights and sustainable development”
          Association PIRENE (Observatoire Pic du Midi)
          – “Light Problems in a protected area: Montsec”
          Salvador J. Ribas (Parc Astronòmic Montsec)

20:00 Welcome Cocktail sponsored by Consorci del Montsec

23:00 Visit to “Centre d’Observació de l’Univers”

Tuesday 28th of June

              Visit to Observatori Astronòmic del Montsec

16:00 – Invited Talk:
          “The Andalusian Sky: Legislation, Protection, Appreciation
          and Awareness”
          by Ángela Ranea (Government of Andalucia)

16:45 – Contributions (coffee break around 17:15 sponsored by
          AAC Acústica+Lumínica):
          – “Slovenian Light Pollution Legislation”
          Gregor Vertacnik (Dark-Sky Slovenia)
          – “The Mena Valley Project: Starting the actions”
         Javier Mardones (Ayuntamiento Valle de Mena) and Alberto Bañuelos
          & Susana Malón (AAC Acustica+Luminica)
          – “Oasis Starlight/Urban Star Park project in the city of Pau:
          starry nights, astronomy and urban policy”
         Bruno Charlier and Nicolas Bourgeois (Université de Pau)
          – “Light Pollution in the Environment of the Turia Natural
          Enric Marco and Angel Morales (Universitat de València)
          – “Dark Sky Protection at Calar Alto Observatory (Spain)”
         David Galadí-Enríquez (Calar Alto Observatory)
          – “The Road Runner System: A Light Pollution measuring
          Daniel Rosa Infantes (Sociedad Malagueña de Astronomía)

20:00 – Preparation of night measurements

22:00 – Measurements of Light Pollution / Observations

Wednesday 29th of June

              Visit to Castell de Mur (“Castle of Mur”) offered by municipality of Castell de Mur

16:00 – Invited Talk:
          “Biodiversity at night”
          by Juan José Negro (Biological Station of Doñana / CSIC)

16:45 – Contributions (coffee break around 17:15):
          – “A Biosphere Reserve under the stars”
          Tony Gallardo (Reserva de Biosfera de Fuerteventura / MaB)
          – “Night species (title to be confirmed)” (Spanish lecture)
          Alfons G. Dolsa (Museu de les Papallones)
          – “Cel Fosc organization (title to be confirmed)”
          Josep M. Bosch (CelFosc – Spanish Dark Sky Association)
          – “Dark sky parks and places in Canada and the World”
          (remote talk)
          David Welch (DSAG, IUCN)
          – “The New Canadian Jasper Dark Sky Preserve” (remote talk)
          Robert Dick (Royal Astronomical Society of Canada)
         – “Dark-sky Parks and Light Pollution in TV shows and
          Valentin Grigore (Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)

22:00 Observations

Thursday 30th of June

          Excursion trip to Mont-Rebei canyon sponsored by Catalunya Caixa

16:00 – Invited Talk:
          “Identification and verification of potential dark sky parks in
          by Andreas Haenel (Dark Sky Germany and  Museum Osnabrueck)

16:45 – Contributions (coffee break at 17:15):
          – “Ignite for Starry Night” – Getting Started to Achieve and
          Protect a Natural Night Sky above Eifel National Park.”
          Harald Bardenhagen (Astronomie-Werkstatt “Sterne ohne
          – “The observatories of the Agrupación Astronómica de
          Sabadell (AAS) in Montsec”
          Carles Schnabel (Agrupación Astronómica de Sabadell)
          – “ASTMON: A robotic all sky transmission monitor”
          Jesús Aceituno (AstroItec) and David Galadí (Calar Alto Observatory)
          – “The best way for ranking of dark sky parks”
          Kambiz Khaleghi (Iran Amateur Astronomy Society)
          – “Starlight & Lighting Master Plan in Amurrio (Spain)”
          Alberto Bañuelos and Susana Malón (AAC Acústica+Lumínica)
          – “Poetry against Light Pollution”
          Andrei Dorian Gheorghe (Romanian Society for Meteors and

22:00 Observations

Friday 1st of July

10:30 – Contributions:
          – “Survey of Illumination Intensities–A Comparison Between
& States”
          Andrej Mohar (Dark-Sky Slovenia)
          – “The control of light pollution in Italy” (remote talk)
          Fabio Falchi (Cielo Buio, Italy)

11:30 – Measurements test review

12:00 – Invited talk:
          “Professional Lighting in front Light Pollution: Problematics,
          Evolution, Opportunities?”
by Ramon Sanmartin, Manuel Garcia
          and Hector Solano (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya)

13:00 – Conclusions

Free Afternoon
It’s possible to do free of charge a diurnal visit to Centre d’Observació de l’Univers



 Background on the Initiative

The quality of the night sky has been a concern for a number of years. Growth of light pollution globally has strengthened the worldwide movement to protect natural dark skies. In 2007 a consortium of international organisations (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – UNESCO, World Tourism Organization – UNWTO, International Astronomical Union – IAU and others), Secretariats of conventions relevant to biodiversity (Convention on the Biological Diversity, Convention on Migratory Species, Ramsar Convention) and representatives of the academic community met in La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain, at the International Conference in Defense of the Quality of Night Sky. The resulting Declaration in Defence of the Night Sky and the Right to Starlight is a linchpin document for protection of the natural sky. It recognises the importance and multi-faced value of the night sky and provides a plan for action.

The Initiative for an International Association of Dark-sky Parks aims to implement the principles of the Declaration, in particular through its 10th principle:

“[a]ll those protected areas which combine exceptional landscape and natural values relying on the quality of their night sky, are called to include protection of clear night skies as a key factor strengthening their mission in conserving nature.”

The Initiative builds a strong network of people who will in their respective countries work to reduce light pollution. Their role may be in establishing effective regulatory framework for protection from growing light pollution and its reduction, in providing scientific input to the efforts and raising awareness. It brings together all those that have knowledge, experience, responsibilities or motivation to contribute to a positive change.
The 2011 Symposium

The aim of the 2011 Symposium on Dark-sky Parks is to analyze the situation of Dark Sky Parks and the effects of the artificial light from the cities to these natural areas. It will do so by bringing together key players that will determine with the appropriate course of action. The Symposium not only provides a setting for individuals to present their knowledge or attend presentations by leading experts in the light-pollution field. It also creates an opportunity for networking, collaboration, sharing of information and the building of trust relationships. Dark-sky movement continues to enjoy a steady increase in membership internationally and is represented by individuals from environment tourism, research, educational, natural protected areas management, planning, government, student and other communities.
Symposium participants are site managers, representatives of international and national (non-governmental) organizations, experts in light pollution, biology, astronomy, human health, (eco)tourism, natural and cultural heritage, lighting industry, etc.
The symposium is a five-day event, comprising of quality lectures, field-trips and night observations.
The symposium language is English.

Symposium 2011

4th International Symposium for Dark-sky Parks and 4th International Dark-sky Camp

27th June – 1st July 2011

Parc Astronomic Montsec, Catalonia, SPAIN

The symposium provides both a setting for individuals to present their knowledge or attend presentations by leading experts in the light-pollution field, and creates an opportunity for networking, collaboration, sharing of information and the building of trust relationships.

Symposium will bring together managers of protected areas, experts in biology, (eco) tourism, natural and cultural heritage, lighting industry and others to further the action plan on reducing light pollution.

The symposium is a five-day event, comprising of lectures, field-trips and night observations.


INVITATION (in Spanish)

INVITATION (in Catalan)

INVITATION (in French)

Call for papers is open. Please contact us if you wish to present a paper
Register now!