The European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) project was launched by the European Commission in 2006, with Poland joining in 2009. The initiative is intended to create a European network of areas and tourist products that have so far been under the radar but are distinguished by assets of exceptional importance for Europe’s natural-cultural heritage. The competition recognizes products, whose management follows the rules of sustainable development, showing respect for regional culture and traditions, natural resources and local economy. This year’s edition focused on health tourism and wellness.
“Poland boasts a remarkably diverse offer in the field of medical tourism, health resorts, and spa and wellness services. As many as 45 towns or their sections obtained the status of a health resort. I am convinced that the offer of the winners of this year’s EDEN competition will now reach an even larger number of guests”, said Minister of Sports and Tourism Witold Bańka.
Gołdap Mazurski Zdrój, winner of the discussed edition, is the only health resort in the region of Warmia and Mazury (Masuria). The dynamically developing tourism and recreation centre is said to be distinguished by the cleanest air in the whole of Poland. Masurian Graduation Towers, Poland’s fourth largest institution of its kind, teem with life in the health-resort area of the city. Leisure-friendly facilities include a modern pump room with a salt grotto and mini-graduation towers operating all year round. Health treatments apply therapeutic and mineral waters extracted in Gołdap.
“The Polish offer of health tourism certainly needs extensive publicity to further solidify the position of Polish business entities. Our country boasts a huge potential in this field and can easily compete with other destinations. The list of our advantages includes well-educated and experienced medical staff, state-of-the-art venues and highly competitive prices. In the case of Gołdap, mention is due to comprehensive tourism offer. In wintertime you can take advantage of the local ski lifts, while in warmer months it becomes a perfect place for all bicycle tourism enthusiasts”, adds President of Polish Tourism Organisation (Polska Organizacja Turystyczna – POT) Robert Andrzejczyk.
The winner acquires the right to use the European Destination of Excellence title and becomes a part of the EDEN network. As an additional award all recognized destinations are included in POT’s promotional activities.
This year the jury also presented three distinctions. See below for the full list of laureates.
European Destination of Excellence 2019: Gołdap Mazurski Zdrój
Busko-Zdrój – located in Świętokrzyskie voivodeship. As there are no heavy industries operating within 50 km from it, the health-resort commune boasts pristinely clean air. Its list of key assets also includes mild climate, the largest number of sunny days in the whole of Poland and natural springs of therapeutic waters. Sulfurous waters, iodine brine and peat constitute the greatest natural resources of Busko-Zdrój.
Dwór Kombornia – a landed gentry estate located on the edge of the Czarnorzecki-Strzyżowski Landscape Park, in the Beskid Niski mountain range. Visitors experience flavours, aromas and sensations that tend to be overlooked in the everyday hustle and bustle. Here they are guaranteed by, i.a. rituals of diverse therapies based on the centuries-old tradition of Far Eastern medicine and offered in ChocoWine SPA. By staying in the manor you will get a chance to sample innovative beauty technologies and upscale beauty products.
Lawendowa Osada – a one-of-a-kind place in Pomorze (Pomerania) allows you to discover 20 varieties of lavender and learn all about its exceptional qualities. Guests can take advantage of the relaxing and therapeutic character of the SPA village, where they will find a salt grotto, an authentic wood-fired wooden Russian banya with aromatherapy, cold and hot tubs, as well as a pool with heated water and a retractable roof. The charming Lawendowa Osada brings to mind the French region of Provence.