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What is EDEN?

EDEN, or European Destinations of Excellence is a European Union (EU) project promoting sustainable tourism development models across the European Union. Every year, European tourist destinations of excellence are selected in a different area, and in Latvia this is done in association with the Ministry of Economy. In Latvia the project has already been running for four years.

This European quest for excellence in tourism is developed around an annual theme. So far, rural tourism, intangible heritage, protected areas and water resources have been the main EDEN themes, and destinations have been selected accordingly.

Four winning destinations in line with the spirit of the project have already been chosen in Latvia. In 2007 the winner was Kuldīga, the pearl of Latvia's western region Kurzeme, a town which boasts Europe's widest waterfall, a unique brick bridge, and distinctive old time architecture. The winner of the EDEN competition for 2008 was Rēzekne, a city in eastern Latvia, the region of Latgale, with its rich traditions of pottery making. Rēzekne was also singled out for unique church architecture and the accessibility to nature.

In 2009, the winning destination was the Tērvete Nature Park, an excellent place for families to take a stroll. Alongside with fairytale themed walking routes, the park is home to protected plants and animals.
The winner for the year 2010 was the largest resort in the Baltic, Jūrmala. The city is noteworthy for its sandy beaches, SPAs and health facilities, as well as unique wooden architecture.

The key feature of the selected destinations is their commitment to social, cultural and environmental sustainability.

  • Jūrmala, with its sandy beaches, pine forests, SPAs, and health and wellness facilities is the most popular resort in Latvia and the largest in the...
  • Kuldīga is the pearl of Kurzeme, Latvia's western region. Kuldīga boasts distinctive architecture, the River Venta with the widest waterfall...
  • Rēzekne lies amidst an impressive scenery of green meadows and lakes, countryside roads and forests in the very heart of Latgale region in Eastern...