Backround of the project

The two border Municipalities of Almopia and Novaci are characterized by rich landscapes and plenty of cultural and historical monuments, which can be enhanced and act as a key driver for the socio-economic development of the whole area. The already approved project “Lhi-Lna” has come to offer sufficient documentation of the places of interest in both fileds of historical and natural heritage. The documentation is programmed to be used by the local authorities as a tool for planning new and intergrated means of tourist attraction. The main idea in that planning is the unification of the sites through the design and establishment of the 3 paths; “Roads of Living History”, “Roads of Living Nature” and the “Crossroads of History and Nature”. The promotion of the sites will be achieved by using new means of promotion such as unique art representations of the selected sites.

As a conclusion, the already approved project “Lhi-Lna” tries to face the exploration of the dynamics that natural and historical heritage concentrates and the promotion of them as a whole. It will offer a useful tool to the local authorities, such as the documentation of the selected sites, which can be used as a key to preservations. The decision of the continuation of this project indicates the willing of the local authorities to use the results of the approved project and explore the increased interest in eco-tourism in both countries as a key to local economic development. Thus, both Municipalities will be able to offer innovative tourism products and services, and attract tourists while protecting their own heritage. The main problem that Almopia has to face is the lack of touristic interest in its terirtory with great excpetion the thermal baths of Loutra. Almopia concentrates a significant number of places with touristic potentials but they lack in infrastructures and there is need of public space revitalization activities. An effort for the recreation of the points of touristic interest in the vast expanse of Almopia will quarantee the mobilarization of the tourists and will mark the paths in a positive way offering the necessary balance. Additionally, both Novaci and Almopia have the extended need of monuments restorations. It is a costant need of the last decade that becomes even more crucial because of the creation of the “paths”, since the monuments will be proposed as tourists destinations. Moreover, Novaci in the will of promoting of the history and nature, is facing the problem of security in the Mariovo region that was the main battle field in the First World War;thus, the area is covered with mines and other weapons dating from that period. The Municipality considers that there is a need for a demining action around the “paths” that will ensure the safety of the visitors.

Expected outputs

The central idea of the project is the selection of the most important sites of the three “paths” namely “Roads of Living Nature”, “Roads of Living History”, “Crossroads of History and Nature” in each country and the proposal of their restoration and rearrangement in order to emerge as significant parts of the paths and tourist attraction poles. Additionaly, in Municipality of Novaci, the extension of the paths is proposed in order to include some more important natural and historical sites. It is worth mentioning that the term “path” is used metaphorically to determine the unification of the sites that are selected as most important in each field and in each area. Under these conditions, the expected outputs of the project are the following:
1. 6.000 brochures/ 4000 cds, 20 banners and 12 newsletters, 10 press releases 1 communication package for the promotion of the project and its objectives. 2. 4 project meetings 3. 1 project portal 4. 1 communication plan jointly exploited 5. 2 open to the public conferences 6.restoration project in the interior of the St. Dimitrij Church in Gradesnica  7.detailed design of Vyzantine monuments of Almopia. 8.Overall enhancement study of the prehistorical cave in Loutra. 9.development of a recreation park at Konjarka and network of recreation points 10. development of the public space in Aetochori as the starting point of the Roads of Living Nature in Almopia.11.Demining of the path in Mariovo 12.Art related activities in both municipalities 12. Two mobile GPS applications 13. Seminars for tourist agencies and guides. 14.Crownd sourcing tours. 14.1 project fulfilling the criteria of joint development/implementation/staffing and financing, 15. 1 project contributing to the enhancement of environment and natural and cultural resources.

Objectives of the project

The main objective of the project is the realization of common interventions by the partners in order to jointly protect the historical and natural resources of the cross boarder area. The protection is an essential factor for using selected sites of interest as a means of promotion of the special characteristics of the area. The selection of historical and natural sites of the both municipalities and the proposal of their restoration is crucial, since it will emerg them as important parts of the paths that have already been proposed in the project “Lhi-Lna”.
Specific objectives
• To support the idea of the creation of the “Paths of History”, “Paths of Nature” and “Crossroads of History and Nature”, as a new tourism product, enhancing the fame of the involved areas as attractive destinations of alternative tourism by introducing restored historical monuments and rearragnement of sites of natural interest.

• To reveal the dynamics of selected places of both areas as valuable attraction sites.
• To address the need for coordinated actions that will valorise the monuments and natural places.
• To use this mobilization as a factor of further development activating the contribution of the public.
• To enhance socio economic development of the area by safeguarding constant arrival of tourists fond of cultural/religious or eco-tourism.
• To enhance cross boarder cooperation with emphasis on protection of the cultural and natural heritage of both areas in an attempt to promote the diversities and similarities of the areas and to result in common tourism development.

Expected results

The project intends to result in contributing to the protection and promotion of both natural and historic heritage.The already approved project “Lhi-Lna” focused on the documentation and the creation of a rich archive of the cultural and natural heritage. The project “Lhi-Lna II” proposes the selection of some important sites that have already been proposed for studying, and emerges their restoration activities as an important factor for their constitution as tourist attraction poles which will promote the three paths of “Lhi-Lna”. The unification of numerous sites in each area now gains degrations, since some sites arise as more important and thus more attractive. They will be presented as the places-to-visit, mobilizing the tourists and offering them an extra reazon to visit the three “paths” of each area. The project will also inform the local population and the visitors for the meaning of existance of these sites in the areas and will focus on their promotion using innovative methods such us crownd sourcing activities (gathering of information from the public, mouth-to-mouth promotion with emphasis on social media that may lead even to crowndfunding). The cultural sites that are going to be protected in both areas are: 3 archaeological sites and 1 church. The natural sites that are going to be redeveloped are totally 3.
The archaelogical sites are:Castle in Chrisi, Bridge in Aloro, Prehistorical cave in Loutra.
The churches are: St. Dimitrij in Gradesnica.
The natural sites are: Aetochori, Mariovo and Konjarka.