Author

Toni Zorić

Three days of events, filled all week and over 600 participants and guests from the countries of the region, are just some of the numbers from the Blidinje BIKE Festival, that is, the festival of mountain biking and cycle tourism. The festival ended on Sunday with the spectacular victories of some of the best professional cyclists and the announcement of the winners, but Friday and Saturday also met the expectations of all present.

Blidinje is a well-known region in the large community of mountain bikers, especially after the Blidinje BIKE Festival event, which has been promoting and sending positive images of this Nature Park all over the world for 4 years in a row. The same thing is happening this year as global media once again promote and report from the festival; but of course the media are not alone, participants and visitors share news with millions of their followers on social networks.

The festival ended on Sunday with the central event and the main race XCM Herzegovina, and Vedad Karić (big marathon), Karla Kustura (small marathon) and Ivan Soldo (small marathon) were the best in the race. The local drivers showed their experience on the tracks of Blidinje and their good knowledge of this area since they are participating in this event for the fourth year in a row.

The Blidinje BIKE Festival event started already on Friday; 22.7. with the presentation of the project to all participants of the event, i.e. everything that the organizers have prepared for the weekend ahead. Traditionally, Saturday, as a day for recreationists, whole families and the youngest ages, brought very exciting events, such as the “Ajduka Trail” bike ride, which promoted the beautiful areas of the Blidinje Nature Park to all recreationists, but also a children’s race that brought a lot of excitement, plenty of happiness and laughter . For the youngest competitors, we have prepared a race on a 1 km circular track divided by age in a wonderful environment near the Staza restaurant in the center of the festival, where the youngest had the opportunity to enjoy the additional facilities offered by the BBF.

Fierce, daring, brave, daring, fearless, lion-hearted kids, with the proverbial loud and numerous support of the audience, won their first medals and dreamed of new sports successes here at the location of the Blidinje Nature Park.

Sunday is the day that brings beautiful photos from professional cycling and sends them all over the world with the aim of promoting Blidinje, but also Bosnia and Herzegovina as an excellent destination for all athletes who enjoy competing in some of the top events that are organized further north in the Alps, since everyone’s comments participants were that Blidinje is a copy of this beautiful mountain system that stretches between Central and Southern Europe.

For the weekly event XCM Herzegovina, the organizers have prepared two tracks for all participants, namely the Big Marathon track with a length of 60 km and a short marathon track with a length of 30 km. That the trails were very exciting, with beautiful views of the natural beauty of Blidinje, but also exhausting, was confirmed by the comments of all the participants upon entering the finish area.

The XCM Herzegovina race was attended by more than a hundred professional cyclists who tested their strength on the tracks of Blidinje. Vedad Karić (BK Rotacija Spin) proved to be the best cyclist, defending his last year’s title as the winner, who completed the course of the big marathon in 2:22:47. Dražen Akrap (BK Tempo) from Vitez took second place on the podium, while Davor Krezić (BK Kairos) from Split finished in third place.

In the small marathon, Ivan Soldo (BK Široki) from Široki Brijeg shone, to whom training on his home ground, as well as a good knowledge of the track, brought him the highest place on the podium. Ivan finished the short marathon course in 1:14:17. The second place was taken by Filip Džido (BK Tempo), while the third went to Dominiko Šimić (BK Čapljina).

Among the ladies, young Karla Kustura (BK X Factory) from Travnik proved to be the best, winning the mini-marathon course with a time of 1:36:20. She is followed by Martina Čondra (BK Rotacija SPIN) from Vitez in second place and Suzana Kontić (BK Petar Svačić) from Drniš in third place.

The fourth edition of the Blidinje BIKE Festival officially ended with the ceremony of announcing the winners and the awarding of prizes, which, according to the organizers and all those present, once again met all expectations. Unfortunately, during the event, large fires raged in Blidinje, which brought unpleasant scenes to all present, and we would like to say hello and thank all the good and brave people who are on the ground helping to put out the fire, from the fire services, GSS, mountaineers societies, all the way to volunteers who applied for help. You can follow the current situation in Blidinje on the social networks of the Visit Blidinje association, which is also a partner of the Blidinje BIKE Festival event. It is important to say that a part of the stewards of the Blidinje BIKE Festival, after the end of the event, signed up to volunteer and help prevent fires.

On this occasion, the organizers would like to once again thank all sponsors and friends of the event who help promote Blidinje, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina:

Sponsors of the event: Federal Ministry of Culture and Sports, Federal Ministry of Education and Science, Government of West Herzegovina County, Government of Herzegovina-Neretva County, Municipality of Posušje, Tourist Board HNŽ/K, Sports Federation of the City of Mostar and Visit Blidinje.

