The Municipality of Rethymno in Crete is planning to launch cycling tour packages to international markets. The municipality’s tourism office is already in discussions with airline companies to promote the travel packages to cycling tourism markets in Italy, Germany and France.
“The travel package for cyclists is ready and includes the price of transporting the bicycle, accommodation, special meals, bike maintenance and special sightseeing programs with culinary, cultural and sporting interest,” the municipality’s deputy mayor for tourism and culture, Pepi Birliraki-Mamalaki, recently said during the Hospitality.now event in Athens.
The packages will be formed in cooperation with the area’s tourism professionals.
“The municipality aims to promote its tourism product through these proposed bike routes, which is very important to the image and economy of Rethymno,” she said. Speaking during a session on innovative services in tourism, Ms. Birliraki-Mamalaki said that the municipality has created – and is constantly planning – bicycle routes throughout Rethymno that offer a special historical and environmental interest.
Cycling tourism is expected to revive the mountain villages located in the south of the Rethymno as these are locations that have not yet benefited from the area’s tourism development.
Rethymno cycling network
There is a cycling route around every 10km that connects the mountainous surroundings with the town of Rethymno and the lowland coastal route. The total length of the network is 168km.
Informative maps that illustrate the complete network are available in all designated sightseeing spots, bike parking areas and network intersections. The maps depict the cyclist’s exact location and highlight the nearby natural and cultural attractions (archaeological sites, traditional villages, landscapes).
“The rural settlements of Rethymno can attract visitors that are drawn to tradition and natural landscape,” Ms. Birliraki-Mamalaki said. The municipality expects the proposed cycling network to attract visitors that avoid overdeveloped areas and opt for places that have maintained their traditional character.
The deputy mayor added that riding a bicycle in Rethymno can maximize a visitor’s experience of the landscape, while it can also make the exploration of settlements and surrounding areas easier.
“Riding a bike is compatible with the traditional character of these settlements. The bicycle can be the vehicle for their emergence,” she said.
Source: news.gtp.gr, 15/05/14