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Czech Republic

Jeseniky - Winner 2015

Winner in the Tourism and Local Gastronomy category

The region of Jeseniky, in the middle of Czech Sudetenland, offers visitors an almost unlimited range of tourism activities with its high quality natural environment and beautiful landscapes. The mountains in Jeseníky are one of the Czech Republic's top destinations, and they offer ideal conditions for an active winter holiday.

Like other mountains, Jeseníky has a big competitive advantage over lowland destinations. Although the season peaks in winter, with the traditionally popular winter skiing holidays, the summer, spring and autumn also provide excellent conditions for sports, rest and relaxation.

In Jeseníky, you will find yourself in the middle of the Sudetenland with its georgeous countryside - where there is peace like nowhere else in the world. 

Local gastronomy

Gastronomy in the Jeseniky region is built on three essential pillars:

  • Tradition and history - original recipes are often based on the cuisine of the Silesian region.
  • Regional products - a network of suppliers provide local products to customers.
  • Quality and seasonal ingredients - local producers and suppliers are always on the search for new sources of local products.

All these pillars are joined in the region's long-term gastronomy initiative: 'Taste Jeseniky'.

Sightseeing tips

  • The paper factory and the Museum of the Velké Losiny
  • The Dlouhé Strane pumped-storage hydro power station 
  • The Na Pomezi caves
  • Jansky Vrch Castle
  • Chateau Velké Losiny

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Lipno - Winner 2013

Winner in the Accessible Tourism category

Lipno is one of the most attractive destinations in the Czech Republic.

The holiday season never ends here: most attractions and activities are open all year round including the bobsleigh track, aquaworld and treetop walkway.

In the summer Lake Lipno hosts many different sports activities to get the adrenalin pumping or you can just take advantage of the glorious natural surroundings. In the winter this is one of the country's most popular ski resorts, with the best ski school in the Czech Republic.

In Lipno, the treetop walkway affords views not only over the lake, but also of the Alps. All the attractions are aimed at families with children, active seniors and disabled people. All of these groups can enjoy comfortable and happy holidays in Lipno – whether they want to relax or be active.

The Lipno without barriers project proposes programmes for disabled people and makes many tourist activities in the area accessible for them. For example, tandem bikes or hand bikes enable disabled people to enjoy the cycling routes through the beautiful natural setting of Sumava. You can also sail on electric boats – which can be easily controlled – on the Lipno reservoir. A special lift is available at the Aquaworld water paradise.

Sightseeing tips

  • Clear your mind with sports activities – bike or skate around the lake, swim, ski
  • Relax in the aquaworld or in the outdoors
  • Experience the treetop walkway.

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Slovacko - Winner 2011

Winner in the Tourism and Regeneration of Physical Sites category

The authentic region of Slovacko is situated in the south-east of the Czech Republic, bordering Slovakia and Austria.

The geographical location and impressive historical heritage make this region a truly fascinating destination. The mild climate, mountains, lush forests and rivers give Slovacko its unique ambience.

The vast culture and tradition of the region is visible in the everyday lives of the locals.

For example, the old buildings with their white-washed walls and colourful flower ornaments around the windows have been well preserved.

There is also a wide variety of gourmet specialities on offer, using traditional recipes that have been passed on from one generation to the next.

The combination of cultural, historical and natural sites will ensure a great stay for everyone who comes here.

Regeneration and revival

In recent years, local authorities have carried out several regeneration projects to harness the incredible tourism potential of Slovacko.

One of the most remarkable projects is the Bata Canal, a 65km historical waterway offering an unconventional way to explore the region. Previously, the canal was used to transport coal to a power station in Otrokovice.

Today, this navigable canal invites tourists to explore Slovacko from a different perspective.

Various sites and monuments are dotted along the waterway, such as the Ratiskovice Railway 'Museum in a Carriage'. The museum presents interesting facts about the history of mining and contemporary railway lines in the Hodonin District.

Other testaments of the local industrial history, such as windmills, watermills and the distillery, have also been renovated.

