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EDEN: Excellent Offers For Responsible Tourists

05.04.11
Europe is one of the most visited destinations in the World. Its cultural diversity, deeply-rooted traditions and rituals, together with the rich history creates an unforgettable atmosphere, which attract millions of visitors each year.
Increasingly, however, holidaymakers are looking for off the beaten track destinations, which remain undiscovered, pristine and idle. The EU-initiated project European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) aims at promoting these destinations, and revealing the grand potential of some of the most remote areas in the participating EU member states, candidate countries and the EFTA countries as new tourism destinations. It invites tourists from all over the world to discover the hidden gems that Europe has to offer.

Every year a specific topic is chosen to manifest the EDEN project. Topics such as ‘Best Emerging European Rural Destination of Excellence’, ‘Tourism and Local Intangible Heritage’ and ‘Tourism and Protected Areas’  have been the focal points in the previous years. In 2010, the theme of excellence is ‘Aquatic Tourism’. 25 countries were participating and 25 beautiful destinations have been awarded the EDEN prize. Endless river valleys, pure lakes, natural resorts, health-related sites – all located in picturesque spots, have been selected to showcase to tourists looking for a new experience. These off the beaten track destinations present an excellent opportunity for travelers who are looking for something fresh and new.

EDEN supports and promotes sustainable development, and invites you to visit the European Destinations of Excellence! All EDEN destinations have been rewarded for their sustainable outlook and the wide range of activities that they offer. Whether you are looking for peace and quiet for meditation and relaxation, or whether you prefer active holidays – you will find it all in any of the 25 destinations. Moreover, since most of the selected sites have a rich historical heritage, there are plenty of possibilities to explore local traditions and culture. EDEN offers a unique opportunity for responsible travelers to enjoy the wilderness of the undiscovered areas, to learn about the local culture from the locals themselves and contribute to the long-term, sustainable development of tourism in Europe.

For more information, please consult the following website:
http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/tourism/eden/

List of the EDEN winners for 2010:
Austria ‘Seelentium’
Belgium ‘The lakes of Eau d’Heure’
Bulgaria ‘Regional Administration Silistra’
Croatia ‘Nin’
Cyprus ‘Kato Pyrgos’
Czech Republic ‘Bystřicko’
Estonia ‘Lake Võrtsjärv’
Finland ‘Saimaa Holiday’
France ‘The Grand Site du Marais Poitevin’
Germany ‘Western Pomeranian River District’
Greece ‘Prefecture of Serres’
Hungary ‘Lake Tisza’
Iceland ‘The Westfjords region’
Ireland ‘Loop Head Peninsula in Co. Clare – Kilkee’
Italy ‘Municipality of Monte Isola’
Latvia ‘Sea Resort Jurmala’
Lithuania ‘Zarasai Region – Heavenly Shore on Earth’
Luxembourg ‘The nature park of the Upper Sûre’
Malta ‘Isla (Senglea)’
Netherlands ‘WaterReijk Weerribben Wieden’
Poland ‘The Biebrza Valley and Wetlands – Wildlife Sanctuary’
Romania ‘Geoagiu Bai’
Slovenia ‘River Kolpa’
Spain ‘A Guarda’
Turkey ‘Bitlis – Nemrut Crater Lake’