Grosses Walsertal in Vorarlberg is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The credo for its people is: “Use nature without harming it”.
The Biosphere Reserve comprises several regions which all share one vision: to find a balance between the needs of man and nature and live in a way that is compatible with nature’s limited resources.
Propstei St. Gerold is a monastery in Walsertal that was awarded the Austrian Environment Seal for its environment-friendly concept. The monastery accommodates up to 60 guests. Their “Oasis 2000” project is designed to provide free holidays for people who could not otherwise afford a holiday. Propstei St. Gerold is a place of encounter and exchange, a place where there is no TV so people communicate more. Horses play an important role at Propstei which offers hippotherapy, physical therapy riding and regular horseback riding lessons. The Propstei also organizes workshops and seminars on different topics such as dance, Zen Buddhism, Feldenkrais and fasting.
An interesting place to visit is nearby Marul, Austria’s first all organic farming village.
Find out more about the Grosses Walsertal
Due to its attempts for a sustainable way of living the Grosses Walsertal was awarded with the EDEN award in 2009.
EDEN stands for the European Destinations of Excellence, a project promoting sustainable tourism development across the European Union. The project is based on national competitions which take place each year and result in the selection of a tourist “destination of excellence” for each participating country.
Through the selection of destinations, EDEN effectively achieves the objective of drawing attention to the values, diversity and common features of European tourist destinations. It enhances the visibility of emerging European destinations, creates a platform for sharing good practices across Europe, and promotes networking between awarded destinations.
The key feature of the selected destinations is their commitment to social, cultural and environmental sustainability. The recipients of the award are emerging, little known European destinations located in the 27 Member States and candidate countries. The EDEN project helps to spread the sustainable practices used in the chosen destinations across the Union and to turn these places into year-round venues.