2009/2010 Winner Category “Aquatic Tourism”

Bystřicko, the north-east corner of the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands, an undulated countryside with rounded hills, wild rocks, small villages surrounded by fields and meadows. However, it is water, above all, that is the essence of Bystřicko. The innumerable brooks, streams and rivers, led by the elegant Svratka River, the mirrors of pools and ponds, and the shiny surface of the Vír Reservoir.

Aquatic tourism

That was the competition category that led Bystřicko to the title of European Destination of Excellence. Water became the connection between all activities, even though the region has much more to offer. Its potential has not been fully utilized yet and that offers a rare luxury to those who visit – an intimate experience.
Bystřice nad Pernštejnem is the centre of the region. It is the starting point to a destination waiting to be discovered that offers numerous natural and cultural sites in addition to five nature preserves. Water is the main theme of a dedicated educational trail, an exposition of the Bystřicko Museum, and an exploration competition called Through the Bison Country. You can swim in beautiful lakes, outdoor swimming pools and several indoor pools.
Most of the dense network of cycling paths and trails follow the water. Wandering along the water basically brings visitors to the most attractive places in Bystřicko, which is not very large and thus ideal especially for hiking and cycling, or for cross-country skiing. There are regular and electric bike rentals there.

Through a countryside of peace and fun alike

It is worth seeing the kingdom of water from above at first. There are several lookout towers there, the most popular definitely being the Karasín Lookout Tower from which you can see the entire Bystřicko Region like in the palm of your hand.
Maybe the pensive peace and quiet, and time that seems to pass slowly are the virtues of the region. You can go on a beautiful day hike in the nature park of the Svratka Highlands, around the Vír Reservoir through the Horní les Lookout Tower all the way to Dalečín where the Svratecká Water Educational Trail with twenty-two information boards starts. It is also a very popular cycling trail.
The EDEN Centre in Bystřice nad Pernštejnem mostly focuses on families with children. You can try a lot of things in the Mansion Yard, Highland Village or in the futuristic Eco-Pavilion, check out the exposition of a carpenter’s workshop and a blacksmith’s shop, children will especially like the Story of the Soil with a Molehill, you can walk through a brewery and a pub, learn about traditional crafts of Bystřicko in the open-air village museum, visit a hemp-kiln, a weaving mill, a house of an old healer, a bee-keeper, a mill, or a pottery workshop.  The exposition of the Municipal Museum is also worth a visit, especially the new installation called Living Vysočina Fish.
The Bystřicko trip through the Middle Ages is inspiring - whether you visit the remarkable ruins of Gothic castles - Zubštejn, Aueršperk, Pyšolec, Dalečín, Bukov – Lísek, Mitrov, or go straight to the shining gem of Bystřicko, the Gothic-Renaissance Pernštejn Castle, popular with film-makers from all over the world. There are several tours through the castle and a few surprises prepared for history enthusiasts.
The whole family can have great fun in Šikland, an entertainment park that you can find in two places – in Dolní Rožínka, there is the stylish haunted Draxmoor Château, Šiklův mlýn in Zvole nad Pernštejnem includes Western Town as well as the Motosport Military Off-road Area.
The sacred monuments are also entrancing – in Zvole, you will find the work of genius Jan Santini Aichel,the Church of St. Wenceslas. One of the oldest churches in Vysočina, the stone Church of St. Michael can be found in Vítochov. The cubist Church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Štěpánov nad Svratkou is also very interesting. And that is only a small taste of the region.