Trails & Culture – MedINA at the 6th Panhellenic Trails Meeting in Pelion

Trails & Culture – MedINA at the 6th Panhellenic Trails Meeting in Pelion

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The 6th Panhellenic Trail Meeting, which took place on 24-26 November 2023 in Pelion, was successfully completed.

MedINA co-organized the workshop “Culture: Identity”, where different methodological approaches and best practices for the integration of cultural heritage elements in hiking trails were discussed. The facilitators of the workshop were Katerina Stebili from the Hellenic Society for the Environment and Cultural Heritage (ELLET), Rigas Zafeiriou from MedINA and Nikos Patsavos from the University of Ioannina.

As Rigas Zafeiriou stressed “The immersion in the cultural heritage of a place is a foundational element of hiking adventures. We have now a unique opportunity to narrate our living traditions, while designing trails networks in Greece, and to build together with local communities a more meaningful and sustainable tourism model.”

The 6th Panhellenic Trails Meeting had a rich program combining speeches, workshops and discussions with outdoor activities (hikes, guided tours, screenings), completing. Moreover, for the first time, as part of the conference, the Greek trails professionals had the chance to extensively exchange knowledge and views with the academic community as well as with local and national authorities.

Thus, the valuable experience of the people who study, design, develop and manage trails networks throughout the country is interacting with innovative projects and scientific research by knowledge institutions as well as with the efforts of policymaking and funding by the state. The result of this dialogue is the emerging prospects for more effecting planning, and synergies between different organisations.

The 6th Panhellenic Trail Meeting was organized by the Structures Research Group (ma[K]e) of the Department of Architecture, University of Thessaly. This event is now an institution in the field of hiking and hiking tourism, gathering every year more than 150 representatives of civil society, public authorities, and other organizations from all over Greece. Five conferences have been already organized in Kaisariani (2022), Xanthi (2021), Metsovo (2019), Andros (2018) and Vytina (2017). Participating organisations and individuals are active in the field of hiking, and more specifically in the use, management, maintenance and promotion, as well as in the protection of hiking networks.

We would like to thank the organizing team and all the volunteers of the 6th Panhellenic Trail Meeting for the invitation, the excellent organization and the hospitality.