Gołdap - Winner 2019
Winner in the ‘Health and wellbeing tourism’ category
Gołdap is located in the pristine region of Poland Warmia and Mazury. Thanks to the unique climate, values, the purest air in Poland and the mud resources, Gołdap is an ideal place for patients and tourists who value health and relaxation. In Gołdap, you can get in touch with wild nature, relive history and meet amazing people. The area has mineral water-based healing resources, picturesque landscapes, unusual buildings, as well as delicacies of the local cuisine. It has everything you want if you’re looking for an active holiday or just want a break from the civilization's hustle and bustle.
In the nearby Rapa there is a nineteenth-century tomb of the family von Fahrenheid in the shape of a pyramid, and in Stańczyki monumental arcaded bridges called ‘Aqueducts of the North’. It is worth taking a trip to the enigmatic Romincka Forest and visit the bunkers from World War II in Las Kumieta.
What makes Gołdap special
Gołdap is the only place in Warmia and Mazury with healing resources - mineral waters and healing waters. A place for active people with 170 kilometres of cycling routes in the summer, ski lifts and cross-country skiing trails in the winter.
Health and wellbeing tourism
The city uses the local curative raw material - mineral waters and healing waters. It has the Mineral and Healing Water Pump Room and the Masurian Graduation Towers, the only facilities of their kind in this part of Poland. Gołdap is diverse and attractive regardless of the season. There are 260 km of marked bicycle routes, including 80 km of Green Velo, 140 km of marked hiking trails and educational paths in the Romincka Forest. The conditions for recreation and sport are excellent.
In winter, go to the top of Piękna Góra by ski lift and the only cableway chairlift in this part of Poland. It’s famous for perfectly prepared trails for cross-country skiing.
Local spa fees are allocated to sustainable development programmes, such as the ‘Clean air’ programme, introduction of ecological stoves, and the sewage economy improvement programme.
- The health resort, including peloid mud, Zdrój – modern pump rooms serving mineral and curative waters, a salt cave, the Masurian Brine Graduation Tower, and Lake Gołdap, on the Russian border, which you can approach by boat.
- In winter, try the lighted cross-country ski trails neighbouring Park Zdrojowy and visit Piękna Góra, which offers two kilometres of lighted slopes with on-site snowmachines for warmer winters, and a revolving cafe at the summit.
- In summertime, see the European bison, and perhaps wolves, lynx or moose, in the Puszcza Borecka forest and take part in ‘bloodless safari’ where the only way you shoot animals is with your camera.
Multicultural current of the Bug River - Winner 2017
Winner in the Cultural Tourism category
The ‘Multicultural current of the Bug River’ encompasses the area of Polesie Lubelskie, stretching from the Podlaski Gorge of the Bug River to Włodawa. The unspoilt nature teems with rare species of plants and animals inhabiting wild woods and meadows near the meandering Bug River.
It is a meeting point of cultures and different religions. Here, Catholic, Orthodox and Jewish traditions have coexisted for centuries, while the Tartar cemetery reminds us of the Muslim inhabitants of the area.
This multicultural character of the land attracts artistry combining the past and the present. Some of the unique cultural events held in the area are:
- ‘Land Art festival’ with open-air sculptures and landscape projects set in the Podlaski Gorge of the Bug River
- Festival of Three Cultures in Włodawa
- Open air painting and sculpting in Uroczysko Zaborek and Włodawa
What makes Multicultural current of the Bug River, Lublin Region special?
The ‘Multicultural current of the Bug River’ is where history coexists with modernity and open-air art galleries present modern forms of art that refer to regional heritage. The primeval sources of the region's cultural and religious identity and diversity can be found in everyday situations. This is evidenced by the harmonious coexistence of different denominations and the palpable sense of the eastern borderland's magical atmosphere. Indulge your palate with local delicacies or get in tune with history and wild nature to slow down life's hurried pace.
The area of the ‘Multicultural current of the Bug River’ has preserved its natural, environmental and multicultural character. The rare combination of various aspects inherent to this land makes it a remarkable and intriguing place.
Local residents are hospitable, friendly and actively involved in cultural events. They preserve the old traditions of handmade crafts, home-made recipes and regional products.
Canoeing on the Bug River is a great experience combining active relaxation and sightseeing. You can see many historical sites, land art exhibits and wildfowl habitats from the river.
Besides countless cultural attractions, there are many unforgettable places to see. These include historic churches and monuments, religious sanctuaries with remarkable architecture (e.g. in Jabłeczna, Kodeń and Włodawa), and renovated manor houses on picturesque estates. Janów Podlaski, world-famous for the nearby stud of Arabian horses, offers rest and relaxation away from the hustle and bustle of the civilization. Enjoy the luxury spa and beauty treatments at the hotel centre Zamek Biskupi, located in the historic Bishop’s Castle.
