Project SYTHER is about creating a tourist attraction of high quality and spanning on a large scale. The route is spanning on two cross-border mountains (Sakar and Strandja) and passes by more than 25 settlements with around 100 000 inhabitants alltogether. The total length of the tourist route is planned to exceed more than 190 kilometers, equally divided between Bulgarian and Turkish border territories. The Project will have a strong cross-border impact, because the stakeholders from the both sides of the border will unite their effords to create a joint tourist product. The tourists spendings in the region should improve the local economies,the tourist flow increase the cultural exchange and will contribute to the socialization of the local communities. Increasing of the tourists number will result in a demand for products and services from the tourist industries of the two countries, and will be create opportunities for benefit for the food and beverages producers, suppliers, tourist agents, unemployed people, etc. Finally, the eco-firendly activities from the both sides of the border should result in increased awarenes of the Bulgarian and Turkish population for protecting the environment.

The present project fully corresponds to the programme strategy for solving the issues of the cross-border regions, arising from their peripheral localization and economic isolation. The project is fully complied with the results of the SWOT analysis of the programme strategy, taking into account the strengths of the region and the use of it’s potential. The project activities are directly oriented towards the achievement of the aims of priority axis 1: Sustainable social and economic development, and the key area of intervention 1.2: Economy Competitiveness increasing.  The project goals and planned activities aim at the development, diversification and encouragement of the sustainable tourism inthe region. The achieved length of 190 km route of SYTHER with 6 hiking stages, 3 water stages and 3 cycling stages will promote the cross-border zone as a unique tourist destination.

Project objectives

The overall goal of the project is, through building and popularization of a concrete tourist route located in the mountains Strandja and Sakar, to develop deversify and strenghten the sustainable tourism in the region, and to show it’s specific touristic value on the basis of the nature’s potential and the cultural and historical herritage. This main objective will be achieved by the settled specific objectives.

1. Valorization of the region’s tourist resources is a specific goal, which will icrease the attractiveness of the SYTHER route
2. Developing an adequate technico-economic project of the tourist route and it’s implementation will raise the quality of the route from the perspectives of tourists safety, comfort and awareness
3. A trilingual web page, containing information about the route, local branch firms and organizations and links to themed websites will result in popularization of the SYTHER route, and will be an easy way for the potential tourists to find an adequate service, information, or help.


Project title Sakar-Yildiz Trans-European Hiking Route
Lead Partner (name/country) Tourist Association “Vishegrad”/Bulgaria
Partners DAYKO – Foundation of protection of natural life
Priority axis 1. Sustainable social and economic development
Area of intervention 1.2 Economy competitiveness increasing
Duration (in months) 12 months
Total budget (in €) 113 856,20 EURO


Project Objectives Overall objective: Development, diversification and encouragement of the sustainable tourism in the region, by means of using the potential of the common natural heritage and advertising the cross-border area as a specific tourist destination.

Specific objectives:

1. To describe and valorise the natural resources along the hiking tourist route Strandja-Sakar

2. To develop detailed technico-economic project of the tourist route, pursuant to the national legislations of Republic of Bulgaria and Republic of Turkey

3. To build an informational, facilitating and securing infrastructure along the route, according to the developed technico-economic project

4. To create and maintain a trilingual web page, containing basic information about:

·         The route and the sights along it

·         Local branch firms and organizations

·         Links to themed web pages

Project Activities 1. Gathering of project team and organizing an office

2. Forum to acquaint the public with the project goals and the goals of the CBC Programme, and introduction of the project partners

3. Desk research on the specifics of the tourist route

4. Terrain exploration along the route, with inventory and valorization of the natural resources

5. Development of detailed technico-economic project for the hiking route in compliance with the European and the national legislations of Republic of Bulgaria and Republic of Turkey

6. Activities for building the designed tourist infrastructure

7. Preparation and print of the trilingual tourist route guide

8. Joint hiking along the cross-border tourist route with final forum

9. Creation of trilingual web page with information for the route

10. Activities for publicity and popularization of the project

Project Results 1. Local communities, well informed about the strategies and goals of the CBC Programme, and the activities and mission of the project

2. A report, based on the results of the desk research and the terrain exploration (trilingual)

3. A technico-economic project for tracing tourist routes, made in accordance with the Eurpean and the national legislations of Republic of Bulgaria and Republic of Turkey

4. Specialized infrastructure along the tourist route Strandja-Sakar built

5. Joint tourist event along the built route with representatives from the project parties realized

6. A final forum with presentation of the project results conducted

7. An informational web page on three languages about the route and the crossing area created

8. Promotional items and products, popularizing the project made

9. Issued trilingual tourist route guide

Target Groups 1. Young people and students, who are actively engaged in tourism

2. Sports, tourist and youth clubs from the two sides of the border

3. Persons practicing ecotourism in the CBR Bulgaria-Turkey

4. Tour operators who organize hiking events and trips in the CBR Bulgaria-Turkey