Routes4U answers call for short-haul tourism promoting new cultural routes across Macro Regions in Europe

In these times, Europe’s tourism sector experiences a new demand for special and diverse short trips closer to home. A joint project of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe, and DG Regio of the European Union. Routes4U proposes you different itineraries in your region to accommodate your wanderlust.

Routes4U combines a selection of the Council of Europe’s 38 certified Cultural Routes and the four EU macro-regional strategies, supported by the European Commission, giving tourists a chance to discover Europe’s diverse landscape of cultures, history, and gastronomy in the Adriatic and Ionian, the Alpine, the Baltic Sea and the Danube Regions.

In a new video launched today, Routes4U will take you on a breathtaking adventure on new cultural routes under development throughout the European continent and beyond, covering 31 countries: 19 EU member states and 12 non-EU countries. Enjoy a cultural journey – explore your macro-region!

With more than 15 years’ experience as a certified Cultural Route of the Council of Europe, the Routes of the Olive Tree gives visitors a taste of the life, traditions and history of the Mediterranean people, with world-famous festivals, exhibitions, music and product tasting events.

The project of the Iron Age Route around the Danube river basin uncovers ancient treasures in unspoilt nature, allowing visitors to discover the hidden archaeological heritage that spans this fascinating region.

The legacy of the Roman empire is still felt today in European culture, inspiring generations of artists, urbanists and architects. The theme of Roman Heritage gives visitors a chance to uncover lesser-known Roman sites across nine countries in the Adriatic and Ionian regions, while the Via Claudia Augusta takes tourists on a journey along a Trans-Alpine line of communication developed during the reign of Emperor Claudius.

A trip to the Byzantine era takes visitors through the countries of the Danube region along the Cyril and Methodius Route to follow in the footsteps of the two saints whose contribution to the growth of the common Christian roots of Europe included the creation of the Glagolitic alphabet and the translation of the Bible into the Slavic language.

The Maritime Heritage of the Baltic Sea offers the opportunity to explore submerged landscapes from the Stone Age, an abundance of shipwrecks from centuries of intense trade and conflict, as well as beautiful coastal landscapes that have shaped the cultural identity of the region.

Dedicated to modern architecture as a binding element of the Baltic Sea region, you will discover emblematic 20th-century design through the works of this seminal Finnish designer Alvar Aalto, who laid the groundwork for the humanised, user-friendly environments we take for granted today.

Finally, the Via Alpina and Mountain Heritage, a network of five hiking routes across the Alps, opens up the alpine experience to everyone through all seasons, in a journey through serene forests, rocky mountain ranges, and crystalline lakes.

You can download the videos (a compilation of all the routes or the individual routes) and other information here:

About the Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe

The Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe display the rich and diverse heritage of Europe. At present, 38 Cultural Routes have received the certification of the Council of Europe. They protect and promote the rich European heritage for future generations.

About the EU macro-regions
Four macro-regions have been developed – the Adriatic and Ionian, the Alpine, the Baltic Sea and the Danube Region. They are characterized by common features, challenges and opportunities and provide a platform for transnational cooperation.

About Routes4U

Routes4U is a joint programme between the Council of Europe and the European Union to enhance regional development in the Adriatic-Ionian, the Alpine, the Baltic Sea and the Danube macro-regions through cultural routes, heritage policies and practices. In line with the Faro Convention (Council of Europe, 2005), the project also promotes the importance of local citizens and their strong connection with their heritage in the creation of a common European narrative.

About the EU Macro Regional Strategies

There are four EU Macro Regional Strategies in Europe: the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, the EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region and the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region. They provide a platform of exchanges amongst different actors at several levels in order to tackle the challenges those macro-regions face in common. Macro Regional Strategies deliver orientations to shape policies at local, regional, national and European scale. They promote the value of cooperation and coordination in sectorial fields, together with the inclusion of civil society.