The Village as an Ambassador for the regional landscape

You thrill your visitors with a fresh idea for a completely coherent, innovative and intensive hiking and nature experience. Each village here represents its mythical landscape, told by its traditions, its history, and its cultural and culinary individualities. Authentic landscapes round off the myth of the region and spread the spirit of diversity in Europe.

The villages

For their visitors, Europe Hiking Villages open a window into landscapes that embody the myth of Europe. There the guests can experience firsthand the individual traditions, stories, cultural and natural experiences that show Europe’s diversity.
The quality inspection by the European Hiking Seal ensures a perfect hiking infrastructure, hosts that are enthusiastic about hiking, and an authentic overall experience for the perfect hiking holiday.


The quality criteria

Areal services

  • A village’s guiding principle as a basis for orientation and planning
  • Positive evaluation of the local appearance
  • A village loop trail that shows the essence of the village and its relationship to the landscape
  • Positive evaluation of the existing infrastructure
  • Accessibility via public transport (links to the public transport network)
  • Mind. 3 qualified experienced hiking establishments in the given village area
  • The village presents itself as an experience starting place for natural, cultural and recreational experiences

Activity services

  • The village presents itself as an experience starting place for natural, cultural and recreational experiences


Orientation services

  • A complete management system with hiking starting positions and orientation systems
  • A certified main hiking trail completes the comprehensive adventure and scenery service

Information services

  • The tourism information as a hiking competence center
  • Service-oriented hiking information resources (print and web)
  • Panorama signs and trail maps as adventure maps
  • A central hiking starting place that complies with the minimum criteria
  • A hiking tourism manager as a contact person and coordinator


Motivated businesses

The tourist accommodation in European Hiking Villages are led by dedicated hiking lovers who show their guests the best ways to discover the mythical landscapes of their village. They also offer their hiking guests tailor made service programs, thereby laying the foundation for a successful stay.


The quality criteria

Areal services

  • Distances in the hiking network

Activity services

  • Hiking competence of the host
  • Hiking competence of the hiking guide
  • Advanced preparations in the hotel
  • Hiking facilities in and outside the hotel
  • Service centers for hiking gear

Orientation services

  • Hiking map service

Information services

  • Organized hiking tours
  • Hiking consulting, tour advice
  • Information material

Selected main hiking trails as landscape criteria

Selected and qualified hiking trails that lead to the most attractive cultural and natural experiences and show the myth of the landscape.


The quality criteria

Areal services

  • An overall experience on the trail that conforms with the main idea
  • Adequate asphalt trails in accordance with the quality category

Activity services

  • An overall experience on the trail that conforms to the individual category

Orientation services

  • Information concerning safety on the trails

Information services

  • Hiking map
  • Parking at the tour start
  • Information about the trail
  • Transportation possibilities (for line trails)

The qualifying process


European Hiking Village sees itself as a premium platform for international hiking destinations. To be approved as a European Hiking Village, each candidate must complete a five-step certification process. We rely on the proven quality standards of the Austrian Hiking Seal of Approval. Only the villages that fill these requirements will be awarded with a seal of approval from the European Hiking Villages. The village assessment is divided it into five phases:

Preliminary Analysis Phase 1

  • Desk research: analysis of the advertising material, the main idea, …
  • Implementation of a mystery check
  • Pre-check / Self check
  • Client interview
  • Needs Assessment

On Site Consultancy and Site Inspection Phase 2

  • Input consulting
  • Site inspection of the strategic points
  • Mobilization of participants Impulsberatung


Survey Phase 3

  • Survey and assessment, by an expert, of the village, the trails, and the hiking hosts based on the criteria of the European Quality Label for Hiking.
  • Creation of a certification report of the village, the trails, and one hiking host including a strengths & weaknesses analysis and interpretation of the survey information
  • Workshop on the results of the commission (about 3 hours)
  • Catalog with the seal of approval – with compliant design examples
  • Establishment of a binding implementation period for the completion of the necessary improvements according to the survey.

Acceptance and Award Phase 4

  • Renewed inspection and verification of compliance with certification criteria
  • Acceptance of certification (final evaluation)
  • Granting the village the European Quality Seal during an official ceremony

Quality Assurance Phase 5

  • Presentation of the certified village in the information media of the Hiking Seal of Approval
  • Recertification of the Hiking Village after 3 years by an expert on-site check
  • Nomination of a Village Hiking Manager who was involved in the project from the beginning and is a local contact
  • Annual quality checks and quality verification
  • Verification through an annually filed checklist
  • Official reports of experiences and results
  • Annual, thematic workshop and exclusive co-marketing activities

A positively completed certification process pays off for the village in several ways. On the one hand it increases its public image, on the other hand it gives the village leaders valuable advice. This provides them with professional strategic advice for further development and helps to maximize their offerings. Not only does customer satisfaction increase, but it is also strengthens the profile of the village as a specialist for the adventure landscape.

The marketing programs for our members


We offer our members the opportunity to utilize co-marketing activities with experienced partners. We can count on our market experience and knowledge of the Austrian Hiking Villages, including its network and intelligent marketing ideas to efficiently introduce and continually develop marketable and demand-effective products.
All European Hiking Villages can use the following service modules for its marketing:

  • Internet marketing
  • Homepage presentation
  • Social media marketing and blog posts
  • Newsletter mailing to 1-2 million customer contacts (depending on number of participants)
  • PR (Public Relations)
  • Regular press incl. construction of a press file
  • Press conferences
  • Project and village presentation at ITB on March 10, 2016 and the Nature Tour in Dusseldorf
  • Cross-selling (alternating village presentations from the project partners)
  • Acquisition of sponsoring partnerships

Complete project overview

Does your village also tell about your amazing mythical landscape? More detailed information about the Europe Hiking Village Project, conditions of participation and costs, see the Project Brief Introduction.
The catalog (only in German) of Hiking Villages, hiking trails and hiking hosts which have already received the Seal of Approval provide information about the criteria for services needed for a successful completion of our certification process

Here’s how to become a Europe Hiking Village

Inquire now!

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