Latest News

All EHTTA news releases and articles related to EHTTA activities are listed below, and updated regularly.

ScoopIt is a news service curated by the former Delegate General of EHTTA and former Director of the Institute of Cultural Routes, Mr Michel Thomas-Penette. He scans the news around the spa towns of Europe and collects them into a themed, constantly changing newsletter, full of interesting information on the culture and heritage of the EHTTA members. Please do check in on this service regularly, as it is an amazing resource!

Latest news
EHTTA General Assembly held in Greece for the first time PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 17:27

Loutraki 1

The Municipality of Loutraki-Perachora Ag.Thedori was the host of the Autumn meeting of the Cultural Route of Europe

Up to 4 new members from Spain, Russia, Georgia and Turkey joined the international network


Between October 2-5 representatives from EHTTA member towns and territories attended the General Assembly held in Loutraki-Perachora, a spa seaside town in the Corinthian Gulf, in Greece. The last assembly of 2017 came just after the Cultural Advisory Forum of Cultural Routes held in Lucca, where this association, responsible for the Cultural Route of European Thermal Heritage, joined the celebrations of the 30th Anniversary of the Cultural Routes Programme of the Council of Europe.


The participation of this international network within the Programe was one of the main topics discussed in the meeting, the second for 2017. Under the framework of the Council of Europe, EHTTA keeps welcoming new members,understanding that the knowledge and dissemination of a common heritage, European thermalism, is a powerful tool to foster dialogue and cooperation between countries. About this, EHTTA President, Giuseppe Bellandi, said “In a time in which Europe’s suffering, searching for its own identity, the Programme represents a serious answer for the future of Europe itself, placing in the middle intercultural dialogue".

30 years of Cultural Routes: Building dialogue and sustainable development through European values and heritage PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 September 2017 07:42

A Europe rich in history, heritage and values: the Council of Europe Cultural Routes’ programme celebrates its 30th anniversary, on the occasion of the 7th Advisory Forum in Palazzo Ducale and Real Collegio in Lucca (Italy) on 27-29 September, with a special ceremony to highlight the relevance of Cultural Routes for the promotion of cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue, and sustainable tourism.

The event is organized by the Council of Europe in co-operation with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, the Tuscany Region, the Lucca Province, the City of Lucca and the European Institute of Cultural Routes.

The first opening statement will be delivered by Deputy Secretary General Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni.


This year’s Forum “Building dialogue and sustainable development through European values and heritage” will provide a particular attention to the role of cultural routes in promoting Council of Europe’s values, local development and new spaces for intercultural dialogue. Over three days of workshops and interactive debates, three main themes will be explored:

  • 30 years of Cultural Routes history, values, and future perspectives;
  • Cultural heritage and sustainable tourism: democratic participation, local development, and accessibility;
  • Promoting cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and the role of culture in international relations.


The Forum will discuss trends and challenges in relation to Cultural Routes, providing a platform for sharing experiences, reviewing progress, analyzing professional practices, launching new initiatives and developing partnerships across Europe and beyond. Participants range from managers among the 31 cultural routes of the Council of Europe to representatives of national ministries, European Union and International Organisations, academics, experts and tourism professionals.


Award ceremony


An award ceremony for the personalities who have marked the history of the Cultural Routes programme will be organized at Teatro del Giglio on Wednesday 27th (21h00), together with a ceremony for the certified routes.



The Cultural Routes programme, launched by the Council of Europe in 1987, highlights the different contributions of countries and cultures of Europe to a common heritage, by means of a journey through space and time. From the legendary path of Santiago de Compostela Pilgrim routes and the historic journey along the Via Francigena to the cross-border legacy of the Viking Routes and the nordic trails of Saint Olav’s Ways; from the art and architecture of Transromanica to the Art Nouveau style and to the footsteps in concert halls and opera houses of European Mozart ways; from the past glories of the Via Regia to the mythical and sacred Routes of the Olive Tree : 31 cultural routes going through 56 countries emphasising European richness in architecture, landscape, culture, society and
religion. The past Advisory Forums were held in Lithuania (2016), Spain (2015), Azerbaijan (2014), Austria (2013), France (2012) and Luxembourg (2011). 2018 Annual Advisory Forum will take place in Görlitz (Germany).
The Enlarged Partial Agreement (EPA) on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, with headquarters in the Abbaye de Neumünster in Luxembourg since 2011, seeks to reinforce the potential of Cultural  Routes for cultural co-operation, sustainable territorial development, and social cohesion, with a particular focus on themes of symbolic importance for European unity, history, culture and values and the discovery of less well-known destinations. It helps to strengthen the democratic dimension of cultural exchange and tourism through the involvement of grassroots networks and associations, local and regional authorities, universities and professional organizations. It contributes to the preservation of a diverse heritage through theme-based and alternative tourist itineraries and cultural projects. An evaluation of certified routes is carried out regularly by the EPA Governing Board. As of January 1st 2018, 30 States will be members of the Enlarged Agreement. 


