Embark on a Journey to Well-being: the Launch of the HIKE Project

The European project “HIKE: HIKing for a healthier lifestylE along European Cultural Routes” kicked off on 1 April 2024.  

This Erasmus+ Sport project aims to increase healthy and active lifestyles via engagement of local communities into hiking and related sports activities along historic routes, such as Via Francigena, Via Egnatia, Tolerance way.  

With a budget of 200,000 euros allocated for a duration of 18 months, the project activities will unfold in three countries – Italy, Greece, and Türkiye, and bring together three associations – Turkish Culture Routes Society (project leader), the European Association of the Via Francigena Ways (EAVF), and the Social Co-operative Enterprise Paths of Greece

A series of free hiking events are scheduled along the Via Francigena in Italian Puglia region (September 2024), the Via Egnatia near Greek Edessa (October 2024), and in the vicinity of Izmit, along the Via Eurasia – Tolerance Way in Türkiye (November 2024), with an ambition to inspire a healthy lifestyle, physical activity, and social cohesion. Accompanied by experienced hiking experts, participants will be invited to follow in the footsteps of historical voyagers, connect with the past, and forge new links to their local heritage and fellow walkers. Through a blend of workshops, animated activities, and community involvement, the initiative will highlight the health benefits of hiking and empower slow and proximity tourism. 

The project will include celebration of the European Week of Sport 2024 (23 – 30 September 2024), animation and side events designed to celebrate walking as a universally accessible, all-year-round activity for participants of all backgrounds and abilities, offering a welcoming environment for sports enthusiasts and novices alike. Apart from fostering access to walking infrastructure for both locals and visitors, the initiative will empower local municipalities and associations with a methodology for organizing hiking events. 

Join us as we embark on this extraordinary journey of discovery and well-being and stay tuned to receive updates on the upcoming hikes.

Pictures via Unsplash