Golden sponsor: HT ERONET

Silver sponsor: M.T. Abraham Group

Bronze Sponsor:  Spartan Sport – GIANT

Sponsors: Capriolo Mostar, GumaM, Autoservis Čip, LEDA Voda, Herzegovina Vino, “Hajdučke Vrleti” restaurant, “Staza” restaurant, Lasta Čapljina, Violeta Grude, Nameks supermarkets.

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PRESS CONFERENCE – PRESENTATION OF THE “ĆIRO CYCLING ROUTE MANAGEMENT PLAN”

Tuesday, July 26, 2022 at 11:30 a.m., City Hall of the City of Mostar

Wednesday, July 27, 2022 at 10:00 a.m., City Administration of the City of Trebinje

REDAH announces the presentation of the results of the project “Development of the ĆIRO Cycling Route Management Plan”, which is being carried out within the framework of the EU4Business project in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and which is co-financed by the European Union and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.

After the presentation of the results, a ceremonial signing of the Agreement on cooperation on the maintenance, management and promotion of the ĆIRO cycling route will be organized in both cities. The agreement will be signed by the mayors of Herzegovinian municipalities and cities that gravitate along the ĆIRO route.

The development of a document that will provide guidelines and mechanisms for the management of the Ćiro cycling route in a systematic, coordinated and planned manner, and will ensure its functionality and sustainability and be one of the generators of tourism development in the entire area.

The document clearly defines the strategic directions of development, necessary resources, responsibilities in the implementation of various measures/activities/programs. This will ensure a gradual, mutually coordinated, and thus long-term sustainable development of Ćiro in the entire project area, which will lead to increased competitiveness and more significant tourist activities in all of Herzegovina.

The leading implementer of the project is the Association for Economic Development REDAH, which during June and July 2022, in cooperation with the Herzegovina Bike Association, by holding four interactive workshops with key actors from the public, private and non-governmental sectors from the area of Herzegovina, successfully developed Management plan.

Agenda in both cities:

  • Welcome speeches

(Representatives of the host cities, GiZ, the Ministry of Trade and Tourism of the RS)

  • Presentation of the ĆIRO cycling route management plan
  • Statements for the media

EU4Business, with the aim of strengthening the BiH economy, encourages the development of entrepreneurship, export-oriented sectors, tourism and agriculture, as well as rural development. EU4Business is financed by the European Union with 15 million euros and the Federal Republic of Germany with 1.1 million euros. EU4Business is jointly implemented by GIZ, ILO and UNDP. For more information about the EU4Business project, visit: www.eu4business.ba .

For more information about the project, please contact:

Ivica Sivrić, Director of the Association for Economic Development REDAH

Contact phone: 063 295 766

E-mail: ivica@redah.ba

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Another 14 days separate us from the largest outdoor festival in Herzegovina – Ljubuški Outdoor Festival, and on that occasion we spoke with Josip Ramljak, secretary of BK Ljubuški.

The Ljubuški Outdoor Festival as a whole is a set of sports and recreational activities that will connect and revitalize the scattered cultural, historical and natural heritage along the competition routes.

Paragliding competition, racing, cycling and trail trails are connected by the river Trebižat, which in addition to its hydrological potential also inherits two natural pearls: the Kravica and Koćuša waterfalls. The route also connects national cultural monuments, the Roman military camp in Gračine and the fortress of Herceg Stjepan Kosača, which represent a special treasure of this festival. The festival will promote sports and a healthy lifestyle in a natural environment through a series of lectures. Also, all associations engaged in outdoor sports and recreational activities will have the opportunity to present their activities during the festival at the Kravica waterfall. This innovative and unique event in BiH will certainly be a significant incentive for the development and promotion of active destination tourism in the Ljubuski region, but also in other areas in the region for the development of similar activities.

Can you tell us how the idea of ​​organizing an event of this type came about?

LJOF or full name Ljubuški outdoor festival was created as an idea of ​​a group of enthusiasts and lovers of outdoor activities, namely good cooperation and socializing of runners, cyclists, paragliders and the city administration of Ljubuški resulted in something that should become a recognizable brand in the region and further enrich tourist offer of the town of Ljubuški.

What will LJOF offer visitors in its premiere edition?

In its premiere edition, LJOF will offer several racing races, two bicycle races, a competition in precision landing (paragliding), hiking to the nearby peak Vrlosinj, a landscape photography workshop, a speleo workshop and a sport climbing school.

Registration fee for participation in the competitive part of the program is 20.00 KM, while the workshops are free for all participants. By paying the registration fee until 15.05.2021. all competitors will be provided with a starter pack containing an official LJOF T-shirt, a finisher’s medal and a sponsor’s gift package.

