Milky Way over the Tagus river in Monfragüe National Park, Spain
© Miguel Angel Muñoz Ruiz/Cavan Image
Dark skies and heavenly views
Today we're in Spain’s Extremadura region, in the beautiful Monfragüe National Park - a dark sky preserve since 2016. Cloudless skies combine with low levels of light pollution here to create the perfect place for stargazing. Our image shows the Tagus river bending around the Pena Falcon rock face. Both the Tagus and the Tietar rivers pass through this 18-mile-long corridor of nature in the province of Cáceres.
Much of the park is covered by a thick Mediterranean forest full of wildlife, making this place a destination for outdoor lovers of all sorts. There are over 280 species of birds found here, including storks, kingfishers, cormorants and eagles, as well as one of the world's largest reserves of black vultures and their tawny vulture cousins. Other wildlife routinely spotted in Monfragüe include otters, deer, wild boar and Iberian lynx.
Monfragüe also appeals to those interested in the human history of the area, as it is home to a number of caves with prehistoric paintings, Roman ruins and the remnants of the castle of Monfragüe, built by Moors in the 9th century.