Shortly about the project, its origin and realisation
Historical, cultural and natural route around the Tatras is a common Polish-Slovakian branded tourist product of the Euroregion “Tatry”, which assumes the construction of a 250 kilometre-long loop around the Tatras with cycling, skiing and running routes. It runs through Podhale, Orava, Liptov and Spiš, historical and cultural lands located on both sides of the mountains. Its main idea is to make these extraordinary places and local values of scenic, cultural, historical and natural qualities more available, as their availability is limited or scarce for now. The course of the route presents the historical and cultural heritage: the oldest settlement patterns, former trade routes, architectural monuments, Gothic wooden churches, folk wooden constructions, as well as highlanders’ folklore and folk art. The route presents also the unique natural and scenic qualities of the areas (peatlands, mountain river valleys with beautiful gorges, distinctive rocks and hills allowing for the admiration of picturesque views, as well as enchanting forests and meadows).
The Route around the Tatras was planned to ensure that the cycling paths can be used for active tourism, are friendly for the environment and promote a healthy way to spend time as an alternative to other forms of travelling and sightseeing.
The origins of the strategic project of the Euroregion “Tatry”
Historical, cultural and natural Route around the Tatras had its beginnings in 2004, when the Euroregion “Tatry” Congress initiated this transborder undertaking. It is worth going back to these events to remind ourselves what the origins of this unique Polish-Slovakian project were.
Detailed timetable, information about the origins and ideas of the historical, cultural and natural route around the Tatras can be found in the presentation.
The beginnings of working on the Route around the Tatras are also described in an engaging article “Route around the Tatras. From the idea to the realisation” published as an introduction to the cycling guide for the first part of the route.
The Route around the Tatras as a branded tourist product of the Euroregion “Tatry”
The unique character of the historical, cultural and natural Route around the Tatras stems from the connection of few qualities, which together form this transborder tourist product:
- The Route around the Tatras makes the places of historical, cultural and natural value available to tourists and inhabitants. It ensures active recreation and safe travel.
- It ensures properly prepared routes for bikers, roller skaters, hikers and skiers.
- The cycling routes are accompanied by the infrastructure for the bikers.
- The recognition of the Route around the Tatras on the tourism market.
Stage I of the realisation of the Route around the Tatras
In 2014 and 2015, the first part of the investment was realised, within the Transborder Cooperation Programme the Republic of Poland - Slovak Republic 2007-2013. The realisation of the project engaged 13 partners - 4 from Poland and 9 from Slovakia: Czarny Dunajec Municipality as the lead partner, City of Nowy Targ, Nowy Targ Municipality, Szaflary Municipality, City of Kežmarok, Obec Vrbov, Obec Huncovce, City of Liptovský Mikuláš, City of Trstená, Obec Nižná, Obec Liesek, Obec Hladovka, Obec Sucha Horá.
Within the project, up to November 2015, 93.12 km of asphalt and gravel cycling routes will be built, running through the areas of high natural, cultural and historical value. The project includes 35 km of uninterrupted transborder route from Nowy Targ, on the former railway line from the Slovakian border in Sucha Horá and further to the City of of Trstená, as well as in Spiš (Vrbov-Kežmarok-Huncovce) and Liptovský Mikuláš. In winter, they can serve as running routes for the cross-country skiers. Along the route, we also created 15 cycling rest stops and a free parking lot in Czarny Dunajec.
The investment activities will be joined with the promotional activities, which will aim at raising awareness about the Route and the project. Each part of the cycling routes will be equipped with the informational boards. Polish-Slovakian cycling guide and maps of the route is published, as well as the webpage www.szlakwokoltatr.eu.
Stage II of the realisation of the Route around the Tatras
Stage II of the construction of cycling routes and cycling infrastructure within the project of the Route around the Tatras will be continued by 10 partners from Poland and Slovakia as part of the flagship project in the Transborder Cooperation Programme Interreg V-A Poland - Slovakia 2014-2020. European Groupings of Territorial Cooperation TATRY will be the leading partner of the project, and the partners will include 9 local governments - 4 from Poland: City of Nowy Targ, Szaflary Municipality, Nowy Targ Municipality, Łapsze Niżne Municipality, and 5 from Slovakia: Mesto Kežmarok, Mesto Spišská Belá, Mesto Stará Ľubovňa, Mesto Liptovský Mikuláš, Mesto Trstená.
The project assumes the construction of the further 59.44 km of cycling routes, together with the parking lot and shelters for the bikers. On the Polish side, the route’s continuation will run from Nowy Targ to the east, through Szaflary Municipality, Nowy Targ Municipality and Łapsze Niżne Municipality, up to the border crossing in Kacwin-Veľká Franková. On the Slovakian side, the partners will continue the construction from Ždiar towards the Tatranská Kotlina and Spišská Belá, up to Kežmarok. Moreover, in Slovakia, the partners will create further parts of the route in Liptovský Mikuláš, Trstená and between Hniezdne and Stará Ľubovňa. The realisation of the project is planned from November 2016 to October 2018.
The impact of the project’s investment parton most of the areas on both sides of the border will be increased by the undertakings regarding the cooperation in the development of cycling tourism in the borderland area, as well as by the integrated promotional activities presenting the new tourism product - The Route around the Tatras, together with its most valuable qualities. As the effect, the inhabitants and tourists will receive a transborder product, which will allow them to travel safely on a bike around the borderland areas and, at the same time, get to know the extraordinary historical, cultural and natural places unavailable to them before. It will substantially increase the tourist attractiveness of the borderland region and will answer the current needs connected to the development of alternative and pro-ecological forms of travelling and family leisure.
Portal Co-Financed By The European Union From The European Regional Development Fund Under
The Interreg V-A Pl-Sk Cross-Border Cooperation Program 2014-2020
Portal modernization co-financed by the Ministry of Development