Thursday, 2 September 2010

EDEN (European Destinations of Excellence) Part 1

 “Europe is full of hidden treasures that are worth being discovered”
The idea behind the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) is to encourage tourism in areas that emerging in tourism, little known, and committed to sustainability, not only environmental, but cultural and social too. It gives lesser known (and less crowded) areas an opportunity to show off what they have to offer. Each participating country holds a national competition to choose that country's representative.

2007 was the first year the programme was run, when 10 countries chose rural destinations. In 2008 the theme was intangible heritage, and 20 countries took part. In 2009 22 countries proposed areas for the theme of protected sites.

And now in 2010, 27 countries entered an area reflecting the theme of aquatic tourism.
That's rather too many countries to cover in one post, so here come the first eight.

From flickr
  • Austria Seelentium’ Upper Austria. Salzach River, Eggelsberg, Franking, Geretsberg, Haigermoos, Stronghold-Oh, Moosdorf, Ostermiething, St. Radegund, Tarsdorf, St. Pantaleon.
A unique feature of the area is the Imber Moor nature reserve.  It is the largest marsh/bog area in Austria with many rare and protected plants.   Apart from the many lakes and beautiful landscapes, there are more breweries in this region than anywhere else in Austria.

      From flickr
      • Belgium ‘The lakes of Eau d’Heure’ Cerfontaine, Plate-taille, Falemprise, Froidchapelle, Eau d'Heure Natura Park, Amphibus 
      It consists of 70 miles of shoreline, 600 acres of ponds, 600 acres of forest, 600 acres of grassland straddling the provinces of Namur and Hainaut.  Almost every sort of water sport or pastime can be found here, not to mention plenty of land based activities, and even a few in between.  The largest dam in Belgium maintains the water level of the river Sambre and the produces electricity.

        From flickr
        • Bulgaria ‘Silistra’, Silistra Nature Reserve.
        Silistra is on the River Danube, near lake Srebarna, an important stopping off point for migrating birds travelling from northern Europe to central Africa.

            From flickr
            • Croatia ‘Nin’ This is the oldest Croatian royal town, located on a small island reached by means of two bridges.  It is attractive because of its heritage (the smallest cathedral in the world!) wonderful beaches and healing mud baths as used in Roman times.

                  From flickr
                  • Cyprus ‘Kato Pyrgos’ Pano Pyrgos, Morphou Bay. Another little known area offering superb beaches, in west Cyprus.  The surrounding environment is has been preserved to give the tourist unparalleled natural beauty.


                      From flickr
                      • Czech Republic ‘Bystricka’.  The area is full of rivers and has a 40 ha  reservoir which was created between 1907 and 1912. Obviously it's very attractive to water sports enthusiasts, but beyond that there are trails for walking or riding through the beautiful countryside.

                          From flickr
                          • Estonia Lake Võrtsjärv’.  There are several islands in Lake Võrtsjärv: Ainsaar, Heinassaar, Petassaar, Pähksaar, Rättsaar, Tondi Island.  These are mostly in the southern part of this, the largest lake in Estonia.  Recreational opportunities are being developed, hiking trails being labelled and views are being cleared on to the lake.

                              From flickr
                              • Finland Saimaa’ - Lake Saimaa, Linnansaari National Park, Rantasalmi, Oravi, Järvisydä.  The largest lake district in Europe offers visitors unique natural surroundings.  Linnansari with its hundreds of islands and vast open waters is a paradise for lake excursions.

                              Next week, Part 2.


                                1. Cyprus is definitely a spot I would like to see. It's gorgeous beaches, history and tradition make it very alluring.

                                2. Hi A --

                                  So how many of these places have you visited??

                                3. I haven't visited any of them, and only Austria, Belgium and the Czech Republic as far as countries go. :) I'm not a great water sports or beach fan, but I'm a believer in trying to persuade people that there really are hidden gems if they are prepared to leave the beaten track.


                                Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


                                Blog Widget by LinkWithin