CYCLING THROUGH THE HISTORY – REVITALIZATION OF THE OLD NARROW GAUGE RAILWAY “ĆIRO”
Narrow gauge railway in Herzegovina/ Dubrovnik regions was built in the early 20th century, and connected Mostar with Dubrovnik and Konavle in Croatia. The first ‘’Ćiro’’ passed this railway on 15th July, 1901. The idea to revitalize this line as a bicycle rout was born jointly from both side of the border in order to preserve this railway line as a historical heritage and to develop new tourism offer.
Objective of the project
Overall objective of the project is to contribute to integration of the economy in the bordering regions of Dubrovnik-Neretva County and Herzegovina through development of new joint tourism offer.
The overall objective will be achieved through the Specific objectives:
– To revitalize the old narrow gauge railway ‘Ćiro’ between Mostar and Konavle through establishment of bicycle trail as new joint tourist product with clear identity and image.
– To increase quantity and quality of tourism offer and tourism services in bordering regions of Dubrovnik-Neretva County and Herzegovina.
This project is financed by European Union through Cross-Border Programme Croatia-Bosnia and Herzegovina 2007-2013; IPA Component II – Cross-Border Cooperation. Functional Lead Partner is Public Company “Vjetrenica-Popovo polje”, while the Co-applicants are: REDAH, Municipality of Čapljina, Municipality of Ravno, Municipality of Neum , Tourist organization of the City of Trebinje and “Herzegovina Bike” Association from Bosnia and Herzegovina side, and Tourist board of Konavle, and Dubrovnik Neretva County Regional Development Agency DUNEA from Croatian side.
Total available budget for the project amounts 643.266,42 € European Union co-finances 539,376.45€ (296,396.47 € for B&H and 242,979.98 € for Croatia) meaning 83.78 % of total available budget. Functional lead partner and other partners co-finance the project in total amount of 103,889.97€. Period of the implementation of the project will be 24 months
– New tourism product with clear cross border identity. This biking trail connects two different cross border regions and as such will be recognized as a unique tourism offer with clear identity. The trail will connect number of tourist attractions from both regions (B&H and Croatia): Old Bridge in Mostar (UNESCO), Old Town of Počitelj, Ortodox Church in Žitomislić, Park of Nature Hutovo Blato, Roman ruins Mogorjelo, Vjetrenica Cave (UNESCO Tentative list) , Ortodox Monastery Zavala, Popovo karst field, Old Town of Dubrovnik (UNESCO), Konavle karst field, wineries, bridges, tunnels, rivers, fields, etc. and this trails will connect all these attraction together.
– Small scale tourism infrastructure which specifically relates to cleaning and equipment of new cycling trail on the paths of old narrow railway gauge; Initiation of new tourism offer in the Adriatic hinterland and rural area. This offer will be something new in the region and the regions will have new tourism offer;
– Training of people in rural tourism offer based on the concept of Community Based Development
– Joint tourism and marketing plan that will enable promotion of this unique tourism offer in the regions, through public awareness activities and information services to the local businesses and communities, communication campaigns to improve awareness of natural and cultural heritage and tourism contribution to development. Joint study of integration of cultural and natural heritage into tourism offer along the new Old Narrow Gauge Railway cycling trail ‘’Ćiro.
– Introduced modern technologies and information systems aimed at improving visitors’ information servicing, marketing and planning of tourist destinations such as GPS mapping, QR codes for smart phones, web pages, data bases, etc.