Saint Anastasia- the island of many tales

The island of St Anastasia, which has been marked on maps since the 17th century, harbours a rich tapestry of history. Legend tells of Anastasia, the healer whose body remained unharmed in a fire and who was therefore canonised. The monastery “St Anastasia Pharmacolitria”,” a solitary monastery in Bulgaria, dates back to the 15th century and has survived attacks by pirates over the years.

The island was converted into a prison for political dissidents in 1923 and was neglected after its closure due to the high cost of upkeep. When it was rediscovered by fishermen who were attracted by its beauty and the remains of shipwrecks, the municipal authorities decided to revitalise the island and restore the monastery.

Through captivating narratives and strategic marketing, stories of saints, pirates, shipwrecks and prisoners were told to pique the interest of tourists. Visitors can now explore the monastery, museum and breathtaking sea views on boat trips and enjoy fresh seafood at the island’s restaurant.

Why is it regenerative?

Saint Anastasia has a rich history, revitalising a monastery and attracting tourists with captivating tales and historical significance.

Project partners met in Aveiro on the 14th and 15th of September 2023. It was the perfect opportunity to visit the destination with regenerative glasses on, to understand its many assets but also some of the challenges the destination is facing. Face to face project meetings always provide the partners with the unique opportunity to learn about the work of the hosting partner and get valuable insights about the destination. In this case partners were hosted by the dedicated team of management and tourism professionals of the University of Aveiro who shared a wealth of insights about a city that was new to many of the participants.

The Enforce project is well on track when it comes to the project work plan, which means that after having completed the Best Practice collection of innovative examples about storytelling for regeneration and also the Storyteller’s Guide, partners used the meeting to discuss the development of the Enforce Training Programme.

For the next few months partners will be working on developing the content in line with guidelines provided by the University of Usak, our project partner from Turkey.
The course should be available for piloting in January/February 2024 and will also be available in the partner languages once all translations are finalised.

The ENFORCE team met in the beautiful city of Luxembourg for its kick-off meeting. It took place at the premises of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg (also known as CCIL), which opened its doors to warmly welcome all partners.

The team was aware of the importance of this first meeting and approached it with the same enthusiasm, as it plays an important role in building strong bonds that will contribute to the success of the entire cooperation. With the common goal of building a solid foundation, the participants discussed in depth the first steps required for the project ENFORCE.

During this visit, the project objectives were discussed in depth to ensure that each partner has a comprehensive understanding of the overarching goals. The outcome of the kick-off meeting was extremely satisfying for all partners and generated enthusiasm among the team. It was a success and left everyone inspired and energised.

The journey of ENFORCE has officially begun and with the collective expertise of the committed partners, there is no doubt that it will thrive and achieve remarkable results.


“The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein”

Project N: 2022-1-LU01-KA220-VET-000089887

© 2024 Enforce Project
Skip to content