The first LJOF will be held from May 28 to 30, 2021, and the three days of the festival represent the unity of sports, healthy living, entertainment, positive spirit and awareness of nature conservation. This eco-project is intended for all lovers of good time, competitions and outdoor activities.

Can you tell us a bit more about the festival program itself?

The festival begins on Friday, May 28, 2021 at 17:00 with the official opening. The opening will be followed by expert lectures on active tourism. Also on the same day, next to the Kravica waterfall, “stands” of various associations engaged in sports and recreational activities in nature will be set up.

Saturday 05/29/2021 official competitions start, and on that day runners and paragliders are on the program. Running fans will try a couple of distances, and have a choice of Half Marathon “Two Waterfalls”, a 10-kilometer race called “SKUNASTICUS” which starts from the military camp Gračine, a children’s race called “KIDS RUN” 1 kilometer long where all these races they have a common finish, and these are the Kravica waterfalls. As we mentioned earlier, an attractive competition in precision landing “KOSAČA” organized by Paragliding Club Ljubuški will be held on the same day, and all pilots will take off from the airfield near the tower of Herceg Stjepan, while the goal will be to land as close as possible to the center in Ljubuško polje. .

Sunday 30.05.2021. is reserved for cycling enthusiasts, and that is the main reason for our conversation today. We have two trails ready, one for those a little more prepared under the name XCM Stipe, 41 kilometers long, and XCM Mara, 21 kilometers long, for those who want to enjoy the beautiful landscape without getting very tired.

Tell us a little more about Marie and Stipe. Why Stipe and Mara? 🙂

And it’s a special story, we were sitting at a club meeting where we were thinking about how to separate the trails for those more prepared and those who enjoy a light ride – recreational riders. Following a few names and event names of other clubs in the region, we noticed that they all mostly have some unique names.

Stipe and Mara are names associated with this area, ancient, sounding names and there is no hamlet or place that does not have one Mara or one Stipe. As a real man, Stipe was a little more determined and he is a stronger marathon, so his race is even harder. While Mara on the other hand is polite, gentler, nice and she drives a lighter race and that is essentially that kind of story we revolved around. That is how Stioe and Mara were born.

As I mentioned above, the XCM Stipe is a race designed for the slightly more prepared, but again not too demanding so everyone should be able to drive it within the 3:00 hour time limit.

The race is 41 kilometers long with a total altitude difference of 710 meters. The start is at the Koćuša waterfalls, and along the entire route we pass by the natural and cultural sights of Ljubuški with the goal at the beautiful Kravica waterfalls.

XCM Stipe is a race that scores points for the BiH Premier League, so we can already see from the reports that the cream of the MTB scene in BiH is coming to Ljubuški. Karić, but as I have already said, many interesting names are coming and we can already see that the XCM Stipe will be a very interesting race.

The XCM Mara is reserved for children and amateurs who want to drive a shorter and much less strenuous race.

This race is also scored for the Premier League in BiH, but in the categories of younger cadets and cadets, as well as amateurs aged 12-16. The others who take part in the race drive recreationally, but their time will be measured and the official result will be published on the Ljof website.

As we learned from the previous question, you already have a lot of applicants. Can you tell us what number it is and how many participants in total you expect in Ljubuški during the festival?

So far, we have registered a total of 540 competitors in all disciplines. 120 competitors have registered for the bicycle races and we expect that we have mentioned a good and attractive race before and we hope that everyone will enjoy from the first to the last kilometer of the track.

Do you have a message to end the conversation?

Here, in front of the Ljubuški Cycling Club, we invite everyone who is still thinking about visiting Ljubuški and its surroundings to do so on the last weekend in May, more precisely from May 28 to 30, 2021, visits to Kravica Waterfalls and Ljubuški Outdoor Festival. Of course, it is not obligatory, but it is great if they decide to participate in one of the workshops or try one of the competitive disciplines. We can certainly guarantee good fun and enjoyment of the natural and cultural beauties of Ljubuški and Herzegovina.

Public company Parkovi Ljubuški d.o.o. and associations: Cycling Club Ljubuški, Paragliding Club Ljubuški, Croatian Athletic Club Ljubuški, GSS station Ljubuški and Photo Club Focus are the organizers and holders of the event Ljubuški Outdoor Festival with the support of the City of Ljubuški and the Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism BiH.

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Once we had a dream – Herzegovina a paradise for cycling and active tourism!
Herzegovina as an ideal cycling tourist destination, today is a dream that is never closer to us thanks to a group of enthusiasts who believed in their dream and worked hard to achieve their goals. And that behind hard work and effort come merits is confirmed by today’s lines of this article, so let’s start.

