People have been walking Greek land for thousands of years when you visit you see several ancient temples and heritage, but our connection to them is not always evident. Greek Paths of Culture is an initiative to restore footpaths across Greece having so far more than 658 km. These footpaths, hiking trails and bicycle routes are often ancient having been used for generations; reaching a cultural site through the same journey as ancient Greeks help create a meaningful connection to them and feel as they felt.
© Monopatia Politismou/Greek Paths of Culture, website
The project includes volunteers, multidisciplinary professionals and local actors to get together and restore paths for locals and visitors alike with 13 regions in Greece already implementing their actions. Moreover, the program encourages schools and children to include activities in their curricula to strengthen their relationship with their land.
©Elliniki Etairia – Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage, Europa Nostra
Greek Paths of Culture can be an easy and transcendent way for local communities to start relating to their recent past. Transportation by car or train was not the norm for our great-grandparents; walking in their shoes is a start to connect with heritage locally and then globally. Additionally restoring trails offers employment opportunities for local communities as well as augmenting their touristic capacity, therefore strengthening the local economy. Furthermore, clearing the paths improves the quality of life in the area as people and families have opportunities to spend time exploring nature in the area.
The poet Cavafy in Ithaka eloquently says that the trip is more important than the destination.
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