St Paul's footsteps European Cultural Route

"In the footsteps of Saint Paul, the Apostle of the nations" - Cultural Route

European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC)

A Cultural Route highlighting the cultural heritage values and legacy of St Paul’s missions to Europe, 
to honour Saint Paul, the Apostle of the nations, through his epistles and intangible heritage in literature, arts, history, philosophy, theology and Christianity in Europe, 
towards regenerating the European ideals, with sustainable cultural tourism development and promotion along the route in several countries, regions, cities, islands and local communities

St Paul's footsteps Cultural Route promoted at Smart Destinations Conference

Pafos, Cyprus, 27-29 April 2022

Lazio and Central Macedonia Regions

at BIT Milano Tourism Fair 2022

promoting the Cultural Route

'St Paul's footsteps' Cultural Route EGTC welcomes the European Year of Youth 2022 !

The EGTC 'In the footsteps of St Paul, the Apostle of the nations, welcomes the announcement by the EU institutions regarding 2022 as European Year of Youth (EYY2022). Although there is no direct reference to tourism and culture, the European Year is an opportunity to motivate young Europeans to discover, study and enjoy the rich European culture and heritage through sustainable cultural tourism!

ECTN is ready and willing to assist the EU institutions towards this aim, by including a specal reference to European Youth in several ECTN activities during 2022.

​In particular, the 1st objective is relevant to sustainable cultural tourism activities for young Europeans:

"Renewing the positive perspectives for young people, with a particular focus on the negative effects the COVID-19 pandemic had on them, while highlighting how the green and digital transitions and other Union policies offer opportunities for young people and for the society at large".

The European Cultural Tourism Network (ECTN), EGTC founding member, is also actively supporting the EYY2022.

To celebrate the European Year of Youth 2022, a theme of the ECTN annual Conference and a category of the ECTN Awards in 2022 is dedicated to youth: 'Promoting European Heritage to Young Visitors and Travellers' !

Discover EU

Furthermore, cultural tourism for youth is promoted by DiscoverEU, an initiative of the European Union that gives young Europeans aged 18 the opportunity to discover Europe through learning experiences. Travelling predominantly by rail (there are exceptions to allow those living on islands or in remote areas), participants discover Europe’s cultural diversity, its stunning landscapes and its variety of cities and towns. In the context of this flagship initiative, a ‘Cultural Route’ will be published on the European Youth Portal in the first half of 2022, with an aim to encourage young people to embark on a cultural journey during their DiscoverEU travel. The route will highlight places of cultural interest. Some of those cities will be European Capitals of Culture or the hosts of European Heritage Label sites. The above are of great interedt to ECTN that includes amogst its members several destinations of European Capitals of Culture (Sibiu, Maribor, Pécs, Guimaraes, Riga, Pafos, Rijeka).

The European Cultural Route of 'St Paul's footsteps' can offer highly interesting opportunties for youth travel along the route in Cyprus, Greece and Italy, particularly for walking tourism, with visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites / Heritage Journeys and European Heritage Label Sites.


'St Paul's footsteps Cultural Route' under evaluation by the Council of Europe for certification

Following the submission of the applicationfor certification to the Council of Europe in July2021, the European Cultural Route "In the footsteps of St Paul, the Apostle of the nations" is under evaluation starting end November 2021. The application has met the eligibility criteria as a candidate Cultural Route of the Council of Europe.

The expert appointed by the Council of Europe EICR has visited Central Macedonia Region in Greece (Presidency of the Cultural Route) and had discussions with founding members Lazio Region, Italy (Vice-Presidency) and Pafos Regional Board of Tourism, Cyprus (Treasurer). The expert's visit was facilitated by ECTN, founding member, Secretariat and Director of the Cultural Route European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation.

Saint Paul's footsteps Cultural Route EGTC welcomes the cooperation between UNWTO and Council of Europe on promoting Cultural Routes

As announced on 23 November 2021, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the Council of Europe will work together to develop the opportunities tourism offers to local communities and to enhance the tourist experience along the European region's Cultural Routes.

The EGTC of St Paul's footsteps European Cultural Route strongly welcomes and will support this initiative at all levels.

For more details please visit: UNWTO and Council of Europe websites.

Memorandum of Cooperation

St Paul's Footsteps Cultural Route presented at the 14th Cultural Tourism Conference of ECTN held in Athens, Greece

At the plenary session on 22 October 2021, the European Cultural Route of 'In the footsteps of St Paul, the Apostle of the nations' was presented by ECTN, including the launch of the video documentary on the Cultural Route produced by ECTN.

1st EGTC annual Conference held on 15 December 2020

ECTN organised the 1st Conference as a founding member of the respective European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC), established in the frame of: Cult-RInG Interreg Europe project 'Cultural Routes as Investment for Growth and Jobs',

with partners: 
- Region of Central Macedonia, Greece
- Lazio Region, Italy
- Pafos Regional Board of Tourism, Cyprus.

The full programme and video recordings can be found here.

According to the announcement by both UNWTO and Council of Europe:

"The joint actions will be aimed at recognizing the added value that cultural routes offer for sustainable tourism development, cultural heritage safeguarding and intercultural dialogue. The collaboration will also further highlight the routes’ potential for advancing social, economic and cultural development, benefitting both Europe and its partner countries by strengthening cultural and historical ties."

All of the above are highly relevant to the European Cultural Route of St Paul's footsteps, given the high profile of Apostle Paul's legacy in Europe and the involvement of competent regional authorities and tourism organisations in the founding of the respective EGTC. In particular, the development of sustainable cultural tourism is of top prioriry along the Cultural Route and related UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Through founding member ECTN the EGTC will contribute to the UNWTO/Council of Europe initiative in the EU partner regions and beyond.

The overall theme of the Conference was the regenearion of European tourism through Culture, Heritage and Creativity, following the pandemin in 2020 and 2021. Cultural Routes was one of the sub-themes in terms of transnational thematic tourism products.

The ECTN Conference was opened by the President of the Greek National Tourism Organisation who expressed interest in the European Cultural Route of St Paul's footsteps. There were also messages by the Cyprus Deputy Minister of Tourism and a Member of European Parliament Culture Committee.