Twenty-one tourism destinations across Europe were granted the title “2011 European Destination of Excellence in Tourism and Regeneration of Physical Sites” at a gala awards ceremony in Brussels on September 27, 2011.
The region’s tourism representatives and members of the local authority accept the award. Photo by Benedikt Jóhannesson.
Among the destinations which received the so-called EDEN Award this year was Stykkishólmur on Snaefellsnes peninsula in west Iceland.
The jury described the town thus:
“This charming fishing village built on the western tip of Iceland, faces the mountainous West Fjords across the ocean. With the decline of the fishing industry, the hamlet of Stykkishólmur introduced a regeneration project to encourage tourism while emphasising the need to protect the environment.
Old fishing houses have been renovated and opened as guesthouses, offering work to the young who now choose to stay and welcome visitors instead of leaving the village. The fjords are a major draw to this remote, wild region as are the Volcano Museum and Museum of Local Folklore. Come here to escape the rush and find a slower pace of life.”
EDEN is the acronym for “European Destinations of Excellence”, a European Commission initiative promoting sustainable tourism development models across the 27 European Union member states and candidate countries.
The project is based on national competitions that take place every year and result in the selection of a tourist “destination of excellence” for each participating country.
Click on the following links to learn more about Stykkishólmur and click here to read about the other award-winning destinations.