Best Sustainable Experiences in Europe
Travel to Europe and have unforgettable experiences in sustainable tourism destinations rewarded for their commitment to the environment.
Cover yourself with medicinal mud in Nin, treat yourself to a Bear safari in Finland or a Beaver Safari in Estonia. Marvel at the simple, natural beauty of pear trees in blossom in Austria. Dozens of sustainable tourism experiences await you in Europe.
EDEN, the acronym for "European Destinations of Excellence" is the largest European network of destinations rewarded by the European Commission for the quality of their tourist offers and their respect for the environment. EDEN is the promise of real experiences, real discoveries, real encounters.
Faial Island - Azores - Portugal
Faial and the port of Horta are synonymous with stopovers, discoveries and encounters for the most daring and courageous sailors, those who cross the Atlantic alone or with their family. They will rediscover there, for a few days as a stopover or for a lifetime if they settle there, the joy of a welcoming lush island.
Here, nature reigns supreme and is protected by an army of botanists, geologists and experts in flora and fauna. The island of Faial forms a triangle with Sao Jorge and Pico; travel between the 3 islands and discover breath-taking natural landscapes, culinary specialties unique in the world, wines matured at the foot of the volcanoes of Pico, wild flower honey and Azorean cheese.
There are 1000 things to do in Faial for nature lovers. Do not fail to visit the botanical gardens of Faial and see the endemic plants of the Azores (you will not see hydrangeas which are invasive, even though they are very beautiful). Faial is a sustainable tourism destination awarded by the European Commission for its commitment to the protection of nature. It is, therefore, a prime destination for a sustainable tourism vacation to reconnect with yourself, your family and nature.
Be sure to visit "Capelinhos", an incredible interactive museum on the history of the incredible volcanic eruption that took place only a few decades ago in Faial. Finally, treat yourself to the dream of a lifetime and discover dolphins and whales in this sanctuary. If you are lucky, they will greet you with their tails. In Faial as everywhere in the Azores, the real spectacle is nature. Come and experience strong emotions in one of the only true sustainable tourism destinations in Europe.
How to get there: Book your flights to Ponta Delgada (Sao Miguel Island) as well as a domestic flight to Horta (Faial). There are even direct Lisbon-Horta flights.
Where to stay: "Quinta das Buganvilias" if you want to enjoy tasty breakfasts with 100% local produce and wake up in a gigantic garden with views of Pico, this is the place for you.
Cover yourself with medicinal mud
Nin - Croatia
"Long sandy beaches are one of the trademarks of the ancient town of Nin and its Riviera. A shallow and especially warm sea attracts families with small children and elderly people. Enrich your album of memories on those lovely beaches. No wonder they are listed among the most beautiful beaches in Croatia and abroad.
Cover yourself with mud rich in minerals, watch the birds, take a long romantic stroll in the historic centre of Nin or just relax on the beach; long sandy beaches are one of the trademarks of the ancient town of Nin and its Riviera.
Queen's beach, offers thalassotherapy in an open-air clinic. Treatments and rehabilitation with medical mud have been successfully carried out for 50 years. All the beaches are attractive but the beach Ždrijac has a wind and kite surfing school."
How to get there: book your flights to Zadar (30 min).
Where to stay: 'Zaton Holiday Resort' is perfect for a stay in Nin.
Blossoming pear trees in Mostviertel
In unspoiled nature, immerse your roots in the soil of Mostviertel and open your eyes and nostrils to see and breathe the spectacle of pear blossoms. The pear trees of Mostviertel are in bloom in April and May.
You will enjoy tasting local and organic products made from pears from the orchard. In the western part of the Mostviertel, where the countryside looks just like a huge garden, the people have dedicated themselves heart and soul to the production of perry, i.e. pear cider. This makes them unique among Europe's cider-growing regions, where apples tend to dominate. In the region surrounding the 200 km-long Moststraße, a plethora of different pear varieties ripen on several hundred thousand of gnarled pear trees which thrive on the mild climate south of the river Danube.
How to get there: book your flights to Vienna (1h by car, 1h 30 minutes by public transport).
Where to stay: “Donau Lodge”, perfect for a 4-night stay!
Bear watching in Wild Taiga
Wild Taiga is one of the few areas in Europe where it is possible to watch and photograph rare carnivores in their natural environment, accompanied by fully trained guides. In addition to the carnivores such as bears, wolves and wolverines you can see moose, wild forest reindeer, flying squirrels, beavers and some of our biggest birds of prey.
The season for seeing these exotic animals begins at the end of April as the bears wake up from their winter hibernation and continues until the end of the autumn.
How to get there: book your flights to Kaajani (direct flights or via Helsinki + 1h).
Where to stay: “Hotel Kalevala”. This hotel offers 4 saunas, 2 hot tubs and various massage facilities.
Clonakilty Distillery and visitor experience
"Immerse yourself in the unique sensory experience of a real working distillery by booking a tour of the new Clonakilty Distillery and Visitor Experience.
A must see for the growing numbers of Irish whiskey fans or anyone wanting a hands-on experience of a real working distillery in action. Combining world-class visitor facilities, the very best in multi-media presentation technology and knowledgeable expert guides, visitors will experience first-hand the smell, sound, feel and taste of a distillery creating genuine Irish spirits."
How to get there: book your flights to Cork (50 min by car).
Where to stay: the "Clonakilty Accommodation An Ullord Getways" offers BBQ facilities and a garden.
Neamt County - Romania
As a recognition of all efforts made to preserve the species, “Bison Land” in Neamţ has been included in Top 100 Sustainable Destinations worldwide. Vânători-Neamţ Nature Park in Neamţ County is the only place in Europe where the bison, heraldic symbol of Moldavia and the largest land animal on the continent can be seen, in three kind of habitats: in the wilderness, in the forest, in semi-freedom, in the acclimatization enclosure at the “Bisons Management Centre”, and in the zoo of the Park.
The Park extends on more than 172.973 acres of land, and tourists can observe an amazing wildlife up close and personal. Visitors can also practice bison safari, tyrolean rides or enjoy themed tours. In the vicinity of the park, there are many historical sites, monasteries and museums. “Bison Land” has already become a preferred location for practicing sustainable tourism based on protecting and improving the visibility of the local natural, cultural and spiritual heritage, and on the uniform distribution in space of the tourist intensity, mostly by promoting the indissoluble link between nature and spirituality.
How to get there: book your flights to Bacau (1h15 by car) Suceava (1h30) or Iași (2h by car).
Where to stay: The “Central Plaza Hotel” is located in Neamt’ city centre.
Honey massage in Lasko
"The ancient Romans, who first discovered and introduced the tradition of thermal spas in Slovenia, knew that wellbeing improves our health. Backed with a wealth of experience, the tradition with its thermal springs is carried on today in Thermana Laško and Rimske terme health resorts. Enjoy various wellness programmes based on the beneficial effects of thermal water."
How to get there: book your flights to Ljubljana (20 min by car – 1h by public transport).
Where to stay: the "Vila Monet” set on the bank of Savinja River.
Sao Miguel Island - Azores - Portugal
The Caldeira Velha Environmental Interpretation Centre is a green paradise dedicated to the protection and education of the natural heritage of the Caldeira Velha's area, classified as one of the Natural Monuments of Portugal.
What better way to disconnect from social networks, professional emails or city stress than spending an afternoon in a magnificent natural park with natural thermal pools, heated by nature. Enjoy, relax, and live unforgettable memories.
We advise you visit the interpretation centre to learn a little more about this incredible natural phenomenon that makes the Azores one of the rare destinations.
How to get there: Book your flights to Ponta Delgada (Sao Miguel Island), Caldeira Velha is located just a 20 minutes’ drive from Ponta Delgada. You can also book your activities and tours in the Azores such as a visit to Caldeira Velha.
Where to stay: "Quinta do Passo". Stay near Caldeira Velha.
Ride the closest thing to Unicorns
Dakovo - Croatia
The majestic horses from fantasy stories with their legendary white hair and a horn, may not exist in real life but the horse that inspired storytellers to invent unicorns is very real. It is the royal breed called Lipizzaner and you can ride it in the town of Đakovo in the Croatian region of Slavonia.
How to get there: book your flights to Zagreb (2h by car - 4h by train).
Where to stay: the “Hotel Dakovo” features 2 restaurants.
Dive into the heart of the Ocher mines
Luberon - France
"Visit and walk through 650 m of underground galleries in a network of over 40 km and admire the work of the miners who extracted ochres from the mountain. The mines are a veritable cathedral of colour sculpted from the ochre rocks of the Pays d'Apt."
How to get there: book your flights to Marseille and drive 1 hour to the Mines de Bruoux.
Where to stay: the “Coquillade Village" is located close to the Luberon Park.
Discover jurrasic plants at Faial Botanical Garden
Azores - Portugal
Faial Botanical Garden has been enchanting visitors since 1986 thanks to its exceptional beauty. We consider it a mandatory visit. With a main garden in the district of Flamengos and an altitude garden in Pedro Miguel, its aims are conservation and study of the Azorean natural flora, science dissemination and environmental education.
