World Bicycle Day: Discover Amazon of Europe Bike Trail | WWF
World Bicycle Day: Discover Amazon of Europe Bike Trail

Posted on 03 June 2020

Cycle for nature through five countries and 1.250 km along Mura, Drava and Danube Rivers
The Amazon of Europe Bike Trail is a long-distance cycling trail following the pristine Mura, Drava and Danube River landscapes for over 1.250 km. The 27 stages offer a unique opportunity for nature cycling holidays with a cultural experience. When booking this cycling adventure, part of the spending directly supports nature conservation initiatives in the region.
 
“We are creating a sustainable eco-destination in cooperation with tourism organisations, service providers, municipalities, regions and protected areas to boost balanced local development,” said Urška Dolinar, Amazon of Europe Bike Trail Project Manager.

Amazon of Europe Bike Trail facts:
  • Distance: over 1.250 km
  • Cycling through planned first world UNESCO 5-country Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube, spanning over almost 1 million hectares
  • 2 routes: North Route (550 km) and South Route (700 km)
  • 3 rivers: Mura, Drava and Danube: most preserved natural riverine system in Central Europe
  • 5 countries: Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and Serbia
  • 27 stages, 11 on the North Route and 16 on the South Route
  • Start point: Mureck, Austria (close to Graz)
  • End point: Mohacs, Hungary (close to Pécs)

With 1.250 km of cycling trails following both sides of the rivers through Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia, the Amazon of Europe Bike Trail represents an advanced flagship sustainable product. While it aims to offer full service for cyclists within its own Service & Booking Centre, this project puts nature in its focus through a valorisation programme which is developed to ensure direct reinvestment of a certain percentage of the income into nature protection projects in the region.

“This stunning riverine landscape hosts an amazing biological diversity and is a hotspot of rare natural habitats such as large floodplain forests, river islands, gravel and sand banks, side branches and oxbows. By choosing the Amazon of Europe Bike Trail for their next adventure, visitors get the chance to directly contribute to the protection of those habitats and their inhabitants,” said Anja Trutina from WWF Adria.
 
In addition, visitors will experience the area’s cultural heritage while cycling through the North or the South Route’s towns and villages. Traditional accommodation and restaurants along the route allow cyclists to enjoy local hospitality and taste the unforgettable local cuisine such as superb wines.

For comfortable cycling adventure, Amazon of Europe Bike Trail will establish its own Service & Booking Centre where clients can book their full-package cycling holidays. The packages will include:
  • top advice from an experienced and competent team;
  • unique individual travel planning and booking with online trail booking system;
  • accommodation in best rated local hotels and bed & breakfasts;
  • half-board with focus on local cuisine;
  • fabulous services such as luggage transport, shuttle services and transport back to the starting point;
  • visits to the most interesting local attractions and festivals such as the International Amazon of Europe Biking Festival, which will take place in Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia during the summer (dependent on COVID-19 restrictions);
  • attractive and surprising trail offers; and
  • safety first: all travel offers comply with the EU Package Travel Directive 90/314/EEC.
The Amazon of Europe Bike Trail is open to all visitors and offers spectacular natural landscapes and possibilities for various leisure activities making it a great destination for all nature lovers
 
Background:
  • The Transboundary UNESCO Biosphere Reserve will combine the cluster of thirteen protected areas along the Mura-Drava-Danube region and jointly manage the shared river ecosystem in a sustainable manner while boosting economic growth and development in the region.
  • The Biosphere Reserve concept defines about 300,000 hectares of core and buffer zones (existing protected area network) and around 700,000 hectares of transition zones. The core zone is the ecological backbone of the reserve.
  • The Amazon of Europe Bike Trail Project connects 15 project partners and 11 associated partners in developing a model for sustainable mobility and a unique tourism product in the future 5-country UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube. The project is co-funded through the Danube Transnational Programme of the European Union (ERDF and IPA funds).
  • WWF-Austria, WWF-Adria, WWF Central and Eastern Europe and its partners have been working for UNESCO recognition for this biosphere reserve for over a decade. The final papers were signed and submitted in May, 2019 and we expect to celebrate the final declaration in June 2021.
Gornje Podunavlje, Jaroslav Pap
© Jaroslav Pap