Active tourism, cycling and long-distance cycling are a growing tourism trend that has changed the way many travelers experience a new destination. The challenge of cycling through rural parts of the country, villages, mountains, and even river valleys and cities, accompanied by the slower pace that comes with this mode of transport, has made cycling one of the fastest growing tourist trends, a new experience for many travelers looking for active holidays. a deeper and more authentic experience with the destination in which they reside.

Members of the “HerzegovinaBike” association were aware of this, while in recent years they have been persistently working on their goals and promoting Herzegovina as an ideal cycling destination, and their voice has reached as far as Germany. From this year, the tourist offer of Herzegovina will be found on Outdoor Active, the largest europian platform for active tourism, and it is important to say that this platform has more than 10 million users of active tourism, users who are potential visitors tomorrow and our country.

“It’s great news for tourism in our country. News that in these dark days for tourism and all tourism workers somehow gives us hope for a better tomorrow and gives that light at the end of the tunnel we’ve been waiting for. It’s true that Outdoor Active is expanding its In fact, this is a topic we have been discussing since last year, when we went to Belgrade for their presentation of the project of the cycling route “Belgrade Dubrovnik”, which in one part relies on our Ćira trail. They are aware of how much work we have done here in Herzegovina regarding the development of cycling tourism, from Ćira’s railway with which the whole story starts, to a very large network of bicycle paths, BikeFriendly Standard that we are developing with Redakh, education cycling guides, all the way to the excellent promotional events we organize in Herzegovina “, said Toni Zorić, president of the HerzegovinaBike association.

“To be honest, at the beginning of our talks, we were not even aware of how strong the company we were talking to was, until we got moderation powers on their platform to fill it with tourist content and offers from Herzegovina. And that is already a real job today, our members of the association are already working on this platform and enter the tourist offer, trails, accommodation facilities, destinations that we have on our website HerzegovinaBike. We are convinced that tomorrow, when this situation with the crown passes and when tourism returns to normal, we will have a very large number of tourists through the OutdoorActive platform “, added Zorić.

It is important to say that not only cycling tourism is offered at Outdoor Active, there is also a lot of active form of tourism, such as hiking, winter sports, skiing, water sports, all the way to accommodation, gastronomic offers, destinations and more.

“Several other associations through projects cooperate with OutdoorActive and do a great job bringing the entire tourist offer of Bosnia and Herzegovina to this German platform. Through the projects through which we cooperate we got the opportunity to do a good job and develop excellent cooperation in the years ahead. very positive and great things. We are aware, we have a big job ahead of us, but we also know how much this business will be for the common good in the days when tourism flourishes again and that is what gives us the impetus to work and move forward, “he said. is Zoric.

Herzegovina – California … often our fellow citizens can jokingly say and draw a parallel thinking about the climate we have in Herzegovina. And often while we were saying this we were not even aware of how right we are, the ideal geographical position, close to the sea, close to the mountains and of course the nature that surrounds us, the destinations we own, it is increasingly certain that tourism is the next thing in our country. we need to work hard in that direction.

Cyclo tourism is a hobby that combines tourism and cycling, the activity consists of discovering new places, landscapes and places or even often to visit countries and countries that use bicycles as a means of transport. How certain it is that Herzegovina will become the next cycling tourist destination, write to us in the comments

.

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We believe that you are familiar with the fact that this is not about the real Ćiri who roared on the mentioned section, but about cyclists (Ćira’s friends) who are organizing another bicycle caravan, an event that serves to promote Ćira’s bike path and tourist capacities of southern Herzegovina.

The Association for the Promotion of Cycling “HerzegovinaBike” and the Cycling Club Mostar are once again organizing a promotional cycling race on the section from Mostar to Čapljina. Namely, although at the beginning of last year this promotional bicycle race was not held due to the cancellation of all events due to the unfavorable epidemiological situation, the organizers hope that this year on Sunday they could have a nice gathering and event promoting Herzegovina, active tourism and tourist capacities of Herzegovina.

“Spring is here with us, so the time has come for the cycling race on the Ćira railway to start from Mostar and end in Čapljina. We hope that this year we will be able to hold this event, of course with physical distance and adherence to all epidemiological measures and recommendations.” say the organizers.

It should be noted that in recent years this cycling race has recorded a record number of 200 participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Croatia who cycled on a 40 km long section visited Blagaj, Buna, Počitelj and Čapljina, as well as all their historical and cultural sights.

“The plan is the same as in previous years, we want to present to our guests in the best possible light all the cultural and historical sights that Ćira’s route has to offer on the mentioned section. We are sure that we will not have guests from the region, but we believe that our friends from all over Bosnia and Herzegovina will visit Herzegovina on this don and enjoy the beautiful weather, fresh air and pleasant company. Of course, this year we have our cycling guides who will be the leaders of this bike ride and present to our guests all the destinations we visit on our trip, and thus further educate ourselves to meet all the conditions to get a cycling guide license from the Cycling Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. ” commented Toni Zorić, president of this association.

