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Alternative Tourism in Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)       Dancing at the Waterfalls
The city of Edessa has launched an alternative tourist campaign by commissioning the Greek painter Giorgos Stathopoulos to produce a work of art which will be projected at nights at the city’s famous waterfalls. “We do not want to be just another tourist destination; we wish to offer our visitors such an experience that would render Edessa unforgettable and will bring them back to the city” said mayor Yiannis Sontras. His idea was to spend money on acquiring the rights to use the painting as the city’s symbol, instead of producing conventional tourist brochures. National Tourism Organisation of Greece: Greece’s tourist campaign
EDEN Awards
A number of projects aiming to promote alternative tourism opportunities in Greece has been funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Amongst these are projects related to the restoration of medieval castles, the construction of trekking routes and agro-tourism complexes. The region of Grevena – in northern Greece – won one of the 20 “European Destination of Excellence” EDEN awards last year at the European Annual Tourism Forum, launched by the European Commission to promote the development of alternative tourism, while the region of Florina won in 2007 an EDEN award as one of the “Best Emerging European Rural Destinations of Excellence.”
Green Passport
The “Green Passport Campaign” launched by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) aims at raising tourists’ awareness of their potential to contribute to sustainable development by making responsible holiday choices. To assist them, an online guide has been produced offering tourists useful tips on how to minimize the impact of their journeys on the environment. The guide will soon be available in Greek as the Hellenic Society for the Protection of the Environment and Cultural Heritage has undertaken its translation, showing that Greece is following a worldwide trend of growing ‘green tourism’ at rates that treble those of conventional mass tourism.   

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Greek Lake Districts

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Whilst Greece is mostly known for its wonderful seaside, it also has remarkable places near lakes. Start off in one of the most beautiful wetland areas in Europe: Prespes. Two lakes covering thousands of hectares and situated high up at an altitude of over 800 meters are a paradise for nature-lovers. Next stop Kastoria: a historic town, built on a peninsula in the beautiful lake Orestiada, surrounded by mountains, a different experience altogether! Further east stop in Edessa, to see the waterfall park in the middle of the town. Final destination: the Lake Kerkini, nestled between two separate mountain ranges, one of the few examples of a man-made intervention that has become a great ecological success. It now serves as a safe haven for 227 species of birds and is a paradise for bird-watchers.  Places to Stay: www.yourgreece.gr; More info on Greek lakes: www.visitgreece.gr