Connection and Utilization of Hiking Routes of the Regions of Western Macedonia and Epirus

"A journey of thousands of kilometers begins with the first step"

The regions of Western Macedonia and Epirus are areas rich in natural beauty and biodiversity, authentic with high preservation of their traditional palimpsests. Authenticity, tradition, local architecture, forests, gorges, water and human stories make a varied puzzle of colors, textures, flavors, stories. Unique landscapes, with great alternations, complete the rich history of the place, as preserved by as many written testimonies as the structured environment or the rhythms of life in this spooky world of Greece.

It is proposed the thematic connection from Prespa to Central Zagori through Kastoria, Nestori, Grammos, Konitsa, with humble but also ambitious ideas, with spontaneity and methodology.

How is this connection suggested? With the emergence of hiking trails following both the Epirus Trail (Epirus), the European trail E6 (Western Macedonia) and other routes that history and locals have carved and walked in the past to the present day.

This promotion is based on both technology (website) and physical presentation activities (readings, competitions, festivals, trainings) in the context of a continuous presentation of all the resources of the areas along the paths.

The aim is to create a conduit - a flow of ideas, people, images, news through the path that is offered for it, since for each path the end is the land beyond. the flow. over there.
In other words Yonder!

What can local communities expect from this trip?
Attracting young, conscious people who are looking for authentic experience.
The movement of the local economy in real and authentic terms as the hiker seeks the true in the daily life of the village.
The revitalization of the local economy and society through the emergence of social enterprises and new jobs. And so many other benefits, as long as (local communities) do the right thing.
The impersonation of themselves.

The Yonder Festival * was initiated by the civil society organizations, Epechina Chora, IASIS and European Expression, in order to support in the coming years over thousands of young people at national and European level to take initiatives, participate in the public and be informed for environmental issues promoting a new green lifestyle. It also invites visitors, hikers and tourists to discover the various manifestations and stimuli offered by Northern Greece and more specifically the Region of Western Macedonia and Epirus, so that these points become a green meeting point for young people. , but also people of all ages from Greece and abroad.

* The Yonder Festival is under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment, INEDIVIM, regions of Central Macedonia, Western Macedonia, Epirus, municipalities of Zagori and Nestorio, National Olympic Academy, Panhellenic Union of TA ‘Kleisthenos-B’.

Detailed program

Friday, June 25, 2021

Arrival of participants in the working group
20.00 Working Lunch and Preparatory Meeting

Saturday, June 26, 2021

08.00 - 10.00 Hiking for participants in the working group

11.00 - 16.00 Workshop
Municipal Council Hall of Nestorio

Presentation of current situation, good practices and suggestion of next steps

The working meeting of local government bodies, collective bodies, businessmen and representatives of civil society aims to network private and public bodies in the region of Western Macedonia for the restoration and utilization of hiking trails.

Objectives of the workshop

Networking of bodies, informal groups and individual active citizens: Private companies, civil society organizations and active citizens cooperate with the Greek regional bodies and the municipalities for the utilization of hiking routes and the exchange of good practices.
Investigation and formation of immediate, short-term, medium-term and long-term goals and agreement on the first steps of implementation.
Investigate possible sources of funding.
Establishment of working groups in each area.

Representatives of the regions of Western Macedonia and Epirus and other regional bodies
Representatives of the Tourism Company of Western Macedonia
Representatives of the municipalities of Prespa, Kastoria, Nestori, Konitsa, Zagori
Representatives of the financial sector
Representatives of civil society, associations,

Elias Gartzonikas, Epirus Trail, Epirus Region, Tourism Directorate, Regional Councilor
Charitakis Papaioannou, Epirus Trail, EPIRUS DEVELOPMENT SA, Vikos-Aoos Geopark
Vassilis Karachalios, HELLENIC SOCIETY for Environment and Culture, "Culture Trails

11:00 Greetings
11:10 Short introduction, Gabriela Scheiner, Yonder Coordinator
11:15 ‘Creation and maintenance of a network of hiking trails’, Elias Gartzonikas, Charitakis Papaioannou,
11:45 ‘Financing Tools, NN
What programs can be funded?
Who can submit proposals?
What organizational structures support these processes?
12:15 ‘Paths, nature and culture’, Vassilis Karachalios
12:45 ‘Utilization of Paths’, Dimitris Lemonakis
13:15 Proposal for the Hiking Connection Zagori - Nestorio - Prespes
E. Gartzoniaks, Ch. Papaioannou, M. Ntaoutis, N. Mertzanidis

14.00 Break
14:15 Discussion
15:30 Results and Next Steps
16:00 Closing and Lunch at the River party (offered by the Municipality of Nestori)

Sunday, June 27, 2021, 11.00 - 16.00
Lunch follows (offered by the Municipality of Nestori)

Meeting of the working group for the creation of an Action Plan

Detailed discussion based on the results of June 26 and with a goal
Proposal for a line from the borders of the region of Epirus to Prespa
Selection of DM body for necessary interventions for the hiking route
Proposal of actions in relation to culture, history and environment along the hiking trails
Proposal for the financing of actions and actions
Establishment of a coordination group
Next steps

Elias Gartzonikas, Epirus Trail, Epirus Region, Tourism Directorate, Regional Councilor
Charitakis Papaioannou, Epirus Trail, EPIRUS DEVELOPMENT SA, Vikos-Aoos Geopark
Vassilis Karachalios, HELLENIC SOCIETY for Environment and Culture, "Paths of Culture"
Dimitris Lemonakis, Kedros SA
NN, Managing Authority
NN, Tourism Company
Ioanna Daoutis, Deputy Mayor of Nestori
Nikos Giannis, AMKE Epikeina Chora
Eleni Pagratiou, Architect
Nikos Petsios, Businessman
NN, Zagori area
Gabriela Scheiner, Yonder Coordinator
Sofia Melissourgou, Yonder
Nikos Baltas, General Manager of AMKE IASIS
Danae Kampani, AMKE IASIS, Economist
Theofilos Agapitos, AMKE IASIS, Civil Engineer
Christina Marabouti, AMKE IASIS, Environmentalist
Maria Marioli, AMKE European Expression
Michalis Daoutis, Alexandros Guesthouse, Hiker
Thomas Daoutis, Mountain Leader
Gogo Ioannou, Businessman
Nikolas Mertzanidis, Koin.S.Ep. "The Eternal - neverest" (Trail Network)
SW from Prespa area
SW from Konitsa area
SW from Kastoria area
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