Sightseeing tips

  • Take a cycling tour through the vineyards of Slovacko. The Polesovice, Petrov-Plze and burghers' wine cellars in Uherske Hradiště are just some of the highlights en route.
  • For an insight into history, visit some of the historical monuments in the region – the Buchlov castle, chateaux in Buchlovice, Milotice, Valtice, Lednice, Mikulov, the Cistercian Monastery and the Basilica in Velehrad.
  • To enjoy all that nature has to offer, choose one of the nature trails in the Palava, Dolni Morava, Bile Karpaty and Chriby.

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Bystricko - Winner 2010

Winner in the Aquatic Tourism category

Bystricko is part of the Vysocina Region and is comprised of 34 towns and villages with around 20,000 inhabitants.

It is located in the northeastern tip of the Czech Moravian Highlands, known for their exceptional rough beauty, their abundance of rivers, creeks and dams, and unique flora and fauna.

The region belongs to the drainage basin of the Black Sea, and the entire region is drained by the river Svratka and its tributaries.

When exploring these rivers by foot or boat you will find many preserved castle ruins.

The dominant water feature of the Bystricko region is the Vir dam which has the third-highest dam wall in the Czech Republic reaching a staggering 76.5 metres.

What makes Bystricko special?

Bystricko is the perfect destination for an unforgettable holiday, especially for those looking to combine peaceful rivers and lakes with something more active.

Rowing, swimming, fishing and other water-related activities are likely to guarantee you a positive experience from your holiday.

The Bystricko micro-region is unique because of its location within the Svratecka Uplands Natural Park which is rich in natural heritage.

Sightseeing tips

  • Visit the pearl of historic architecture of the region – the fairy tale gothic renaissance Pernstejn Castle.
  • Discover the mysteries of Aurochs Land.
  • Visit the traditional 'Foundry Symposium' focused on traditional crafts.
  • Try ice mountain climbing in Vir, which has the largest artificial ice mountain in the Czech Republic.

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Bohemian Switzerland - Winner 2009

Winner in the Tourism and Protected Areas category

Bohemian Switzerland, also known as Czech Switzerland, is a protected area in the northwestern part of the Czech Republic.

With a multitude of great natural attractions, the hardest decision to make is which one to see first.

A few that leap out immediately though are the Tiske Steny (rock towers and rock city), Edmundova Gorge and Pravcice Gate (largest sandstone rock gate in Europe).

There's also the amazing Canyon Labe by Hrensko, which is the place with the lowest altitude in the Czech Republic.

To get the absolute best elevated views in the area, look no further than the Decinsky Sneznik, which just so happens to be the oldest stone tower in the Czech Republic.

And to stay on the path of history, the region boasts a great number of different castles and ancient ruins, such as Tolstejn, Saunstejn and Falkestejn.

Other modern attractions include the Zoo Decin, Rumburk Museum and an underground air force factory from World War II. There's also a world-class golf course in Janov.

What makes Bohemian Switzerland special?

In the heart of the park, surrounded by everlasting natural beauty lie some of the oldest churches, chapels and relics in the Czech Republic.

In an area called Ceske Kamenice are two that stand out: the Church of St James and the pilgrimage chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

For those interested in Bohemian culture, there are a number of folkloric monuments, windmills and historical villages. The House of Bohemian Switzerland - a visitor and educational center in Krasna Lipa - is a great place to learn about Bohemian crafts such as textiles and glassmaking.

As is the case with any high-altitude nature region, the weather plays its part. One of the key goals of the park is to promote tourism throughout the year, giving visitors a true sense of how the landscapes change with the seasons. There are offers designed especially for the 'low season' and activities are plentiful even during bad weather.

There is a focus on keeping the park as green as possible. Modern economical bus lines take visitors to designated entrance points, while car parks have been built to keep traffic out of the park's untainted soils.

What to look for in...

  • Spring: Majestic greenery and thought-evoking silence
  • Summer: Sparkling sunrays glistening off rising rock formations
  • Fall: Spectacular fall foliage that lights up the hillsides
  • Winter: Snow dusted hilltops with dark winter shadows.

Sightseeing tips

  • Take timeless walks through ancient history.
  • Experience jaw-dropping views from vistas high above.
  • Get lost in a Bohemian village.

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