The Garden houses Azores’ rarest plants, historical agricultural crops, a beautiful orchid greenhouse, a collection of medicinal and aromatic plants, as well as samples of the main invasive species in the archipelago.
How to get there: book your flights to Faial (direct flights or via the main island of Sao Miguel).
Where to stay: the “Quinta das Buganvilias” for its luxuriant garden, tasty breakfast with local produce and the smile and the passion of its owners.
EDEN Slow bike tour
Silly - Belgium
Bassilly, Fouleng, Gondregnies, Graty, Hellebecq, Hoves, Silly and Thoricourt offer a wide range of unknown riches on their 6768 Ha, of which 80% are cultivated and 8% are wooded.
70km of marked pedestrian trails and the brand-new network of cycle paths let amateurs to discover 6 castles, hidden in parks full of remarkable trees, churches, chapels, typical old houses and imposing old farms. Visitors must book their tour at least one day in advance. On arrival at the tourism office, you will receive: touristic information about Silly, information on the slow food and the Cittaslow concepts, a circuit plan (24 km) and the list of numbers to follo.
You will also get a lunch bag containing exclusively local products from slow food producers. The circuit will take you to the discovery of the 8 villages of Silly. Pic-nic tables are situated across the route so that you can stop where you want. It’s also possible to hire bikes at the tourism office.
How to get there: book your flights to Brussels South (45min) or Zaventem Airport (50min).
Where to stay: the “Auberge du Vieux Cèdre” offers elegant rooms and a cosy restaurant.
Carve letters in Stone
Sheep's Head - Ireland
"Take a piece of local Kilcrohane limestone in your hands and learn to carve it with help from Victor Daly, a stone carver with incredible knowledge of Ireland’s stone-carving traditions. It's a unique opportunity to engage with the Atlantic landscape of the Sheep's Head peninsula.
You'll learn to use traditional tools and techniques as well as timeless skills passed down through the generations. Engage with West Cork's creative spirit and create something beautiful to take home!"
How to get there: book your flights to Cork (2 h by car).
Where to stay: the “Goleen Harbour Tiny House" offers sea views.
Beaver Safari in Soomaa
"The guided canoe trips start near the Riisa Ranch guest house at 8 p.m. in June and July, and at 7 p.m. during the other months. Guests who are staying in Pärnu are picked you at their hotel. The trip takes about four hours and the price includes the guide service and canoe equipment".
How to get there: book your flights to Tallinn (2 h by car - 4 h by public transport).
Where to stay: the “Villa River Rose" offers an on-site sauna. Guests can enjoy fishing and canoeing on the river.
The sheep cheese road
Marginimea Sibiului - Romania
The Sheep Cheese Route provides an excellent opportunity to discover the pastoral world of Marginimea Sibiului with its picturesque settlements and calm lifestyle. Due to continuous shepherding and transhumance, the 18 villages connected to the route have succeeded in keeping their strong local identity. Following the Sheep Cheese Route, interested visitors can discover traditional art, lifestyle and customs, taste cheese and other special dishes.
How to get there: book your flights to Sibiu (15 min by car).
Where to stay: the “Pensiunea George” features a garden, barbecue facilities and a terrace.
A walk in Ireland's largest national park
Mulranny - Ireland
"Starting at the Mulranny Park Hotel this is a walk of stunning beauty and immense diversity. Such is the biodiversity here, that you enter three different European designated areas of conservation and Ireland’s largest National Park.
On the way, visit Ireland’s only stand of Mediterranean heather, woodland, beaches, rare Machair dunes, Atlantic salt marsh and traverse Trawoughter Bay along Mulranny’s unique causeway. The route features elevated views of the dramatic deep sided Bellacragher Bay and to the south the stunning spectacle of Clew Bay and its drowned drumlin islands set against the majestic Croagh Patrick."
How to get there: book your flights to Knock Airport (2.5 hours by car).
Where to stay: the "Great National Mulranny Park Hotel" is set in a scenic woodland estate.
Chocolate body paiting in Radolca
Every April the streets and squares of Radolca are flooded with all-things chocolate when the biggest chocolate event in Slovenia takes place. Chocolatiers from Slovenia, as well as from neighbouring countries take part in the festival to showcase and display their chocolate-based products to taste or purchase.
More than 50,000 visitors attend the festival which has rapidly grown in size and popularity since it started in 2012.
How to get there: book your flights to Ljubljana (20 min by car – 1h by public transport).
Where to stay: the "Linhart Hotel”. Guests love the friendly staff and great breakfast.
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Sustainable tourism in Europe
European Destinations of Excellence