Put on the ecotourism radar by recent media coverage and its classification as a blue zone, Ikaria has seen a sudden surge in visitors. Every year, more and more campers and hikers from all over the world are attracted to the island by its rugged and uncharted terrain. However, with so many visitors leaving behind new paths and clearings, the tourist footprint is beginning to take its toll on Ikaria’s delicate ecosystem.
Far from trying to stop visitors from seeing the island’s magnificent natural beauty, Project Pathways is an initiative to promote sustainable tourism. However, we can’t do it alone! With a task force of volunteers, the Ikarian Centre aims to reopen and remark the island’s overgrown pathways. Clear, well-marked pathways will allow walkers and more adventurous hikers to have maximum access with minimal environmental impact.
The project will start in Arethousa, a village of historical and cultural importance. In the face of the Greek financial crisis, building sustainable hiking paths will help the local community to develop eco-tourism. We also hope to empower the local community, proving that a healthy environment and local traditions are valuable for sustainable development.
During 12 days in June, volunteers will work on a 3-km path leading to a beach that is currently only accessible by sea.
When: 4-16 June 2016
Where: Arethousa, Ikaria
Accommodation: Shared accommodation provided at the Ikarian center
Answers to some frequently asked questions, and the application form can be found on the project’s website: www.ikariancentre.com/lang/en/pathways