Thursday, April 24, 2014
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Ireland's EDEN

Ireland's European Destination of Excellence 2008
Carlingford & The Cooley Peninsula, award wnner in 2008 under the theme of "Intangible Heritage".


Tourism and local Intangible Heritage
What’s intangible heritage? Visiting Carlingford & The Cooley Peninsula answers that question. From Celtic legends such as "An Táin" to Carlingford’s medieval origins and active Leprechaun lore, traditions fostered through the generations have created a unique sense of community and a lot of fun.

Allied to this living culture and heritage, of course, is the Cooley Peninsula's jaw-dropping scenery. The Cooley Mountains are perfect for walks, horse-riding and adventure sports. On Carlingford Lough,sailing, birdwatching and a myriad of watersports as well as Aquaculture are the dominating activities. Mussels ae harvested fron the Lough's seabed and the famous local oysters are farmed along it's shores – The oysters are available at the local festival in August, or in the gastronomic restaurants located in and around the quaint village of Carlingford and elsewhere on the peninsula.

Past meets Present
Carlingford itself is an Anglo-Norman town dating from the late 1100s. Sloping gently towards the Lough, dropped like a berry at the foot of Slieve Foy, the area is picture-perfect. Built around beautifully-maintained relics like King John’s Castle, the old Mint, the Tholsel (town gate) and Carlingford Priory, it feels like an outdoor museum, but one in which life carries on around the exhibits regardless. Laced with snug bars, antique shops and an old market square, it’s the very definition of a boutique village.

Just an hour’s drive from Belfast and Dublin, Carlingford and its surrounding area is packed with heritage, lough and mountain-based activities, festivals, and a wealth of Irish dance, song, music and language.


eden2EDEN Group

Photo to left: Mr Martin Cullen TD Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism with Mr Fred Adamson accepting award on behalf of Carlingford and The Cooley Peninsula community. 
Photo to right: 
Martin Cullen TD Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism with Carlingford & Cooley Peninsula Eden working group and Fáilte Ireland project manager Sheena Doyle. 

EDEN is the acronym for European Destinations of Excellence, a European commission project promoting sustainable tourism development models across the European Union. The project is based on national competitions that take place every 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 objectives of:

  • Enhancing visibility of the emerging European tourist destinations of excellence, especially the lesser known creating awareness of the values, diversity and common features of European tourist destinations
  • Promoting all European countries and regions
  • Helping de-congestion, combat seasonality, rebalance the tourist flows towards the non-traditional destinations
  • Awarding sustainable forms of tourism
  • Creating a platform for the exchange of good practices at European level
    promoting network between awarded destinations which could persuade other destinations to adopt sustainable tourism development mode

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 all-year-round venues. The process thus aims to help de-congest over-visited tourist destinations.
The development of this project is backed by the European Commission which launched the project in 2006 and still plays a crucial coordinating role. Its tasks include encouraging dialogue among stakeholders, co-financing the selection procedures, organising the award ceremony (in the first two years, during the European Tourism Forum) and coordinating a comprehensive communication campaign.

This European quest for excellence in tourism is developed around an annual theme, chosen by the Commission together with the relevant national tourism bodies. The main EDEN themes have been: 

  • 2011 -- Tourism and Regeneration of Physical Sites
  • 2010 -- Aquatic Tourism
  • 2009 -- Tourism and protected areas
  • 2008 -- Tourism and local intangible heritage
  • 2007 -- Best Emerging European Rural Destinations of Excellence.

To learn more about Ireland's EDEN destinations and the European EDEN network please visit the Ireland's EDEN website IRELAND'S EDEN WEBSITE


The Gathering Ireland 2013

 The Gathering 2013

Carlingford Accommodation

There are 40 different types of accommodation available in Carlingford and Cooley.
Accommodation Link

Carlingford Events

Events in Carlingford and CooleyThere are events taking place in Carlingford and on the Cooley Peninsula the whole year round. Visit the Events page to stay up to date! Link to Events

Carlingford Activities

Enjoy golf, walking, sailing, arts and crafts and many other activities during your visit to Carlingford.
Link to activities

Medieval Carlingford & The Cooley Peninsula, Co.Louth ~ Ireland's "European Destination of Excellence 2008" 

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