Member States of the Enlarged Partial Agreement (EPA) on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe have decided to re-certify EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail. It is the only one of the 17 EuroVelo routes to be a Cultural Route of the Council of Europe, making it part of a large family of 48 certified routes, spanning different cultural, historical and artistic periods.
The Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe Programme was launched in 1987 and demonstrates how the heritage of the different countries and cultures of Europe contributes to a shared and living cultural heritage. Now boasting 48 certified routes, the certification is a seal of quality of routes. The broader network is a platform for best practices exchange and learning among culture, heritage and tourism professionals.
EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail is a key testimony to recent European history, crossing 20 European countries that were once divided by the Iron Curtain. It is a 9,950 km-long living history lesson but also provides a reminder of the importance of peace and reconciliation in European history. Known as its 'Godfather', the route was the brainchild of former MEP Michael Cramer, who is still involved in its promotion as the author of Bikeline guidebooks. The route has been part of the EuroVelo network since 2011.
ECF has been coordinating the EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail recertification in 2022 and 2023, together with a large number of partners, including 12 National EuroVelo Coordination Centres all the way from Norway to Türkiye. The route is now being developed as a tourism product thanks to a new Interreg Central Europe project – ICTr – involving 8 countries across 3,000 km of the route, including ECF as a project partner.