“This year we will drive the inevitable Old Bridge in Mostar, and visit Blagaj and the source of the river Buna, we will pass by the Monastery in Žitomislići, Hutova blata, we will visit the old town of Počitelj and once again end our journey in Čapljina. which is definitely worth visiting, and the trail we ride is one of the most beautiful trails in Herzegovina, so this is an event that is definitely worth participating in, “said the organizers.

Gathering and departure is on Sunday, April 18, 2021. starting at 10:00 am in front of the home of Herceg Stjepan Kočač on the square of Croatian greats (Rondo).

More about the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/470585974063293

The organizers hereby send a message to all our readers to respond to this event and be part of another bicycle race for the promotion of Jira and southern Herzegovina. We believe that the organizers bring another excellent and unforgettable gathering, just like at all events in previous years, and again you are the best witnesses to their excellent organizations.

In this way, the organizers want to thank all the media that support the work of this association and together with them in their own special way to promote Ciro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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The Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism informs the public that our country has been awarded the #SafeTravel destination, the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC), after adopting and adopting their COVID-19 guide and guidelines, which detail the steps and actions taken during pandemics in the tourism industry.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has been awarded the hashtag #SafeTravel

The Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism informs the public that our country has been awarded the #SafeTravel destination, the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC), after adopting and adopting their COVID-19 guide and guidelines, which detail the steps and actions taken during pandemics in the tourism industry.

We are facing a difficult situation in the country in terms of the increase in the number of people suffering from COVID and a difficult economic situation for all economic entities in tourism, however, other countries are in a similar situation. Despite the pandemic, we in the tourism industry cannot wait and hope that things will improve on their own. In this sense, since this sector has a large percentage of labor, it is our duty to protect all tourism workers, their families and tourists, both domestic and international, and this is achieved, inter alia, by adopting the recommendations of the world organization, leaders in tourism. .

By receiving the international label #SafeTravel destination, the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC), Bosnia and Herzegovina as a country shows that it is determined to position itself on the international market, as well as to follow world trends when it comes to tourism. This is the first but crucial step in achieving the recovery of the tourism industry and restoring confidence in international travelers in the tourism sector.

The Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism would like to thank USAID’s Tourism Project for its assistance to the entity governments, the Brcko District, and the BiH Council of Ministers to develop, develop, and adopt the necessary protocols and to obtain the #Safe Travel label.

The next step is to ensure that each member of the tourism industry, ie employees, is trained to work in accordance with the protocols. We take this opportunity to invite employers and employees from the tourism industry to attend courses related to the Covid Guide and the World Tourism and Travel Council protocol, developed by USAID Tourism, which are in line with both our health and safety protocols and the international label. about safe travel.

Let’s show the world not only that we have received the #SafeTravel label, but that our employees in tourism understand, and that companies operate in accordance with the received label.

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Within the project “Cycling routes for the improvement of natural and cultural heritage of Herzegovina and Montenegro – Cycling Rural”, funded by the European Union, on Friday 12.03.2021. from 2 pm to 5 pm at the Bigeste Hotel in Ljubuški, an active tourism forum called “Adriatic Outdoor Adventure” will be organized. The aim of this forum is to acquaint the tourism sector with the initiatives that have taken root in our area and to highlight and convey success stories in the field of active tourism development in the Adriatic hinterland. The forum will bring together international experts in the field of active tourism, and those interested will follow the program through the Zoom application. The organizer is the Office of the Government of the West Herzegovina County for European Integration.

The forum will open the presentation of the project “Cycling Rural”, participants will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the most successful initiatives launched through European Union projects: “Tourism, Adrenaline and Rafting Adventure – T.A.R.A.” and Adriatic Canyoning. Current projects in the field of tourism will also be presented: “EU4Business”, “Tourism Development Promotion” and “Via Dinarica”.

The second part of the program concludes with a panel with international speakers who will discuss their experiences and share the success stories they have gone through on the path of developing active tourism across Europe. The panel will feature Ed Lancaster from the European Cyclist Federation (Belgium); Jack Delf of Black Mountain Montenegro; Iva Bencun from the Feral Tours agency (Croatia), the moderator of the panel will be Nedo Pinezić, a tourist advisor from Croatia.

The West Herzegovina County, through the Tourism Development Plan, is improving the infrastructure for outdoor activities, with an emphasis on bicycle paths. The organization of such a forum represents a significant contribution to the promotion of bicycle paths in Herzegovina and helps to position Herzegovina as a desirable cycling tourist destination on European cycling platforms.

