A series of new hiking and mountainbiking tours were presented by Greek tourist agencies as part of the “Cities of Alexander the Great” initiative at the Ferien International Tourist Fair in Vienna recently. The agencies also promoted cultural and historically-oriented excursions at the Austrian venue.
Members of the Macedonian tourism network called “The Cities of Alexander the Great”, representing several locations in northern Greece, held a series of 14 business meetings during the international fair. While there, they promoted lesser-known Greek tourist areas in Macedonia to the Austrian and Bavarian tour operators.
The featured promotion was the spectacular mountainbiking route which links the village of Dragounteli in Sithonia with Holomontas, Arnea and Paleohori. Another option for hardcore mountain bikers is the “Aristotle Mountain” route which links Mt. Pangeo with Mt. Athos.
The specific hiking and mountainbiking routes being promoted are linked with internationally-known historic names such as “Aristotle”, “Alexander the Great”, “Alexis Zorbas” and “Mount Athos”. Tour organizers believe this may create a crossover effect which will appeal to both historically-minded travelers and those who engage in mountain sports.
A parallel comprehensive cultural program for potential Austrian travelers was also presented in Vienna, including tours of historic Thessaloniki, Ancient Amphipolis, Ancient Stagira and Sidorokafkasia, which is included in a trip to Mt. Athos.
Austrian tour operators expressed a strong interest in a Macedonian round trip with historic overtones which includes stops at various natural and archaeological sites in the region.
The president of the “Cities of Alexander the Great” network and mayor of Amphipolis, Costas Melitos, stated that “We are creating tourist products and infrastructure worthy of the historic route we are promoting.”
Current figures from the Greek National Tourism Organization show that more than 18% of tourists in Greece now come from the nation of Austria.