On the first day of the meeting partners gave their feedback on some of the main deliverables of the project, including the EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Route transnational website and smartphone application, and then presented the current development of their own national or regional websites and events. Particular focus was put on the national or regional action plans, needed for the development of the Transnational Action Plan, which will serve as a basis for improving the route in the long term.
In the (very windy) evening, the partners had the opportunity to discover the beautiful Dalmatian city of Zadar, the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia. A guided tour of Zadar’s old town took them from the fascinating Sea Organ, an experimental musical instrument playing music by way of sea waves and tubes located underneath a set of large marble steps, past the Greeting to the Sun, made of lighting elements that produce a show of lights at night, and to the Venetian Works of Defense, included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage list. The old town of Zadar is a marvelous mix of narrow streets, antique columns, cozy cafés, churches and medieval houses in the middle of which it is a pleasure to wander. The MEDCYCLETOUR partners then experienced Dalmatian cuisine in a delicious seafood restaurant.
The second day started with a workshop in which the project partners tried to identify the activities to include in a Long-Term Management Agreement (LTMA), aiming to ensure that the partnership keeps working together in the long-term to position EuroVelo 8 as a successful transnational long-distance cycle route. Representatives from the Montenegrin government then presented their section of the route, confirming their willingness to take part in the LTMA, and representatives from the Izmir Municipality gave a presentation about the proposed extension of EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Route in Turkey. The process to add this 500-km route to the EuroVelo network is currently ongoing.
Finally, partners looked at the next activities in the project, including the creation of a Charter for Sustainable and Responsible Cycling Tourism in the MED Area and a set of policies recommendations and brochures targeting decision makers. This successful meeting ended with a 22-km bike ride on EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Route starting in the charming town of Nin, where the partners visited the Salt Museum. This was the occasion for the partners to admire the first EuroVelo 8 signs in Croatia and to enjoy a beautiful scenery while cycling along the coast!
MEDCYCLETOUR stands for “MEDiterranean Cycle route for sustainable coastal TOURism” and its focus is the development of the EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Route. The overall objective of this project is to promote sustainable and responsible tourism in coastal areas across the Mediterranean, using the route to influence regional and national policies. The project has a budget of €2.5 million.
MECYCLETOUR is co-financed by the INTERREG MED Programme. To find out more about MEDCYCLETOUR, please visit the project’s website. And for more information about cycling along EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Route, we invite you to visit www.EuroVelo8.com.