The “Cycling Rural” project started on October 1, 2019, and the implementation will last for 18 months. The total value of the project is around 500,000 euros, of which the European Union has provided 400,000 euros. The project holder is the Office of the Government of the West Herzegovina County for European Integration, and the partners are the cities of Široki Brijeg and Ljubuški, the municipalities of Posušje and Grude, and the Tourist Organization of Herceg Novi from Montenegro.

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The Office of the Government of ZZH for EU integration has published an invitation to the workshop “Development of cycling tourism in ZZH” on the occasion of the implementation of the project “Cycling routes for the improvement of natural and cultural heritage of Herzegovina and Montenegro – Cycling Rural”. The aim of this workshop is to acquaint the local population with the trends in cycling tourism as well as with the requirements of the market and what every service provider should be aware of. These workshops will be specifically focused on the Bike Friendly Standard.

Workshops will be held for each local government unit as follows:

  • Široki Brijeg – January 14, 2021 at 09:00, in the Conference Hall of the Office of the Government of the West Herzegovina County for European Integration, Fra. Didaka Buntica 14, Siroki Brijeg;
  • Posušje – January 14, 2021 at 12:00 in the premises of the Municipal Hall, Fra. Grge Martica 30, Posusje;
  • Ljubuški – January 15, 2021 at 09:00 in the City Hall, Trg dr. Franje Tuđmana 1, Ljubuški;
  • Grude – January 15, 2021 at 12:00 in the premises of the Municipal Hall, Fra. Gabre Grubisica 4, Grude.

The project “Cycling routes for the improvement of natural and cultural heritage of Herzegovina and Montenegro – Cycling Rural” is implemented within the 2nd call of the Cross-border Cooperation Program Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro 2014-2020. It started on October 1, 2019, and implementation will take 18 months. The total value of the project is EUR 495,000.00, of which the European Union finances EUR 400,000.00.

The project partners are the Office of the Government of the West Herzegovina County for European Integration as the project holder, the cities of Široki Brijeg and Ljubuški, the municipalities of Posušje and Grude, and the Tourist Organization of Herceg Novi (CG).

The European Union is financing this project with the aim of strengthening and diversifying the quality of the tourist offer, and the development and promotion of cycling and tourist offer in the open, in rural areas of the cross-border regions of Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The project will result in the creation of a new and more attractive tourist offer under the brand “CYCLING RURAL” which will be included in the tourist offer of both countries, as well as in the overall tourist offer of the Adriatic hinterland.

In order to prepare all organizational details in a timely manner, please confirm your arrival at the e-mail address info@eui-zzh.ba or at the phone number 039 / 703-100 until 13.01.2021. with an indication of the location of the workshop in which you will participate.

Note: In the context of epidemiological protection measures, we draw the attention of participants to respecting the distance with the mandatory wearing of protective masks.

For more information, please contact:

Ana Soldo, project coordinator

T: +387 39 703 100
E: ana@eui-zzh.ba

 

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Representatives of the association “HercegovinaBike” paid a visit to the Trebinje City Administration, where they talked with the leadership of the City of Trebinje about the plans and development of the most popular cycling tourism in the City of Trebinje and Eastern Herzegovina. The meeting was held on the initiative of the local club BK Leotar, and was attended by: Toni Zorić, president of HerzegovinaBike, Nikša Vuletić, director of JP Vjetrenica, deputy mayor Sladjana Skočajić, and president of BK Leotar Blagoje Rosandić.

As we said, the topic of the meeting was the development of cycling tourism and the development of the cycling tourism offer, as well as the continuation of the construction of the Ćira railway on the section from Ravno, through Trebinje, and further towards Montenegro through Nikšić all the way to Herceg Novi.

I notice that cycling is gaining momentum in the City of Trebinje, where we have great cyclists, including the young Petar Spaić, who win recognitions and awards at competitions. In addition to professional cyclists, there is an increasing number of recreational cyclists and cyclists who We certainly have planned the construction of bicycle paths in our development strategy of the City of Trebinje, so this meeting with the representatives of “HerzegovinaBike” was inevitable after this association did a great job in the development of cycling and cycling tourism. offers “, commented Deputy Mayor Sladjana Skocajic.

The meeting was held in the Trebinje City Administration, where Zoric presented to the leadership of the city of Trebinje his vision, goals and the work they have done so far.

This meeting is a great basis for the next joint projects and the continuation of our work on the development of cycling tourism. Representatives of the City of Trebinje were extremely satisfied with our presentation and the work we have done so far, since 1,300 km of cycling trails are currently developed in Herzegovina. All these trails connect tourist destinations and tourist potentials of Herzegovina, passing through some historical sights, gastro and ethno offer, rural cycling, in order for cyclists to experience Herzegovina better and enjoy their stay, “said Toni Zorić, president of HerzegovinaBike.

