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Project’s News (July 2011)


Fighting the desolation, our mountainous settlements present perceptible increase of visits in Western Voio, by people that are interested in another type of tourism close to the nature and low budget. The reasons of this new situation are many: the beautiful artificial lake at Vithos, the mapping of the stone bridges, the interventions in the villages' character by the Local Authorities, the travel guides that have been developed, the continuous attempts to present these areas by the Ecological Movement of Kozani, the Egnatia Street, the thematic events at the villages, as well as, the public interest for another way of tourism more alternative, close to the nature, the history and the culture of this area.

The project entitled «Sustainable tourism development by constructing a footpath network in Kozani prefecture» with action area the Voio mountain, is coordinated by University of West Macedonia and is funded by the Region of West Macedonia in the frame of the PINDOS Project, during the last two (2) years and is main objective is the enhancement of this strength. The website is translated in three languages and has already become the main touristic gate of Voio, exceeding 100.000 visits during the last 18 months, while is continuously enriched with data from the region such as maps, photos, scientific articles and tv shows. The first three (3) footpaths will be soon available for a call for tenders, while the other studies for 9 more footpaths in the region are in progress and will be connected with the first ones that have been corrected in the frames of this project, forming two great networks of footpaths with a length of 120 and 70 km, respectively for Voio and Askio mountains. The relative tv show is in its final performance and the travel guide (in three (3) languages) is also in progress. Two electronic infokiosks will be allocated at the entrance of the Prefecture of Kozani building and one in the front of Municipality of Voio buiding, in order more and more to be informed about the project's results and the Prefecture of Kozani. Additionally, everything is ready for the allocation of the photovoltaic which will supply with electricity the mountainous settlement of the Hiking Club of Eordaia at Siniatsiko mountain.

 The construction and dissemination of the footpaths, not only as routes but also as study of the nature and inventory of the historic and cultural aspects of the area, have lead a number hiking clubs from Thessaloniki and Ioannina to visit the area. 30 people from the hiking club of Thessaloniki has visited last spring the footpath «Pentalofos - Kotili». Their leader, Mr. Kutupas Thomas, has pointed that he is surprised by the natural beauty of the area. The same time 130 people from the same club as well as from Ioannina have visited the area of St. Ilias of Pentalofos and the location of Skotomeno Nero at Vithos. The leader, Mr. Baltatzis Thanasis, has also mentioned that he is really impressed about the footpath and the waterfalls. The responsible of the hiking clubs returned satisfied concerning the organization of the footpaths, although they are not completed (mapping, signs, clearing etc.) and pointed that they will come and visit the area every year by organizing hiking tours.

The project continuous without any problems for the third year, despite the predicaments of these days. For this, the Perfecture of West Macedonia contributed in a decisive way, as well as the local people which supported our work and makes us continue with more zeal our attempt for the successful finalization of the project.

Environmental Technology Laboratory
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of West Macedonia

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