Get Ready to HIKE: sneaky preview at the walking events across Italy, Greece, and Türkiye

[Credit picture: Road to Rome - The European Association of the Via Francigena ways

Having launched the HIKE project this April, we are excited to share some details and locations about the upcoming hikes across three project countries. Check out the provisional programme below and join us on a journey through the stunning landscapes of Italy, Greece, and Türkiye.

In Italy, our September 2024 schedule features 6 free hikes along the picturesque Via Francigena in the Apulia region, stretching from Bari to Brindisi. Planned for the weekends 12 – 15 and 27 – 29 September, these hikes will take you from the urban charm of Bari through the coastal beauty of Polignano a Mare, Monopoli and Ostuni to the historic sites of Brindisi. These events are designed to coincide with the European Week of Sport, integrating lively celebrations and workshops that enhance the walking experience with a festive spirit. The workshops will specifically focus on physical preparation for hikes and educating participants on security measures along the walking itineraries.

The Via Francigena, an ancient pilgrimage route, spans from the cathedral city of Canterbury in England, through France and Switzerland, to culminate in Rome, ultimately extending to Santa Maria di Leuca in Italy. Historically important, this medieval route facilitated cultural, commercial, and religious exchanges across Europe, connecting the British Isles with the heart of the Roman Catholic Church.

In Greece, the majestic Via Egnatia awaits you in October 2024, where you can explore the traces of the ancient road once built by Roman engineers. Discover the route, spanning today’s settlements from Edessa to Arnissa, including Agras, Nisi, Ekklisiochori, and Prophitis Ilias. The adventure starts on 11 October from the scenic Edessa waterfalls, meandering through the agricultural plains of Agras, and culminating beside the tranquil Lake Vegoritida in Arnissa. The hiking continues the following weekend, beginning on 18 October with a 17 km circular route around Prophitis Ilias and concluding on 20 October with a 10 km educational walk through Edessa’s historic and industrial landmarks.

Constructed between 146 and 120 BC, the Via Egnatia remains a monumental symbol of Roman engineering, spanning approximately 1,120 km from Durrës to Byzantium, now Istanbul. Named after the Roman Governor of Macedonia, Gnaeus Egnatius, this road was pivotal in enhancing the prosperity of the Eastern Roman Empire.

Lastly, in Türkiye, the November 2024 hikes invite visitors to explore the landscapes and cultural heritage around Izmit, along the Tolerance way. On 1 – 3 and 8 -10 November these hikes range from gentle walks through historical districts to more vigorous treks across rural backdrops, including but not limited to Izmit’s waterside, Kayalar Nature Parks, and the villages of Servetiye and Kırıntı, along with the ancient aqueducts near Gölkay Park. Animations along the routes will provide fascinating insights into the region’s past and present, blending physical activity with educational experiences.

The Tolerance Way, a scenic route of approximately 126 km between Izmit (Nicomedia) and Iznik (Nicaea), is inspired by the paths historically used by figures such as the French traveler Charles de Peyssonnel and Canadian botanist Robert Chamber. It traces its origins back to the Roman era, significantly marked by the issuance of the Edict of Tolerance by Emperor Galerius in AD 311, which laid the early foundations of religious freedom.

Each location offers its own array of distinct experiences, ensuring that every hiker, regardless of skill level, finds something inspiring. Stay tuned for more details as we approach the event dates.

The European Association of the Via Francigena ways

The Paths of Greece

Culture Routes Society

[Credit picture: Road to Rome – The European Association of the Via Francigena ways]