Rural cycling as cycling is what we put our greatest efforts into, because we want all cyclists to experience life in Herzegovina and the customs of this people, and bring back beautiful memories. We certainly have excellent cycling destinations and excellent gastronomic offer and we want to present all this on the web It is also important to point out the excellent cooperation with travel agencies that are the link between us and cyclists from around the world.Our job as an association is to work on the quality and expansion of the cycling offer, their job is to present this offer to Europe and bring as many tourists as possible to our country, of which we will all ultimately have benefits and which should be a goal for all of us “, added Zorić.

After the excellently realized project of Ćira’s narrow-gauge railway on the section from Mostar to Trebinje and further towards Dubrovnik and the Republic of Croatia, the construction of this bicycle path from Ravni prko Trebinje, Nikšić all the way to Herceg Novi is expected to continue.

Ciro and the bike path on the stretch from Mostar to Trebinje and Dubrovnik is such a great potential that we are still not aware of what we have in Herzegovina. So many recognitions and awards from European institutions have arrived at Ciro, and many have written about him We in Ravno and Zavala know best how many cyclists visited this trail, and we are sure that after this pandemic the number will be much higher. This gives us time to stop, arrange all the plans. and we improve our offer once the borders are opened and life returns to normal “, commented Nikša Vuletić, director of JP Vjetrenica.

Trebinje invests a lot in development and offer, and is an unavoidable stop for many tourists. We believe that the city authorities will continue to do a good job, and expand their offer and present themselves to the world as the next unavoidable destination.

Foto: Stanislava Borovac

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There is no doubt, Herzegovina is currently the most developed cycling destination in the region and a desirable vacation spot for cyclists from around the world. What is it that attracts tens of thousands to this southern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina every year?

Toni Zorić, president of the association “HerzegovinaBike”, says that the answer is very simple: “You can find everything in Herzegovina. It is very close to the sea, and thus the Eurovelo 8 route that stretches along the Adriatic coast, and which is connected by our pearl” Ćirina narrow gauge railway “.

Let’s go in order, the association “HerzegovinaBike” was founded as an association for the promotion of cycling, where they specialize in cycling, and since its registration until today, this association has developed over 2,000km of bike trails in order to offer cycling tourism and attract a large number of cyclists world to Bosnia and Herzegovina. By looking at their website, which is really special, we find the foundations of the statement of the president of this association. Certainly the most complete cycling offer (in two languages) with a large number of bike paths, excellent photos, arrangements, destinations to visit and local farms that this association suggests cyclists to visit in order to spend the night or taste local cuisine and gastronomic offer.

Can you introduce us to the idea of ​​HerzegovinaBike?

“Association for the Promotion of Cycling” HerzegovinaBike “is conceptually conceived as an association that should develop the world’s increasingly popular sport of cycling and present Herzegovina, and Bosnia and Herzegovina as an excellent cycling destination, and be the center of cycling and cycling in general, all in one place. From the very beginning, this idea was recognized by the “Federal Ministry of Tourism and Environment”, where through their support we managed to lay the foundations of the Association and today 10 years after its founding we can see how much the team behind the name “HerzegovinaBike” has done a great job. a country that did not know cycling as a form of movement at all, together with our partners we managed to make one of the most desirable cycling tourist destinations “, said Zorić.

Who is behind the name HerzegovinaBike?

“Well, you see, everything started from Mostar with the establishment of the cycling club in Mostar, which brought together cyclists from Mostar, but also people from other parts of Herzegovina where cycling was not developed. I always liked watching things in a slightly wider spectrum and then I sat down with these people and told them that I am glad that they are here in Mostar with us, but also suggested that we spread this story, that they all establish a club in their place of residence, and that together we spread this positive story that promotes Herzegovina as a country. This story lives on today, after 10 years we have 16 clubs in Herzegovina from Tomislavgrad in Hercegbosna County, all the way to Trebinje in eastern Herzegovina.All these associations are gathered under the name “Cluster HerzegovinaBike” and have a common goal, and it is Herzegovina – the biggest cycling tourist destination “.

Truly a commendable and by no means easy job. How much support did you have in your goals?

“Somehow I like to say that the project” Ćira’s narrow-gauge railway “took the cycling tourism offer of Herzegovina to the next level. In fact, I think that all our efforts have actually started to come to light and through this project we have shown ourselves as a healthy and reliable partner. we can boast of numerous collaborations with resource ministries, as well as numerous agencies, such as JICA, REDAH, EU Info Center, UNDP, USAID, and the Government Office for EU Integration, with which we are currently developing the “Cycling Rural” project.