- Sanctuary of the Blessed Podlasie Martyrs in Pratulin – a place of pilgrimages where 13 Uniates were killed for their faith by Tsarist soldiers in 1874
- St Onuphrius’s Monastery in Jabłeczna – one of the most important Orthodox sanctuaries in Poland with a 15th-century monastery
- Tartar mizar in Zastawek – a Muslim cemetery established after 1679, when Tartars from Lithuania and Poland settled in the area. It is one of the oldest Islamic heritage sites in Poland
Silesian Tastes Culinary Route - Winner 2015
Winner in the Tourism and Local Gastronomy category
The Silesian Tastes Culinary Route connects regional restaurants serving regional dishes based on traditional recipes and prepared with local products. As the restaurants are scattered all over the region, tourists can easily combine visiting them with discovering the numerous tourist attractions. This combination creates an exceptional way to experience the Silesian region.
What makes the Silesian Tastes Culinary Route special?
The Silesian Tastes Festival has been organised since 2004, and is the most popular culinary festival in the Silesian region. Nevertheless, the Silesian Tourist Organisation wanted to make the regional cuisine available to tourists every single day. The Silesian Tastes Culinary Route shows which places tourists should visit to get the real taste of local specialities.
When promoting the Route, Silesian Tourist Organisation always combines the experience of regional cuisine with interesting tourist landmarks, allowing visitors to experience the history, culture and gastronomy of the region first hand. The Culinary Route shows all cultural influences (Jewish, Czech, and Austrian) that have played a significant role in making the Silesian cuisine so diverse.
Chefs in the Culinary Route restaurants merge these influences with traditional recipes and local products. Discovering the Silesian Tastes Culinary Route allows visitors to try the whole spectrum of local specialities.
How about getting to know the diverse culinary traditions of the Silesian region?
Having embarked on the Silesian Tastes Culinary Route you will be tasting a variety of palate pleasing Silesian dishes. The route starts in the north of the region, where you can have a bite of local fish and game and learn how the Jewish culture has influenced the cuisine of the Polish Jura.
In the heart of the region you can play the part of a coalmine worker – and try the traditional food served to give the workers the strength needed for the hard work underground. Food of this kind has remained popular and appreciated among local people - and is part of what makes this regional food tradition so distinct and unusual.
In southern parts of the region visitors can cherish the most popular local dishes of the Beskids.
Discover how tasty the Silesian region is!
- Attend the Silesian Tastes Festival.
- Learn how Jewish, Czech and Austrian influences have marked the local gastronomy.
- Explore the cultural and historical landmarks along the trail.
- The official website of Silesian Tastes Culinary Route
- EDEN video about Silesian Tastes Culinary Route
- EDEN contact for Silesian Tastes Culinary Route: agnieszkasilesia [dot] travel (agnieszka[at]silesia[dot]travel)
Przemysl - Winner 2013
Winner in the Accessible Tourism category
Przemysl is one of the oldest and the most beautiful Polish towns, situated at the foot of the Carpathians, in the southeastern part of Poland. A thousand years of turbulent history have made the town inextricably linked with the fate of the entire Polish republic.
For centuries communication routes have crossed here, linking the East with the West and the North with the South. Przemysl’s position at this meeting point of cultures and religions has resulted in national diversity and rich cultural heritage, achieved by many generations of Poles, Ukrainians and Jews.
The town is home to more than a thousand monuments, enchanting visitors with an unforgettable landscape of steep, narrow streets, adjoining historical buildings and old churches with towers that climb ever higher.
Przemysl is one of the few cities where one can sunbathe on the River San in the summer and ski down the 800-metre slope with a chair lift in the winter. Both historically interested tourists valuing the beauty of nature, and those who prefer active holidays will find something to their liking here.
Przemysl has created barrier free conditions for the use of tourism services by disabled people, seniors and families with children. The main attractions offer facilities for disabled visitors: the Bell Cathedral, the National Museum of Przemysl, History Museum and Castle Kazimierzowski.
In addition, activities combining education and fun are focusing on famillies with children (bike routes, hiking trails, nature routes and education) and a wide offer is dedicated to seniors: cultural routes, Nordic Walking trails, heritage or the European pilgrimage route 'Way of St James Via Regia'.
- Visit the museum of bells and pipes, the only such museum in the world!
- Explore the Bolestraszyce Arboretum, a sensory botanical garden where blind people can read subtitles in Braille as well as touching or smelling the plants. The paths allows visitors to drive a wheelchair or baby carriage.
- Discover the Fortress of Przemysl, the 45 km ring of several auxiliary forts around Przemysl, built in the 2nd half of the 19th century by the Austrian army.
Zyrardow - Winner 2011
Winner in the Tourism and Regeneration of Physical Sites category
Zyrardow is a town situated in the heart of Poland in the Mazovia Voivodeship region. Just 45km from Warsaw, Zyrardow is most famous for its linen factory, established in 1829 by the Lubienscy brothers. It soon became the largest linen factory in Europe.
The historical centre of the city was occupied by the factory settlement. It included homes for the workers, churches, schools, canteens and other local amenities. Today, it is the one of a few urban centres in Europe that has been completely preserved, and is a unique example of the so-called model town or garden city.