The Cultural routes and the Forum on social media:

Facebook: European Institute of Cultural Routes @CultureRoutes
Twitter: Cultural Routes EICR (@CultureRoutes)

Giuseppe Zaffuto, Spokesperson/Media officer, Tel. +33 3 90 21 56 04, Mob. +33 6 86 32 10 24

Europa Nostra UK Annual Meeting, Bath, 13th-15thSeptember, 2017 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 17 July 2017 08:00

galleria bath4

Europa Nostra UK, in association with the City of Bath World Heritage Site and the European Historic Thermal Towns Association (EHTTA), is holding its 2017 meeting in Bath from 13th until 15th September. The European Historic Thermal Towns Association (EHTTA), certified by the Council of Europe, is for the first time an official partner of the event.


This year’s Duncan-Sandys Lecture will be given by the distinguished Oxford archaeologist, Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe.


The theme of this day-conference is unsurprisingly the European Historic Spa Towns for which the organisers have assembled an array of distinguished and internationally celebrated speakers, including EHTTA Scientific Comittee's president, Mr. Paul Simons.


Bath, a member of EHTTA, is known for its ensemble of Georgian buildings, including the fine Assembly Rooms, and for its Roman Baths, the venue of the main Conference Dinner. A walk around town and an outing through the English countryside to see the delightful small City of Wells, with its famed Cathedral, will allow to participants to gain a context for our activities. The organisers have also made arrangements for participants to have the opportunity to enjoy the facilities of the Thermae Bath Spa.


EHTTA at the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 17:21



The European Association of Historic Thermal Towns participated in  the meeting of the Alliance on 27 April in BOZAR, Brussels. The event brought together members of this international platform in order to explore new paths of cooperation between organizations towards the celebrations of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.


The program included an exchange of views with the European Commission’s Head of the EYCH 2018 task force, Catherine Magnant, as well as a session for the preparation of the Voices of Culture meeting.


On the same day, the European Parliament adopted the Decision establishing 2018 as the European Year of Cultural Heritage by a large majority, securing an specific budget for cultural projects that will become part of the celebrations. Now the Council shall adopt the text, a decission which is expected to be taken in May.


The EHTTA became a member of The European Heritage Alliance 3.3 in March 2017 following its belief about thermal culture being a core part of European heritage. The Alliance is an informal European sectoral platform composed of more than 40 European or international networks and organisations active in the wider field of cultural heritage.Launched in 2011 on ocassion of the European Heritage Congress organised by Europa Nostra in Amsterdam, bringing together Europe’s civil society organisations, historic cities and villages, museums, heritage professionals and volunteers, etc.


The coordination of the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 is part of Europa Nostra’s network project Mainstreaming Heritage funded by Creative Europe.


+ info about the EYCH2018


+ info about The European Heritage Alliance


 HTI Conference in Croatia a great success for EHTTA PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 March 2017 13:43

HTI ForumOn February 29th a delegation of the European European Historical Thermal Towns Association attended the 7th HTI Conference in Rovinj, Croatia. This meeting point for the health tourism industry, the largest event of this kind in Central and Southeast Europe, welcomed EHTTA representatives in order to showcase the best practices and projects of the network, introducing the European Thermal Route of the Council of Europe to a large professional public.


EHTTA had a busy agenda for this 3 days conference. On the 1st March, Luca Bruschi, in charge of EHTTA international relations, showed off network’s good practices at a dedicated forum, which also included the presentation of the Thermal Atlas, an ongoing project to catalogue European thermal resources from an interdisciplinary approach that has already been developed in some of EHTTA members towns. The project aims to preserve and raise public awareness about abandoned thermal heritage, in the scope of the European Year of Cultural Heritage to celebrate in 2018. Along with the EHTT Forum, the Association was represented as well in the panel "Thermal Spas and rehabilitation centres are going big!”, where President Giuseppe BELLANDI participated as a speaker, introducing EHTTA involvement and goals on thermalism and health tourism.

European Health Industry (EHTI) Summit

During the 7th HTI Conference, the Croatian Chamber of Economy organized the European Health Tourism Industry Summit – a closed 120 min session that brought together leaders from European and international institutions, associations and industry. EHTTA was represented by Marcel MEDAK, Medical Director of Daruvar Spa - EHTTA member- at this meeting, which aimed to discuss common challenges and opportunities in creating a joint platform to boost Europe as tourism destination. The outcome document agreed by Summit participants gathers relevant topics and conclusion on the subject, and will be submitted to MEPs and other relevant European institutions to underscore the importance of health tourism in this strategy.


