Poland’s Green Velo Trail: 2 000 km of cycling trails and over 2 000 reasons to visit
To support tourism and economic development in Eastern Poland, the EU-funded Green Velo project built Poland’s longest, consistently marked cycling trail that connects five voivodeships within the region.
" The construction of the Green Velo trail was a great idea for opening new areas of our voivodeship for tourist traffic. The Podkarpackie section has had a significant impact on the economic and social wellbeing of the region. This is evidenced by the doubling of biker-friendly places since 2015, which means that the trail brings concrete benefits for small and medium-sized companies providing various types of services for tourists. "
The regional landscape of Eastern Poland is one of the most diverse in Europe, offering an array of natural environments, cultural diversity, spectacular vistas, and historic sites. To showcase this one-of-a-kind place, the EU-funded Green Velo project created the Green Velo East of Poland Cycling Trail.
The trans-regional bike route connects the voivodeships of Lubelskie, Podlaskie, Podkarpackie, Warminsko-Mazurskie, and Swietokrzyskie, carrying tourists through picturesque areas and along quiet asphalt roads. It is 1 885 km long with an additional 200 km of side trails.
Where the bike is king
The route consists of a combination of dedicated cycle paths and about 150 km of unpaved roads. The project was responsible for building and rebuilding nearly 300 km of pedestrian and bicycle trails, 30 bridges, and more than 20 key junctions (which connect the Green Velo trail with over 10 000 km of other marked cycle routes). The project built 230 cyclist service points, which are spread out along the route and feature bicycle racks, picnic areas, rubbish bins and informational boards.
On the route, cyclists go through five national parks and a number of landscape parks and nature reserves. Along the northern part of the trail, long sections run along the embankments of former railway lines. For promotional purposes, the trail is divided into a dozen ‘bike kingdoms’, each of which features a specific region where longer visits are the norm. Using the project website or mobile app, visitors can research and plan their route, taking advantage of over 100 cycling tours around the ‘kingdoms’ of eastern Poland.
The Green Velo trail is a unique and comprehensive product that project coordinators are confident will stimulate tourism, economic development, entrepreneurship and employment across Eastern Poland. In fact, in Podkarpackie, the project reports a 12 % increase in foreign tourists since the trail’s opening. Many visitors come from the Netherlands, Italy, Austria and Germany.
Project coordinators report an increase in entrepreneurship directly attributed to the bicycle trail. Entrepreneurs from the tourism industry have started setting up shop, offering new products and services that target the needs of tourists and cyclists. From souvenir stores to bicycle repair shops, hotels, B&Bs, and restaurants, these initiatives have a direct impact on the region’s economic and employment growth.
Total investment and EU funding
Total investment for the project “Green Velo - Eastern Poland Cycling Trail” is EUR 68 906 872 (PLN 295 961 909), with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 56 617 586 (PLN 243 178 194) through the Operational Programme Development of Eastern Poland for the 2007-2013 programming period. The investment falls under the priority “Internal Market”.
Related countriesPodkarpackie , Poland Świętokrzyskie , Poland Podlaskie , Poland Lubuskie , Poland Warmińsko-Mazurskie , Poland
FundEuropean Regional Development Fund
Operational programmeOperational Programme 'Development of Eastern Poland'
Project duration07/2012 - 12/2015
Total InvestmentEUR 68 906 872
EU InvestmentEUR 56 617 586
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