Most beautiful sustainable landscapes in Europe
In a world where cars, electric cables, satellite dishes and buildings, have changed our landscapes, come to recharge your batteries in sustainable tourism destinations in a preserved nature. Discover the most beautiful sustainable landscapes 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.
Santa Maria Island
Known for its beautiful white sand beaches, Santa Maria is a paradise for nature lovers, beautiful landscapes, leisure and relaxation as well as for surfing, sailing, windsurfing, paragliding and diving. Do not forget to treat yourself to a day of relaxation on the famous Praia Formosa, a fine sandy beach which is rather rare in the Azores.
If you long to immerse yourself in nature, calm and observe breath-taking landscapes, wear good shoes and set out to explore the Santa Maria lighthouse."Farol de Gonçalo Velho" is one of the most beautiful lighthouses in Europe and it offers incredible views. If you want to visit the lighthouse come on a Wednesday (otherwise it is open by appointment). It is one of the many 100% natural landscapes that will bring you memories for a lifetime.
How to get there: Book your flights to Ponta Delgada (Sao Miguel Island) as well as a flight to Santa Maria (30 min).
Where to stay: "Quinta de Sao José" to recharge your batteries in the middle of nature.
The Triglav National Park
Bohinj - Slovenia
The Triglav National Park is the oldest, greatest and only national park in Slovenia. Bohinj is at the heart of it. The protected natural and cultural area surrounds Triglav, the highest Slovenian mountain, Due to the sensitive natural environment and its fragility, the park is also a part of Unesco’s Man and the Biosphere Programme.
How to get there: book your flights to Ljubljana (1h by car).
Where to stay: the “Hotel Majerca” features a restaurant, a bar and a garden.
Blue bells in Silly
To admire the blues bells in bloom, forget the crowded Bois des Halles near Brussels. Come and discover this magnificent spectacle in spring in Silly, a sustainable tourism destination rewarded by the European Commission.
The town of Silly is located in Western Belgium, in Wallonie Picarde. Halfway between Lille and Brussels, the municipality is made up of 8 villages.
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, guide amateurs to the discovery of 6 castles hidden in parks full of remarkable trees, churches, chapels, typical old houses and imposing old farms.
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.
Madame Island - Rochefort-Océan
Escape whilst the tide's out and explore the smallest and wildest island in the Charente-Maritime! You have to bide your time and watch the tide to reach Ile Madame. When it goes out, it's time to walk, cycle or take a carriage ride over the Passe-aux-Bœufs. When it comes back in, you're cut off from the world.
Explore the flora, fauna and monuments all over the island. Visit Fort de l’île, the famous fishing huts on stilts and end your trip at the fish farm. When it's time for lunch, the farm turns into an inn and serves local produce in a fabulous setting.
Breathe the fresh ocean air in one of the best sustainable destinations in France.
How to get there: book your flights to Rochefort or Bordeaux (1h40 by car).
Where to stay: "L’Esprit du 8" for their comfortable beds and the outdoor pool.
The Bicaz Gorges, formed as the result of the continuous rock erosion by mountain streams, are undoubtedly one of the most spectacular and attractive tourist attractions in Romania.
Stretching over a distance of nearly 8 km, Bicaz Gorges is actually a serpentine road of rare beauty that connects the eastern and western part of the country. The overwhelming charm of this route is given by the greatness of the stone giants which delineates the road from one side to the other, each of them having suggestive names, such as "Hell's Throat" or "the Altar Stone” and others, representing a natural temple where the ancestors used to practice their worship rituals about 5000 years ago.
Discover incredible landscapes in Neamt, a destination of sustainable tourism rewarded by the European Commission.
How to get there: book your flights to Iasi (2h by car).
Where to stay: the “Central Plaza Hotel” is located in Neamt’ city centre.
"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. It is in April and May that the pear trees of Mostviertel are in bloom. You can also taste 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 gnarled pear trees, favoured by the mild climate south of the river Danube."
How to get there: book your flights to Vienna (1 hour by car, 1 hour 30 minutes by public transport).
Where to stay: “Donau Lodge”, perfect for a 4-night stay!
Imagine an island. The second largest island in the Azores. Named after Pico, a volcano as beautiful as it is bewitching. On this piece of land which appeared several centuries ago under the impulse of nature in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, men have achieved great things.