First 2017 EHTTA meeting in Enghien-les-Bains: Ready to celebrate 30th anniversary of the Council of Europe Routes Programme PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 09:47

16114023 10206834678140176 8086965181236539667 nThe first Executive Council meeting of the European Association of Historic Thermal Towns took place between 18th - 19th January in Enghien-les-Bains (France). Participants had the opportunity to attend a fundraising workshop focused on EU Structural Funds, brainstorming potentials projects that may contribute to boost EHTTA’s labour on the safeguarding and protection of European thermal heritage. The session was followed up by a discussion on the work programme and agenda for 2017, addressing EHTTA next public events - HTI conference in Rovinj (Croatia) and Intercare Medical Tourism Trade Fair in Milan (Italy) - and the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of the Council of Europe Routes Programme, marked this year.


On the 19th EHTTA representatives also attended Les Thermalies, France’s most important professional fair on thermalism and wellness, where they held a press conference with the support of the French Ministries of Culture and Communication and Tourism. “We are pleased to hold this very first Executive Council of our association in Enghien-les-Bains, a place not only well-known for its mineral hot springs waters but also for its creativity, as it has been designated a UNESCO City of Media Arts. It is a perfect example of how health, wellness and culture go hand in hand in our member spa towns” said EHTTA President Giuseppe Bellandi.


Congratulations to the newly elected President of the European Parliament, Mr A. Tajani


The European Historic Thermal Towns Association welcomes the election of Mr. Antonio Tajani as the new President of the European Parliament, confident that this decision is a step ahead in the valorization of European cultural heritage as a tool for sustainable development. As Commissioner of Tourism (2009 - 2014), he was a key actor for the implementation of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes, boosting the cooperation between the Council of Europe and the European Commission which has made possible for this programme to keep growing year by year.


“We know that President Tajani has taken into particular consideration our project and our network of thermal towns, as well the Council of Europe Cultural Routes Programme. We had the opportunity to share with him the celebrations of European Tourism Day in 2010 (Brussels) and 2011 (Budapest), where he explicitly mentioned our thermal route and EHTTA as a model of good practice for sustainable and tourist development of territories" Bellandi said.

EHTTA members gathered in Ourense, Spain, for the 17th edition of TERMATALIA PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 28 September 2017 06:30

22008378 1462456547177193 8417248965450463491 nEHTTA President, Giuseppe Bellandi, represented the network at this professional trade fair


The European Historic Thermal Towns Association participated in the last edition of TERMATALIA, the International Exhibition of Thermal, Health and Wellness Tourism that is held in Ourense, EHTTA founder member, every two years. Strongly linked to Latin America, Termatalia gathers for a 3-days expo thermalism professionals from several countries around the world. For this edition, which took place between September 20-23, over 30 countries were present at theevent, with more than 200 exhibitors and 40 international tour operators. EHTTA attended with a promotional stand, and was represented by its president, Giuseppe Bellandi, Mayor of Montecatini Terme.

EHTTA welcomes the Brazilian town of Poços de Caldas as its first overseas member PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 27 June 2017 07:46

comitiva completa

The decision was approved during the EHTTA General Assembly in Caldas da Rainha (Portugal) last May

Acknowledging the influence of European spa culture beyond its continental boundaries, the European Route of Historic Thermal Towns of the Council of Europe has make a step forward on its international relations by welcoming the entrance of the Brazilian town of Poços de Caldas as new member.


Poços de Caldas, a town designed under the guidelines of European spa architecture styles, has the honour to hold one of the very first thermal establishment of South America.  Graced with plenty of hot springs still gushing hot waters nowadays, one of its main attraction is the spa "Thermas Antônio Carlos", built in 1931, and whose imposing neoclassical architecture evokes the old days where the Portuguese Royal family and the Brazilian aristocracy came here to sample the sulphurous waters.

Stefano Dominioni, Director, European Institute of Cultural Routes, "Channels of Dialogue" PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 27 March 2017 19:18

The European Route of HIstoric Thermal Towns is one of over 30 Routes certified by the COuncil of Europe, all based ion themes whic are central to the cultural heritage of Europe.  The Cultural Route Programme  was launched by the Council of Europe in 1987 with the Route of Santiago de Compostela, and now, in 2017, it is celebrating its 30th anniversary.


