The Northern Velebit National Park has received the 2009 European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) award on October 8, the European Commission said in a statement.
Twenty-two European destinations of excellence were handed EDEN awards by European regional policy commissioner Pawel Samecki at the European Tourism Forum in Brussels. The winning destinations were chosen by national juries in line with this year's theme – sustainable tourism in protected areas. The 2010 theme will be aquatic tourism.
The Northern Velebit National Park is an explorer's paradise. Situated in the north-western part of Croatia, just a few kilometres from the Adriatic Sea, the park unites two different locales, the coastal region and the mountainous zone. Predatory animals such as wildcats, bears and wolves, roam the mountainsides, while deep sinkholes and caves give the park an unparalleled sense of multiplicity.
The Hadjuk and Rozan hips together contain over 150 caves, with the most well-known being the Lukina Jama (Luka's Cave), which descends 1,392 meters deep into the Earth.
For visitors wanting a taste of alpine sports, the park is second to none. There are a great number of hiking, cycling and cross country skiing trails through the mountains that reveal some "eye-popping" panoramic views. A walk along the Premuzic Path leads trekkers through enchanted forests and endless lush green grasslands.
For more info visit the Northern Velebit National Park website.