Respecting the land, nature and working with what they had on hand, they built volcanic stone walls to protect the plantations from the salty wind and imported earth to plant vines. They now have been producing their unique wine for generations of courageous and daring women and men.
This island of rare beauty is a true gift of nature. Located between the islands of Faial and Sao Jorge, it is one of the pearls of sustainable tourism, a symbol of cohabitation of man and nature.
Pico is an ideal place to recharge your batteries, reconnect with nature, meet locals, taste their produce, walk along the island or hike to the top of the volcano.
You won't see another landscape like this in Europe so don't hesitate a second and plan your sustainable tourism vacation in one of the best ecotourism destinations in Europe.
Do you need another reason to discover Pico? You will find incredible underground caves formed by the lava flows at the origin of this magnificent volcano.
How to get there: Book your flights to Ponta Delgada (Sao Miguel, the main island) as well as a flight to Faial or Sao Jorge and make the crossing by boat (30 min).
Where to stay: “Baco's Resort” offers views of the volcano.
"Head for the Sheep's Head Way - an award-winning 88km trail that stretches around the entire coastline of this slim peninsula. Begin in the historic West Cork harbour town of Bantry and walk out onto the Sheep's Head. As you look out over Bantry and Dunmanus Bays, take in the glorious unfolding views over the neighbouring Mizen and Beara peninsulas.
You'll discover many local heritage sites in this ancient landscape as you walk!
Cliff paths, ridge walks, and farmland paths can all be found on this varied and well-marked walking route. The views change here with every turn in the road and each shift in the light. You're sure to get a warm welcome from the locals you meet along the trail and in cosy places to stay."
How to get there: book your flights to Cork (2 h by car).
Where to stay: the “Goleen Harbour Tiny House" offers sea views.
Inchidoney - Clonakilty
The Blue Flag beach at Inchydoney Island, just a few miles from Clonakilty, is renowned not only as one of the most family friendly beaches in West Cork but also as one of the most beautiful. Vast expanses of sand and dunes provide excellent surfing conditions.
Discover one of the most beautiful sustainable tourism destinations in Ireland.
How to get there: book your flights to Cork (50 min by car).
Where to stay: "Clonakilty Accommodation An Ullord Getways" offers BBQ facilities and a garden.
The Bystricko region in the Czech-Moravian Highlands is a rediscovered tourist paradise in the Svratka river nature park, which boasts the Pernštejn and Zubštejn castles. Check out the “Bison Country” hiking trail by bike or on foot, visit the “Seven Wonders of Bystřicko” or with friends or family take a trip to “Moravian Switzerland” – the upper basin of the Svratka River, around the Vír Reservoir, a picturesque landscape with preserved rural architecture.
Visit the Svratecka water educational footpath with the Vír Reservoir, the Karasín and Horní les lookout tower or the 13th century church at Vítochov. Lovers of the outdoors will enjoy the unique nature park and a number of small nature reserves and natural landmarks.
The most beautiful landscapes of the Czech Republic await you in the Bystricko Region, awarded by the European Commission for its commitment to protecting the environment.
How to get there: book your flights to Ostrava (30 min by car) or Brno (1h30).
Where to stay: “Guesthouse u chalupky”.
Faial - Azores - Portugal
"Located in the middle of the island, it is a two km wide and 400 m deep volcanic cone. It is classified as a nature reserve and showcases rare endemic flora species. The genetic symbol of the island, the Caldeira is an awesome caldera given its size and because it has so many flowers, plants and trees that shine under the sun light.
The 7 km long walls are covered by various plants, including beech trees, junipers, moss, cedars, ferns and hydrangeas. At the bottom, 450 m below the Caldeira lookout, a fragmented lake and a small volcanic cone, with vestiges of the primitive laurissilva forest, dot the landscape in another exciting game of colours.
Book your flights to Faial as well as your accommodation at the best price and your best tours and activities in The Azores, such as a whales and volcanoes tour with lunch."
How to get there: book your direct flights to Faial (or via Sao Miguel Island).
Where to stay: “Quinta das Buganvilias” for the smile of its hosts, the beauty of the gardens, the view of the volcano and the local produce at breakfast.
"Massif des Ocres"
Luberon - France
This is the story of a special land and a special soil in the heart of the Luberon.