On the ocassion of this important date, the EHHTA would like to share the inspiring interview with Stefano Dominioni, Director of the European Institute of Cultural Routes, published on the website Best Cultural Destinations. A vivid narration of the Cultural Routes Programme of the Council of Europe, a journey tohrough space and time to understand Europe's shared and living cultural heritage:


Over the past 30 years, the notion of cultural heritage has evolved. Once thought of simply as a particular architectural or monumental object which needed to be preserved for future generations, the term now means an appreciation of a broader cultural and territorial heritage context imbued with its immateriality. This evolution has fostered a deeper understanding of the value of a culture and a place, and the meaning its inhabitants attach to its heritage, in both its tangible and intangible manifestations, spanning from churches to local traditions, and from architecture to landscapes. 

Continue reading the full interview in BCD website:

The European Route of Historic Thermal Town at the 7th HTI conference in Croatia PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 February 2017 17:11


The European Association of Historic Thermal Towns (EHTTA) will attend for the second time the HTI (Health Tourism Industry) conference that will take place in the beautiful city of Rovinj, Croatia, between February 28th and March 2nd. More than 30 European spa destinations will be represented by EHTTA at this prestigious event, one the largest meeting for the spa industry in Central and Southern Europe: an excellent opportunity to showcase their unique historic and cultural heritage, along with their healing mineral-water springs.


On March, 1st EHTTA will hold a dedicated session in the framework of the HTI conference, introducing this network, which runs the Council of Europe’s Cultural Route of Historic Thermal Spa Towns, as its latest projects for the promotion and safeguarding of European thermalism. The forum will be conducted by LUCA BRUSCHI, International relationships and Communitarian policies at EHTTA, and MARCEL MEDAK, Director ar Daruvar Thermal Spa and President of the Health Tourism Clouster of Croatia. EHTTA Scientific Committee Vice-president MARIO CRECENTE will present the Thermal Atlas of Europe, an exciting project to map and document all the spa towns and thermal resources across Europe. The Mayor of Krapinske Toplica (Croatia), ERNEST SVAŽIĆ will also take part in this session.


During the 3-days event, the EHTTA wil have an exhibition stand at the hotel Lone in Rovinj, so visitors can establish further contact with the association.


The EHTTA was created in 2009 in Brussels, and soon after, in 2010 was designated responsible for the European Route of Historic Thermal Towns of the Council of Europe. It features some of the most important spa cities across the continent, including Daruvar (Croatia) Spa (Belgium), Budapest (Hungary), Vichy and Evian (France), Montecatini and Acqui Terme (Italy), Baden-Baden (Germany), Bursa (Turkey) or and Loutra Pozar (Greece), a few among its 38 members in 13 European countries. The aims of this European network are to obtain recognition for the innovative and cultural qualities of European spa towns at the European Union level, in order to develop a new plan for the tourist sector by encouraging cross-border tourism. EHTTA also encourages the economic development of spa towns and the safeguarding of their cultural and built heritage through exchanges of experience and good practices at European level.  

Don't miss the opportunity to meet our association at the HTI conference - Register here:
EHTTA at Les Thermalies, the leading event for water and well-being in France PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 02 January 2017 08:19

The European Historical Thermal Towns Association will hold a press event at Le Carrousel du Louvre on January 19th

The European Historical Thermal Towns Association, responsible for the eponymous Cultural Route certified by the Council of Europe, will take part in Les Thermalies, one of the leading professional event dedicated to wellness and thermalism in France. The international network will hold a press conference and presentation at the fair, scheduled for January 19th, at 14.30 h, at Le Carrousel du Louvre (Paris). The purpose of this meeting is to present EHTTA actions and prospects for 2017, with particular emphasis on the the preparations for European Cultural Heritage Year 2018.


EHTTA Honorary president, Mr. Christian Corne, and Financial Manager, Mrs.Marion Vansingle, will be the speakers introducing the labour of the association, which works for the valorization and recognition of the European thermal culture. They will be joined by the Responsible for Cultural Itineraries from the French Ministry of Culture and Communications, Mr. Phillip Denis-Fee, who will discuss the presence of the European Cultural Routes programme within the French context, highlighting the contribution of the EHTTA to the promotion of French thermal heritage, gathering key agents such as the Fédération Thermale et Climatique Française (FTCF) or the Route des Villes d’Eaux du Massif Central. Mr. Michel Playe, responsible for the tourist office of Enghien-les-Bains, will also take part, proving insight into the experience of this French town, its benefits and possibilities for international positioning. More information about this international association which represents almost 40 historic thermal spa towns in 13 European countries will be available at the Enghien-les-Bains stand in Les Thermalies.

Travel agents, journalists, wellness stakeholders and authorities are welcomed to join EHTTA event on Thursday, January 19th, at 14.30 h at Les Thermalies (Carrousel du Louvre - Paris) - Salle Mezzanine Dali

La version française à télécharger ici

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