Kaunertal Valley in Austria — the land of infinite contrasts where so interesting to watch the changing of the seasons. Picturesque Glacier Road winds its way among the snow-covered forests and rests in the eternal ice. Lush vegetation, babbling streams and fragrant meadows — this here can enjoy everything, including people with limited mobility. That’s why the Austrian Kaunertal Valley was recently awarded the contest EDEN. The theme of the contest was accessible tourism.
The project «European destinations of excellence» (EDEN), launched in 2006, aims to celebrate the new destinations in 27 EU member states. Each year the European Commission defines the theme of the contest, and in each of the participating countries selected the one best tourist destination that meets the conditions of competition.
In 2011, for example, the prize is awarded for the successful transformation of objects of local historical heritage in popular tourist destinations. In Ireland’s crumbling railway turned into a bicycle track Great Western Greenway. Now it is one of the areas of cycling: standing on the track, you will pass through the picturesque Atlantic Drive the road to the western park Ireland Secret Garden Achill.
Themes of the competition for the award EDEN help demonstrate the diversity of natural resources, historical heritage, folk festivals, as well as local cuisine in Europe. The winners meet the qualifying criteria, are invited to visit paradises of virgin nature of their countries, or learn about the history and cultural heritage of the region.
In 2008, the prize is awarded for the preservation of traditions. Winner of Greece, Grevena Prefecture, kept the 13 stone bridges belonging to the period of the Ottoman Empire. Trikomo village invites tourists to visit the vineyards, taste the traditional brandy Tsipouro and fine local wines. Traditional Carnival «Anakatosariya» famous folk dances and songs. Local delicacies are prepared from organic products — mushrooms, meat and cheese.
Although the theme of the contest change every year, the jury will always choose those areas that involve the active participation of local residents and environmental protection. The conservation status of a national park őrség national park, the winner in 2007 from Hungary, guarantees the preservation of natural, cultural, historical and ethnographic treasures, including traditional houses, the belfry, Romanesque churches and ethnographic museum in the open air.
Award-winning destinations, most of them little known, can rightly be proud of their achievements. Environment and customs of the local population in these regions due to the premium Eden attracted the attention of tourists, and without prejudice to the nature and historical heritage. Visit the project EDEN, to see Europe for what it was, it is, and probably will.