WHAT ARE EUROPEAN DESTINATIONS OF EXCELLENCE (EDEN)?
These are unique places that offer visitors inimitable atmosphere, picturesque landscapes, fascinating culture and hospitable welcome from local people. They are emerging European tourist destinations, often little known, which pursue the objective of economic growth in such a way as to ensure social, cultural and environmental sustainability. EDEN destinations are still undiscovered and uncrowded places, which will provide you with many unforgettable memories and experiences.
The idea of the European Destinations of Excellence started in 2006 when the European Commission launched a pilot project named EDEN in an effort to rediscover the unknown paradise of new emerging destinations in different parts of the continent, remarkable by their picturesque sites, protected areas, traditions and cultural life.
The beneficiaries of the award are emerging, little known European destinations situated in the 27 Member States and candidate countries. The EDEN project helps to spread the sustainable practices used in the selected destinations across the Union and to turn these places into all-year-round venues. The process thus aims to help de-congest over-visited tourist destinations.
New “excellence theme” is being chosen annually.
The 2009 EDEN award focused on promoting sustainable tourism in protected areas. Eligible destinations were protected areas and/or the areas bordering them where an economically viable tourism product has been developed using the protected area as an asset, all the while respecting the protected environment and meeting the needs of local residents and visitors.
The 2010 quest focused on coastal, lake and riverside destinations that promote innovative approaches towards their aquatic tourism offer. The winning destinations focus on developing a higher quality environment, addressing the seasonality issue and rebalancing tourist flows from the most famous and crowed tourist destinations.
The 2011 quest rewarded destinations which have regenerated a physical site of local heritage and converted it into a tourism attraction to be used as a catalyst for wider local regeneration.
The theme for the 2013 EDEN awards was Accessible tourism. Winning destinations have based their tourism offer on accessibility for tourists regardless of their special needs, limitations, disabilities or age.
The theme for the year 2015 of the EDEN edition was Tourism and local gastronomy. 20 European countries have participated in this edition and each country has selected one winning destination and up to four runners-up. The winning destinations have successfully implemented a tourism offer based on their specific local gastronomy.
In 2017 the EDEN project focused at Culture tourism.
The last edition carried out in 2019 was dedicated to Health and well-being tourism.
Polish Tourist Organization is the main coordinator of polish edition of EDEN competition.
Discover the winner and runner-ups destinations!
By visiting these destinations not only will you experience wonderful moments, but also you will contribute to further prosperity of these places.
See how to do it in our guide on how to travel responsibly.
More about EDEN: www.edenineurope.eu