Those unique colours, a mix of clay and iron were created by the forces of nature over 1 million years ago below a prehistoric sea. However, the landscapes were shaped by the hand of men who began extracting natural colours and exporting them all around the world. Ochre is also a testimony to the many changes that this part of the Luberon has experienced for several hundred years.
The Massif des ocres is the largest ochre deposit in the world. It extends from east to west for about 30 km, through Roussillon, Rustrel and Apt.
Easy itineraries have been developed to visit the hills carved by mining activity, old quarries, galleries, circuses, cliffs, promontories, chimneys with warm hues.
Hikes and walks, museums and exhibitions will teach you that industry can also become part of tradition.
How to get there: book your flights to Marseille and drive 1 hour to les Mines de Bruoux.
Where to stay: the “Coquillade Village" is located close to the Luberon Park.
The Eagle Mountains and foothills region
Beautiful nature meets an extraordinary richness of cultural monuments here; there are a number of noble mansions in this Bohemian Loire with French charm such as the Chateau on the Orlice river. You will find any mysterious places, charming towns and villages, lively traditions and well-preserved folk architecture.
How to get there: book your flights to Prague (2h by car) or Wroclaw (2h20).
Where to stay: "Wellness hotel Ricky”. Guests love its top location and the breakfast.
The Northern Velebit National Park
You may want to conquer mountains but, in this case, it is you who will be conquered by the Velebit mountain. We hope you will let yourself be captured by the beauty of the National Park - Northern Velebit.
All your efforts invested in coming to Northern Velebit will be rewarded manifold with stunning natural beauties and spectacular views of the sea and islands from the mountain peaks.
Northern Velebit is an ideal destination if you prefer active holidays and recreation in intact natural surroundings where you can experience the charm of pristine wilderness. Cycling, hiking, taking photos, the choice is yours.
How to get there: book your flights to Rijeka (1.5 hours by car).
Where to stay: “Apartments Prpic". Top location highly rated by recent guests.
"The beautiful Soča river which flows at the foot of the Julian Alps, by the Italian border has carved an exhilarating valley and has some of the most gorgeous waters in Europe. The Tolmin Gorges are the lowest and southernmost entry point into the Triglav National Park.
The most prominent attractions are the wedged rock named Bear's Head and the Devil’s Bridge. The picturesque Kozjak Waterfall is caught in a stony amphitheatre not far away from Kobarid. It can be reached by an easy walking path by the river bed of the emerald Soča River. The Nadiža river has carved out pools and gorges, as well and deposited numerous shingle beaches. It is one of the cleanest and warmest Alpine rivers."
How to get there: book your flights to Ljubljana (1h30 by car).
Where to stay: the "Hotel Sanje ob Soci” located 3km from Soča river.
Krka National Park- Drnis
The river Krka flows in a total length of 72.5 km, 50 km of which are under the protection of the national park as a unique natural phenomenon, with seven waterfalls and a total altitude drop of 224 m.
Come and admire this spectacle of rare beauty and discover one of the best sustainable landscapes in Europe.
How to get there: book your flights to Zadar (1h20 by car) or Split (1h30).
Where to stay: the “Rural House Kod Slapa” offers free bikes.
"The Land of Saint Ignatius of Loyola comprises a rich historic, artistic and architectural heritage, all organized around Saint Ignatius of Loyola a universal figure of 16th century Spain.
The visitor will be able to visit the Loyola Sanctuary, an impressive religious building with a beautiful work of art in the hidden chapel and go for a walk through the Ignatian Way enjoying the landscape and the amazingly fresh air.
How to get there: book your flights to Bilbao (2h by car) or San Sebastian (2h).
Where to stay: the “Hotel Loiola” is located just 500 m from the Loyola Sanctuary.
"To open the door to Slovenske Konjice is to enter a town with a thousand-year history captured between the mysterious Konjiška Gora mountain and the sunny golden hills of the wine-growing Škalce in north-eastern Slovenia, which welcomes visitors in its “embrace of noble stories”.
The numerous surrounding villages complete the image of this pleasant medieval town of nearly 6,000 inhabitants by the Dravinja River, which was first mentioned in written records in 1146 under the name of Counowitz."
How to get there: book your flights to Ljubljana (1h20 by car).
Where to stay: "Wine Grower’s Mansin Zlati Gric” is next to the Gric Restaurant that serves gourmet cuisine and a wide range of wines.
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Sustainable tourism in Europe
European Destinations of Excellence