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Via Alpina


VIA ALPINA: promoting the natural and cultural heritage of the Alps on a network of hiking trails



Lead Partner

Lead Partner Country


Project Website


01/2001 - 12/2004

Date of Approval


Approx. Total Budget in €

2.488.085 €

ERDF in €

948.599 €

Project Summary

The project consists in establishing Via Alpina as the first identified hiking route linking the eight Alpine countries: Italy, Austria, France, Switzerland, Germany, Slovenia, Liechtenstein and Monaco. The trail network links sites of high natural and cultural value throughout the Alps and emphasises the common Alpine identity. Multilingual tools are developed to insure its efficient promotion and provide the international public with an entry to each of the Alpine regions. Pilot projects are carried out to look into possible developments of sustainable tourism offers and trail management with a trans-national perspective. Via Alpina is a powerful instrument for sustainable development of the mountain regions, both as a tourism product with local economic impact and as a prestigious showcase for the Alpine environment.

Project Objectives

Via Alpina has three overall objectives:
- It aims at balancing the unequal development of mountain areas through a practical tourism instrument. The network of trails is a “red line” for the promotion of a large number of regions throughout the Alpine space, including very remote ones.
- The activities are strongly oriented towards the promotion of the natural and cultural heritage and thus a contribution to its conservation and development.
- Finally, Via Alpina will strengthen the awareness of the common Alpine identity, both among Alpine populations and the public.
The specific objective of the 4-year project, focusing on promotion and technical exchange, is to create the Via Alpina tool and to carry out first tests of its operation as a local development tool.

Project Achievements

Five months short of project conclusion, a first series of promotion instruments (leaflets, website, events etc) has been realised and the completion of the remaining tools (exhaustive multilingual database, newsletter, revised website with cartography basis) is under way. Trail checks and improvements have been completed and the specific signposting will shortly be continuous along the 5000 km trail network, and complemented by more than 300 information panels. All activities are being developed through extensive territorial animation work (the aim being not to develop a private product but a local development tool) and more and more local actors are getting involved in the project. Public and media awareness is already good and shows a very high potential. (red. August 2004)

Project Result Files


EU Project Partners

Deutscher Alpenverein (Germany)
Österreichischer Alpenverein (Austria)
Planinska Zveza Slovenije (Slovenia)
Proplus d.o.o (Slovenia)
Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano (Italy)
Provincia Autonoma di Trento (Italy)
Regione Autonoma Friuli-Venezia Giulia (Italy)
Regione Autonoma Valle d’Aosta (Italy)
Regione Liguria (Italy)
Regione Lombardia (Italy)
Regione Piemonte (Italy)
Regione Veneto (Italy)

Non-EU Project Partners

Fürstentums Liechtenstein (Liechtenstein)
Schweizer Wanderwege (Switzerland)

Contact Person

Gillet, Francois

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© 2001-2006 INTERREG IIIB Alpine Space Programme
Community Initiative Programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund