Active and Nature

NATURAL PARK STRANDZHA (Bourgas region, Bulgaria)

The Natural Park Strandzha is located in the border area of Bulgaria with Turkey. 90% of the population is elderly. Tourism is the main activity of the local population, which creates jobs and economic growth in the area. Local people have refurbished their houses and accommodate visitors in the park. They sing local songs, perform folk dances, prepare local food, and guide the tourists in the region. Each year in May local people organise the “Festival of Rhododendron”. The old people in the village of Brashlyan established an organisation – they made an exhibition of local crafts and clothes, refurbished the old school and church and provide tourism services – catering, guides, accommodation, demonstrations of folk dances and singing. The services are mainly provided by elderly people. The provision of services makes them active and creates employment and profits. Read more here


ACTIVE OLSZTYN (Warmia – Mazury, Poland)

Active Olsztyn (Olsztyn Aktywnie!) is a municipal programme implemented by the city of Olsztyn designed to promote an active and healthy lifestyle among the citizens of Olsztyn from all age groups. The programme premiered in 2010 with 10 different disciplines and various educational and recreational activities. It immediately received wide acclaim from the citizens of Olsztyn, whose participation in events exceeded organiser’s estimates. From the very beginning all the activities of the programme have been planned and implemented in cooperation with various local associations. The number of project partners has been growing steadily with different institutions both public and private taking part in the organisation of the programme. In 2012 the Active Olsztyn programme reached more than 15000 people who participated in different events across 21 disciplines offered by the city. The programme is addressed to all age groups, with certain activities targeting specifically selected groups thus becoming an intergenerational programme. Some of the activities such as guided tours, Nordic walking or mushroom picking are very popular among seniors. Read more here

WARMIA – MAZURY SENIOR GAMES (Warmia – Mazury, Poland)

The main theme of the Warmia-Mazury Senior Games is to promote sports and an active and healthy lifestyle among people aged 45 and more with a particular focus on senior groups thereby actively engaging these groups in social activities by promoting social inclusion, openness, tolerance and respect for all nations, cultures, religions, ages and lifestyles. The Games will be accompanied by a series of cultural and educational activities emphasising the importance and role of sporting activity among people over 45, including an educational conference inaugurating the project. Other activities will include the organisation of a regional recreational event for seniors (“Seniorada”) and other accompanying events, integrating people of 45 years old and more. The project will also contribute to the promotion of the region of Warmia Mazury as a desirable tourist destination for senior tourists and their families and will build upon the previous campaign entitled “Masuria the Wonder of Nature” which emphasised the natural richness of the region being a perfect place for all those looking for peace and tranquillity in natural surroundings. The second edition will take place between 28-31 August 2014 in different locations within the Warmia-Mazury region, including Olsztyn, Orneta, Ostróda, Lidzbark Warmiński, Iława, Pasłęk and Nidzica. Read more here


The practice combines travelling abroad and healthy exercise and corresponds to the demand of consumers. The organisers have noticed that holidays that combine travelling and exercise are in great demand at the moment. They are also popular because they offer new experiences and are a way to maintain friendships and make new friends. The seven day holiday programme includes different kinds of sports, such as Nordic walking, water gymnastics, Pilates, sports games and gymnastic exercises and it is always tailored depending on the participants’ interests. The holiday trips are suitable for everyone, which means that participants’ fitness levels and age are taken into account in the offered programmes. In addition, there are evening activities and the possibility to participate in the excursions provided by the travel agency or individually. Read more here


Nordic Walking Centre around Lake Myczkowce is based on the holiday resort “Caritas” and a network of 18 trails (some of them are specially created for disabled people), of different lengths and mild heights – the highest point is about 550 m. above sea level. Some of the trails are included into the Eco-museum “Beaver country”. The centre was created by two groups: professional tourist guides and the local community. Besides the common tourist service in the resort, sticks are available to hire, as well as professional guiding and medical services are offered. All at a reasonable price. The resort “Caritas” also offers a number of cultural attractions and activities which attract Polish and international visitors all year round. Read more here


The two management bodies were created following the initiatives undertaken by local authorities and environmental organisations. Their aim is the protection, management and promotion of areas under protection and it is accomplished through actions such as scientific support and monitoring of wild birds and waters, environmental surveillance, the provision of information to visitors, as well as organising festivals, visits and environmental education programmes. In this context, the management bodies will soon merge and offer integrated services to the public and potential visitors, transportation and tours in areas of high environmental value with trained personnel and safe means for the elderly. Read more here 


This project developed a range of wellbeing tourism products highlighting the special characteristics of Ilomantsi (municipality in North Karelia) to cater both for domestic and international special needs. The products are based on forests, the biosphere reserve and local Karelian culture. The range of tourism products comprises service modules which constitute a one-week tourism service package to cater for the needs of tourist groups in particular. The service modules in the package also serve as independent tourism products. The tourism services are produced by a service provider network involving entrepreneurs and other actors. Senior travellers are one of the target groups of wellbeing tourism development. They are interested in active nature tourism, silence, wellbeing and health services. Read more here


The main objective of the Carpathian Wildlife Foundation is increasing the number of European nature-orientated visitors in the Eastern Carpathians transboundary area between Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine as well as offering nature-based tours to visitors already staying in the region, mostly Polish ones. In part it is the territory of the UNESCO biosphere reservation area “Eastern Carpathians”. The Foundation provides services all year round, for both groups and individuals. International partners involved in the Rewilding Europe initiative like WWF Netherlands, the ARK Foundation, Conservation Capital, Wild Wonders of Europe and national WWF Poland. Read more here

HORTOBÁGY NATIONAL PARK (Hajdú-Bihar county, Hungary)

Hortobágy National Park is the first and until today  the largest protected natural area of Hungary, which  extends some 82 thousand hectares. The park won  the “Part of The World Heritage” title in 1999 from  UNESCO. In 2008, as “Hungary’s best destination  for preserving living traditions”, it was awarded the  “EDEN - European Destinations of Excellence” title  from the European Commission. Hortobágy presents  the harmonic living of man and landscape together.

Strong seasonality characterises the national park  programmes. One of the conditions of the financial  sustainability of programmes and demonstration  sites is extending the tourist season and reducing  seasonality, therefore they initiated developments. Read more here


The idea of the project was implemented in the regions of Slovakia and Poland which are not using their  development potential very well. The region of northeastern Slovakia is not visited by tourists as often as the  Western part of the Prešov region (High Tatras Mountains). The road infrastructure is not known very well and the  supply of tourist products in this area is also low. Due to its remoteness from industrial settlements the said area  has excellent conditions for astronomical observations and also tourism associated with astronomy. The lack  of infrastructure, which people regarded as a major deficiency of the region, means the night’s sky is dark and  not polluted with unnecessary lights, which could be used as an opportunity for the development of the region.  Astro-tourism is a segment of tourism suitable for people of all ages. The activity is physically undemanding and  can be combined with walks in woods and other leisure activities. Educational bodies involved in the project also  prepared several lectures for different age groups. Read more here