The downtown centre of Zyrardow is a stunning architectural testament, characterised by red-brick buildings and well-planned streets, with green fields that separate residential areas from the industrial zone.
As well as offering an insight into life at the factory and its history, Zyrardow offers numerous possibilities for active holidaymakers. Excellent cycling paths (especially near the Bolimowski Natural Landscape Park), and canoeing trips along the Rawki River ensure a great holiday for everyone.
Regeneration and revival
The regeneration project began in 2004, when the city council decided to renovate the central part of the city.
Regeneration was mainly focused on rebuilding and renovating an area of estate housing, bringing back to life the industrial buildings and reviving production and trade activities.
Today, almost all of the factory’s buildings have been restored. The old buildings now have new functions – the Old Linen Spinning Plant and the New Linen Spinning Plant built in 1913 are now flats, restaurants and shops.
- Take a walking tour around the city centre. Don’t miss the old market square, the workers’ houses from 19th century, the nursery school dating back to 1875 and the Church of Virgin Mary of Consolation – one of the biggest temples in Mazovia.
- Visit the Karol Dittrich Junior Villa, one of the most impressive buildings in Zyrardow, surrounded by a charming park. It is now the Western Mazovia Museum
- Visit the Linen Manufacturing Plant where you can watch original old spinning machines and buy beautiful linen tablecloths.
The Biebrza Valley and Wetlands - Winner 2010
Winner in the Aquatic Tourism category
The Biebrza National Park is located in the north-eastern part of Poland. This area is often called the Green Lungs of Poland for its natural beauty and clean, fresh air.
It is one the biggest national parks in Europe and one of the rare biologically intact marshlands of the continent. The Biebrza river is a natural, meandering lowland river and one of the few such rivers in Europe.
Protection of the unspoilt nature and careful cultivation of traditional farmland are the two main focus points for keeping Biebrza’s biodiversity and beauty alive. With its many attractive activities, like water sports, hiking and biking tracks, rare animal and bird species and traditional local villagers Biebrza National Park is the ideal place for an active and recreational vacation in unspoilt surroundings.
What makes the Biebrza Valley and Wetlands unique?
The floodplains of Biebrza are among the last untamed rivers in Europe, and the unique wilderness of the area offers many delights for nature lovers.
For example, the meandering Biebrza River is a living river which floods in spring, thus turning large meadows into lakes.
Apart from picturesque scenes, Biebrza is home to a large bird population, which represent one of the major bird clusters in Central Europe. The exceptional beauty of the area remains largely undisturbed amd is therefore an amazing gateway for holidaymakers looking for new experiences.
- the 'Rock in the Swamp' Festival
- a winter elk safari with a 100% guarantee to meet wildlife from a distance of less than 50 meters
- the European White Stork Village, a safe habitat for the White Stork contructed to help counterbalance the decrease in stork numbers in Europe.
The Bird Republic in the Warta Mouth - Winner 2009
Winner in the Tourism and Protected Areas category
The Bird Republic is a unique wetland area in the Warta Mouth National Park, situated in western Poland near SLonsk.
Birdwatching is the main attraction in the park. Each year, the park designates its bird of the year, which is chosen among the many rare and endangered species of birds living in the protected zone. Past birds chosen in the last few years include the Barn Owl (2008) and the Lapwing (2009). For tourists, there is a designated 'Bird Route' trail (Betonka) that leads through some of the most interesting breeding and resting zones of waterfowl and wading birds in the park.
Besides being a refuge for birds, the park also draws visitors looking for adventure. There are a number of biking, walking and canoeing trails. One of such trails in the northern part of the park is a 32km bike route that meanders through some of the park's most lush and spectacular landscaped areas.
What makes the Bird Republic special?
While the region is best known for birdwatching, the park is also a dedicated member of the EUs Natura 2000 Network for Protected Areas. The Landscape Park is a significant protected area that lies on the lower section of the Warta River Valley and the middle section of the Oder River. Vast amounts of flora grow near the wetlands, making it a worthwhile site to see in the spring and summer.
The Warta River Mouth area is also a region of great cultural and historical significance. Many kingdoms once battled over these lands, including the Knights of Saint John and King Frederic the Great of Prussia. Ultimately, Frederic the Great was imprisoned in the Kostrzyn Fortress in the 18th century.
The park has undergone a facelift in the past years in order to make it more tourist-friendly. Large, eco-friendly viewing towers and observation areas were constructed to allow visitors to get closer to the action. Planners and builders took proper precautions to not disrupt wildlife, while making the entire experience for everyone more enjoyable.
Since the park is easily accessible by train and only 70km from Berlin, measures have been taken to maintain its popularity, but also keep it as a place to relax in peace and tranquility.
What to look for in...
- spring: Birds showing their colourful plumage while mating
- summer: Fantastic flora filling the grass fields
- autumn: European Bird Days excursions
- winter: Migrating and wintering birds taking shelter
- Vote in the 'Miss Cow' and 'Bird of the Year' elections.
- Celebrate King Frederic the Great.
- Relax to the gentle flow of running river water.