EDEN themes and destinations
The principle of the EDEN process is simple: each year, one theme is chosen by the European Commission, in close cooperation with national tourism bodies, and one destination per participating country is selected.
Each of the chosen topics serves to highlight different aspects of European regions’ assets and is related to sustainable development in one way or another, whether from a cultural, economic, local involvement or environmental point of view.
Destinations taking part have to show that economically viable tourism has been developed based on each year’s EDEN theme. EDEN topics provide an opportunity for demonstrating the wealth of diversity Europe can offer, including its natural resources, historical heritage, traditional celebrations, local gastronomy, and so on.
The eligible destinations, namely lesser known and less crowded ones, are thus able to show off what makes them unique and also show tourists that an unforgettable experience awaits them. The winning destinations are those that best reflect the chosen theme of the year and that offer a unique tourism experience, in line with sustainable patterns.
You can discover your EDEN destination by theme or by country.
In the first 3 years of the project, rural tourism, intangible heritage and protected areas have been the key motives behind this European quest for excellence. The fourth edition of the project focuses on Aquatic tourism.
- 2011 – Tourism and Regeneration of Physical sites
- 2010 – Aquatic Tourism
- 2009 – Tourism and protected areas
- 2008 – Tourism and local intangible heritage
- 2007 – Best Emerging European Rural Destinations of Excellence.
EDEN participating countries
Europe has a host of hidden treasures and we invite you to come discover them, starting your travel from the relevant country. You can also find out more about the country itself and the winning destination, and see fantastic images showing why these destinations are unique.
All Member States and candidate countries are invited to take part in the EDEN initiative. The winning destinations are those that best reflect the chosen theme of the year, in line with sustainable tourism. These destinations are selected at national level during the first half of the year, and are then awarded during a ceremony organised by the European Commission in autumn every year.
So far the following countries have taken part in EDEN. This year, we are delighted to welcome Portugal: