DestiMED´s spring tests are almost here! Would you like to participate?

This spring, 10 different Mediterranean protected areas will test packages across six countries from April through June (see short overview of the packages on test below). Ecotourism experts from across the globe will participate in these tests and provide feedback on these exciting packages that have been either newly developed or recently revised thanks to the last round of expert feedback.

If you are interested in joining the adventure and becoming a tester, please fill in this expression of interest form by 22 February. Please note that you are responsible for your airfare. Selected participant will be notified as soon as possible.

DestiMED´s packages are designed to highlight the unique natural and cultural assets of Mediterranean protected areas, while raising awareness of both local communities and international travelers to support conservation efforts.

DestiMED is providing these protected areas and their private sector partners with the tools they need to develop, manage, and promote high quality ecotourism packages, both at local scale and together in a regional network.

The DestiMED project brings together 13 Mediterranean protected areas to collectively develop, manage and promote ecotourism throughout the region. It is financed by the Interreg Med Programme and gathers 7 partners led by the Lazio region in Italy. DestiMED website.

Test packages

April 16-20 / Ebro Delta (Spain): Wildlife Experience through the Four Seasonal Colours of the Ebro Delta.
Experience life in a “Barraca” a traditional Ebro Delta cottage,and one of the most unique forms of traditional housing in Catalonia. Sail across the Ebro Delta and Alfacs Bay. Enjoy Birdwatching throughout the natural park. Explore the Encanyissada and Tancada lagoons and lose yourself in the wetlands of the Ebro River by bicycle. And last but not least visit Tortosa, a city whose architectural heritage and history will surprise you. Nearest Airport: Barcelona. Testers will then transfer two hours by train to the park area.

April 26-May 1 / Calanques National Park (France): Destination Calanques 
Dive into the real Mediterranean cultures, traditions and activities offered by the Calanques National Park at the gate of Marseille. Enjoy daily activities that expose you to conservation of the park´s natural heritage, including hiking, climbing, biking, and abseiling. End your days with delicious local cuisine and tastes of the famous French wine! Share the experience with other young ecotourism lovers, guided by nature specialists who will reveal to you the hidden treasures of this unique protected area! This is an active tour, and participants will need to have a high level of fitness for hiking, swimming, climbing, and biking. We are testing a youth-oriented ecotourism package, so you must be willing to stay in a youth hostel and rustic refuge with shared budget-level accommodations and bathrooms. Nearest airport: Marseille

May 5-10 / Protected areas in the North of Albania: Hidden treasures of Albania North
Visit the “sleeper hit” of the Balkans, linking together five protected areas into an experience filled with stunning mountain scenery, flowing rivers and waterfalls, and amazing coastal landscape. Learn about the ancient mountain codes of behaviour, visit forgotten archaeological sites and village, where time appears to have stood still. Northern Albania is a place carrying centuries of history, stories, traditions, and legends intertwined with the very nature that surrounds. Easy level of fitness. Nearest airport: Tirana.

May 8-11 / Colline Metallifere Tuscan Mining Geopark (Italy): The Heat of the Earth
Discover an underground world filled with geodiversity, culture, and natural heritage. During the trip, local experts will guide you through a territory with spectacular scenery formed by an ancient geologic phenomena, shaped by the slow but profound work of human beings ever since prehistoric times. The Geopark is the cradle of production of neutral CO2 energy from geothermal sources. Explore in awe as steam sprays from the underground in the form of sulfur crystals, see hundreds of different minerals exploited since ancient civilization, and walk among an extensive network on mining tunnels initially designed for experienced miners. As you go, taste wine and other typical Tuscany products made with great attention to tradition and the environment, and stay in innovative zero-impact apartments built according to the principles of bio-architecture. Discover unexpectedly a Tuscany underground and unexplored! Must have medium level of fitness for long hikes. People with claustrophobia are advised not to apply for this test. Nearest airport: Pisa.

May 18-21 / Experiences in the ʺTorre del Cerranoʺ Marine Protected Area (Italy): A Tower in Defense of Nature on the Sea of Emperor Hadrian.
A 4-day tour across space and time, exploring the concept of “sustainability” as developed through the centuries, starting from the Roman-age “Villa Adriana”. Enjoy trekking, cycling, snorkelling and diving in a wonderful blend of nature and culture, enriched with authentic flavours and millenarian heritages! Nearest airport: Rome

May 21-25 / Ulysses Riviera park (Italy): Follow the Spirit of the Ulysses Riviera
Experience the Ulysses Riviera park as a true explorer and discover a land full of myth and history, doused with the sweet perfume of the Mediterranean. Nearest airport: Rome (Naples is also an option but transfer via public transport will be on your own)

June 1-6 / Samaria National Park (Greece): Follow the Landscape
Follow the contours of the White Mountains and the splendid Samaria Gorge on a 6-day journey of natural and cultural experiences. Discover untouched wild nature, authentic people with surprising stories, and flavors and aromas arising from the past, recalling a way of life more simple and free. You might even discover a new self along the way. Must have medium level of fitness for long hikes. Nearest airport: Chania or Heraklion.

June 1-7 / Protected areas in the South of Albania: The Mysteries of Albania South, Wild Heritage of the Albanian
Riviera Discover the unique biodiversity and wild nature of Albania´s Southern Region, filled with history, culture, heritage and gastronomic richness. Enjoy hands-on experiences and meet local people as you explore natural parks and dive deep inside protected area treasures along the Albanian Riviera. Easy level of fitness. Nearest airport: Tirana.

June 4-9 / Camargue Natural Park (France):
Join us to discover the largest wetland in France, renowned internationally for its protection of nature and birds. Take your time exploring the local way of life, and the biodiversity found by land and by sea. Experience the cultural heritage of the Camargue by meeting the area´s inhabitants and farmers, who will passionately tell you the history of their village while sharing a good glass of French wine and delightful regional products. Must have easy-medium level of fitness for horse-riding and cycling. Nearest airport: Marseille.

June 5-10 / Lastovo islands natural Park (Croatia): Positively Wild
Welcome to the Croatian island where life still moves at a slow pace and old customs remain. Take part in traditions, stay with a local family, and meet the last wood ship builder on the island. Immerse in local cuisine while enjoying greens from the fields, seafood from local fisherman and recepies that have been passed down for generations. Explore the island on foot, by bike, in a kayak and underwater. Give a hand to protected area staff in their everyday activities and relax while listening to a capella singing under one of the last dark skies in Europe. Find out for yourself why WWF declared Lastovo as one of the ten best biodiversity treasures of the Mediterranean. Must have medium level of fitness for walking and cycling. Nearest airport: Split.

June 6-9 / Circeo National Park (Italy): History, Legends, and Nature
Explore a diversity of habitats that has no match in Italy, a wonderful and varied ecosystem in perpetually sunny Southern Italy. Each day will bring a new mode of exploration: enjoy the wonders of the Plain Forest on foot or by bike, trek to Picco di Circe to see a great variety of landscapes, and take a sailboat or canoe out in the crystal blue waters. Learn about the legend of Circe and the local history through the ages. Smell the perfurmes and colours of the cultivated countryside and farms, and of course taste the typical Italian food of the Agro-Pontino region. Must have easy-medium level of fitness for hiking. Nearest airport: Rome.


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