“Our first big collaboration was actually with REDAH (Regional Development Agency for Economic Development) with which we developed a bicycle path project along the former Ćira narrow-gauge railway from Mostar to Dubrovnik, and further to Trebinje in order to promote and expand the cycling tourism offer in Herzegovina. indeed a fantastic project that promoted Herzegovina to the whole world and a project from which we ourselves learned a lot, and we learned what we own and appreciate what we own.Many big media visited Herzegovina and wrote about the tourist capacities of Herzegovina because of Ćira , such as the British magazine “The Guardian“, the American “New York Times” and many others, while Lonely Planet ranked Herzegovina as the fourth most desirable cycling tourist destination in the world “.

“Furthermore, through this project we understood the term” cycling guide “, ie we had a trail as a tourist offer, but we needed people to ride with tourists and present our country to them in the best light. From 2015 until today, we have educated over 60 cycling guides, people who do this business, enjoy it and make a living from cycling and tourism in general.Then we worked with Redah on the project “Bike Friendly Standard” where the goal was to introduce local businessmen, owners of restaurants and accommodation facilities to the needs of cyclists, introduce them to the concept of cyclists as guests and what it takes to make their facility meet the requirements for cyclists, and finally get a license “Bike Friendly Standard. Today in Herzegovina we have a large number of restaurants that meet these requirements and turn to cycling and accept guests from all over the world “.

Insight into your website we see a really wide offer, how many trails are presented there?

“Herzegovina as a region consists of four counties: Herzegovina-Neretva County (HNŽ), West Herzegovina County (ŽZH), Hercegbosanska County (HBŽ) and East Herzegovina (RS), where we currently have over 2,000 km of bike paths for the purpose of cycling tourism in Herzegovina. is the biggest job done in ZZH through the project “Cycling Rural” where we presented the cycling tourist offer of western Herzegovina through 1,300 km of bike paths, ie tourists driving through rural parts of western Herzegovina, get to know the lives and customs of people who live here, and of course local cuisine All our work started from HNŽ with the trail “Ćirina uskotračne pruge” in the length of 180 km, and it is important to mention that the project “Ćiro Heritage” is underway, ie another 100 km of cycling offer on the stretch from Počitelj, touring through Stolac Radimlje, Daorson, Boljune, all the way to Hutovo selo, connecting to the existing trail along the Ćira railway. The smallest work has been done in HBŽ and East Herzegovina, but it will certainly not remain so, since our goal is to cover the whole of Herzegovina and its tourist capacities. It is worth mentioning that the “Ćiro 2″ project is currently underway on the section from Ravno, via Trebinje, Nikšić (Montenegro) all the way to Herceg Novi, so that in the years ahead we will be able to cycle along the Ćiro railway line from Mostar all the way to Herceg Novi. in Montenegro. There is still a lot of work ahead of us, but we hope for many positive projects and great experiences. ”

How much did the corona affect cycling tourism in Herzegovina?
“I was just waiting for you to ask that question (laughs). Well, of course it affected, like everything else in the world. In previous years, we had so many cyclists on the Ćira railway that we just couldn’t believe how many cyclists come from around the world. to Herzegovina and tour it by bike.We always looked for a guide more and simply tourism in Herzegovina flourished.But on the other hand this stalemate helped us regroup, complete some big projects, redesign our website and expand the cycling offer to be ready to welcome the end of this pandemic and the arrival of new tourists to Herzegovina “.

What is the next challenge ahead of you? What is the next thing HerzegovinaBike will present to us?

“Well, it is certain that we will finish the started projects on” Ćiro “tracks, and then our web team will post it all on our website and present a new cycling offer, and our goal is to do a good job in Eastern Herzegovina, as well as HBŽ. At the moment, Trebinje is one of the pearls of Herzegovina, which is favored by the proximity of Dubrovnik and excellent tourist offer, so it attracts a large number of cyclists.”

Herzegovina is a special place for cycling because the weather conditions are excellent and you can find flat terrain or climb some of the largest peaks of the mountain, the peak Pločno 2.228mnv. Furthermore, many professional cyclists from the northern regions come to Herzegovina during the winter preparations due to favorable weather conditions to train and prepare for the next season.

We want to point out that Herzegovina offers cyclists of different abilities and desires good opportunities, and all this is accompanied by an excellent gastronomic offer for which Herzegovina is known, as well as natural beauty. We believe that many will agree that Herzegovina is the perfect place to ride a bike, which opens up new opportunities for tourist offers.

The fact that many foreign cyclists choose Herzegovina as their next big destination is not just a happy coincidence and confirms the above.

As Tony said: “You can find everything in Herzegovina.”

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