On April 1 2019 the European Association of the Via Francigena Ways engaged in an ambitious project ‘Italy, Greece and Turkey on Foot’ which aims to develop a walking route connecting Europe and Asia – Via Eurasia.
The Via Eurasia will link Europe and Asia and would allow hikers to enjoy the ever-changing landscapes, learn new traditions and meet local communities on the way. The Route will start in Rome and will follow Via Francigena del Sud, then cross Greece, Albania and Northern Macedonia on the Via Egnatia and pass through Turkey with the end point in Demre.
This project is led by a non-governmental organization from Turkey Culture Routes Society (CRS) with co-applicants of the EAVF and an association in Greece Trace Your Eco.
The idea of creating the Via Eurasia was born out of the cooperation between Turkey’s Culture Routes Society (CRS) and the EAVF. In 2016 the two organisations started working together on a project ‘Europe to Turkey on Foot Project’.
The project’s partners and associates collaborate to prepare and submit an application dossier to certify the Via Eurasia as a European Cultural Route of the Council of Europe in 2020. Once certified, the Via Eurasia, with a total length of about 6000 km, will be the longest walking route in the European Cultural Routes Programme.
The kick-off meeting of the project took place on 16 – 18 April 2019 in Istanbul, Turkey. The focus of the meeting was to introduce all the stakeholders to each other and define the roles and responsibilities of each co-applicant and associates. It also aimed to increase exchange and dialogue between partners, leading to the on-going support of the future route by the public and private bodies.