Danube GeoTour


Acronym: Danube GeoTour

Interreg Danube Transnational Programme 2014-2020

Reference number: DTP1-226-2.2
Programmatic priority: PA2, Environment and culture responsible Danube region

Project executing agency: Idrija Heritage Centre- Idrija Geopark (SLO),


- Balaton-felvidéki National Park Directorate (H),
- Styrian Eisenwurzen (A),
- Public institution "Nature Park Papuk" (CRO),
- ARGE Geopark Karavanks (A/SLO),
- Institute of the Republic of Slovenia for Nature Conservation (SLO),
- Bakony & Balaton Regional Tourism Nonprofit Ltd (H),
- Železné Hory Geopark(CZ),
- University of Bucharest (RO),
- University of Presov (SL),
- Public Enterprise National Park Djerdap (SRB).

In addition, 3 strategic consultants can be found in the project to support the partners in the implementation of high quality:

- Humanpolis ltd / Rokua Geopark (F),
- Naturtejo - Tourism Company (P)
- Global Geoparks Network (FR).

Project period: 1.1.2017- 31.12.2019.

Budget in Euros:
Total: € 1.651.741,07
ERDF Contribution: € 1.315.635,14
IPA Contribution: € 88.344,75
ENI Contribution: 0

Main project objective:
The main project objective is to improve management capacities and strategies and develop practical solutions for activating geodiversity/geoheritage and jumping on positive market trends for sustainable tourism development in 8 geoparks of the Danube Region:

Based on an integrative approach, the project addresses four challenges:

  • Avoiding or restrictively dealing with negative environmental impacts through new geotourism offers.
  • To identify the potentials of the geopark resources and to start a socio-economic development that involves the local population and regional small businesses and develops with them new sustainable geo-products in the Danube GeoTour.
  • To present the diversity of geology in a comprehensive, understandable and attractive way
  • Use synergy effects of awareness raising and marketing to strengthen the public perception of the Geoparks in the Danube Region.
  • The result of the project should be a common Danube GeoTour, which will be featured on different routes, together with innovative geoproducts and geointerpretation points based on the unique natural, cultural and geographical heritage of the Danube region.

Work packages:

WP1: Project Management
AP2: Communication activities
AP3: Geopark with/without borders
AP4: GeoProducts with character
AP5: GeoInterpretation
AP6: GeoPartnership & Marketing

3 Subproject Objectives:

1) A first step is to establish a balanced coexistence of the protection of geological sights and a touristic development in the geoparks. In this context an evaluation of the existing conditions and a conception for a strengthening of a sustainable tourism in the Geoparks is needed. Negative impacts should be avoided in this context (such as unauthorized fossil collecting, adventure parks with massive impact on natural features, etc.).

2) Innovative GeoProducts and geological knowledge transfer in the 8 participating Geoparks should serve as pillars of a "Danube GeoTour". In cooperation with the project partners, tourists and the local population, special and authentic geoproducts (GeoCulture and GeoOutdoor) are to be developed with the help of modern mediation methods and techniques. This should improve the tourist offer and attract new visitors. By integrating gamification methods, locals are to be motivated and involved through elements such as group work or idea competitions. The interested population will be involved in a learning process and will be invited to help develop the geoproducts. Finally, the Danube Geoparks should be strengthened nationally and internationally in visibility and identity. Cooperation in this context of geo-tourism will bring socio-economic benefits to the local population.

3) In the course of this project, the transnational partnership will also be the basis for joint marketing. The Danube GeoTour will present itself to the public through innovative digital concepts, and creative marketing.

During the project, the partners will have to deal with a variety of tasks. The main partner Idrija Geopark in Slovenia will prepare a new visitor center. The focus will be on the mercury mine there, as an important geological heritage of the geopark. Balaton Geopark in Hungary has set two goals. On the one hand, the existing visitor center in Hegyestű will be renovated, and on the other hand, the "volcanism" themed trails will be revised. The Steirische Eisenwurzen Nature and Geopark in Austria will install three modern visitor information points in three locations, which will provide a further link to the Danube GeoTour with a focus on the region's water wealth.

The Geopark Papuk in Croatia has the task to build an innovative visitor information board in Zvečevo. This serves to convey the local geology, metamorphic rocks and their processes. The Djerdap National Park in Serbia, as a potential geopark, will also develop an educational site in Tekija. The site is located directly on the Danube near the Iron Gate, known as the Danube breakthrough valley.

Project co-financed by funds of the European Union (ERDF, IPA).