The 2014 route is now looking very exciting! We will be cycling through, around and over the Balkan mountains… but, don’t worry, there will be as many downhills as there are uphills and also there will be many breaks at many inspiring projects! You can find the finer details of where and when the Biketour will be in the Day-By-Day schedule here. Check the date at the bottom for your version, there may still be updates with small changes.
Here you can see the approximate route graphically on openstreetmap, though this may not correspond on all the parts with the roads we’ll be cycling: Biketour 2014 route on Openstreetmap
Below is the schedule with the name and link to the projects we will visit (more projects will be announced on here as we get confirmation from them that it is OK to make thier info public). Bigger cities, where it will be easiest to join or leave the Biketour are in CAPITALS. Some things may still change, but only by a day or two!
*Please TAKE NOTE* To enter Kosovo you will need to have either a passport or a biometric ID card; an old-style ID card is not valid! Have a look at the borders page for more information on border regulations.
- 10th-13th July – SOFIA, Bulgaria
Come on Thursday 10th July if you want to be part of all of the activities planned for the KICK OFF DAYS from 11th-13th July. Also, there is supposed to be a critical mass on the evening of Thursday.
We will get to know each other, discuss the principles and organisation of the Biketour and build our Rocket Stove and assemble a solar cooker in a workshop! There will also (hopefully!) be a Bike Kitchen for fixing up and/or sourcing your bikes.
We will sleep in the sports hall in Borisova Park, the map for how to get there from the centre is here. Thanks to Sofia Green Tour for arranging this and giving us the very clear map!
Social Centre Adelante
Created in 2010, with the idea to be an open, free, non-commercial and independent place… to create an environment conducive to the development of a freer society to improve the quality of everyday life.”Adelante” is a Spanish word meaning “forward” because we hope that we will all move forward as a society!
Xaspel Social Centre aims to bring together social, environmental, and political activists that are committed to a better world free of structural, symbolic, and normalized violence.
- 15th-18th July – Zhelen, Bulgaria
Eco-communities in the mountains including one called Trinoga
- 21st July – Pirot, Serbia
- 24th-26th July – Sokobanja, Serbia
We will stay some days at Sesalacka Pecina, a recently set-up eco-community to learn from each other. Sesalacka Pecina is 20 km north-east from the town of Sokobanja, a bit after Sesalac.
- 28th July – NIŠ, Serbia
Ecotopia Biketour will camp 20 km outside of Nis at Oblacinsko Jezero (lake) on the way to Kosovo
- 1st-3rd August – PRIZREN, Kosovo
Music festival http://ngomfest.com/ and youth theatre production.
- 6th-8th August – SKOPJE, Macedonia
We will meet up with people from AKSC social centre, an alternative escape for the independent culture. A free zone stimulating the critical thought, debate and activism. We will also do a self-organized bike fixing workshop together with them.
One day we will go to visit an urban garden set up by Green Ark and Nadez.
- 12th-13th August – Doirani, Greece
We will camp by lake Doirani and have discussions with people from the local SOS Kilkis group, which struggle against a proposed gold mining project in the area. Find more info on Hellenic Mining Watch.
- 15-16th August – Kastaneri, Greece
Half the way up Paikos mountain we will camp at a chestnut farm, learn about the history of the region and be able to relax in the woods.
- 19th August – Xifiani, Greece
We will stay at To περιβόλι της Ειρήνης (Orchard of Peace) ecological farm to learn from them, help out and relax in a beautiful countryside
- 22th-25th August – THESSALONIKI, Greece
We will stay at περ.κα/per.ka commmunity garden.
The group PERKA was created with the occupation of a former military base in the beginning of 2011 by people whose goal was the communal and in-season cultivation of vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs in a field or an appropriate space near the city of Thessaloniki. The cultivation/farming is not for profit, it covers part of the members’ needs, it supports vulnerable social groups amd is based on the principles of organic, biodynamic or natural farming, using native seeds and plants, while at the same time gardeners enjoy the benefits of working with and being in contact with the earth. Based on the principles of communality, self-management, egalitarianism and continued education, each person is free to define their own methods and agricultural techniques as well as distribution of gardening tasks and produce. “With our positive attitude and actions, we try to understand the natural cycles, learn from them, and find a cooperative way for escaping the crisis, especially the social one.”
We are planning to do a critical mass through the city to visit the workers’ self-organised factory βιο-με/bio-me, who now produce organic cleaning materials.
We may also visit some of the social centres and squats in the city, one of them is YFANET, a former factory, with a self-organised bicycle workshop to fix up your bicycle.
- 28th-31st August – Ierissos and Megali Panagia, Halkidiki, Greece
We will join the local anti-gold-mining struggle in the area, where preparations for the setting up of an open pit gold-mine are underway. There will be discussions and common actions with locals from SOS Halkidiki as well as solidarian supporters from Thessaloniki and further afield.
- 3rd September – THESSALONIKI, Greece
Another time back in the city where Ecotopia Biketour 2014 was organised we can either relax and/or go to or contribute to the Direct Democracy Festival starting on that day at university.
We will stay at a squatted former school, now used as a social centre, called Σχολειο/Skolio, which has been very open to welcome Ecotopia Biketour people for several events over the past half year.
- 7th-8th September – Nessonas, Greece (only 15km from LARISSA)
COB.GR is concerned with natural building and bioclimatic architecture, two techniques which result in the safe management of resources and energy, the first during the construction of the building and the second in maintaining the standard living conditions. Both result in great environmental and economic benefits. Natural building is a fairly new term which is used to describe an approach to building with a direction towards the use of local, carefully selected or recycled materials, simple tools and techniques.
- 13th-15th September – Rovies, Greece
We will help out at paliomylos, an experimental farm in the hills of Evia, strongly recommended by people from Biketour 2013 who spent some time there.
- 17th September – Vlachia, Greece We will visit another small eco-community in Evia called Stagones
- 21st-23rd September – Marathonas, Greece
Entering Attika region we visit Spithari-Waking Life eco-community to learn from each other and help with some work at the place.
- 24th-26th September – Nea Makri, Greece
Very close to Marathonas, just outside of Athens we visit Nea Guinea, another eco-community being set up by people leaving the big city.
- 28th-30th September – ATHENS, Greece
We want to enter Athens as a Critical Mass ride and hope people from the city will join us for a bigger Mass.
We will be hosted by Istos squat in Haidari area of Athens. While there we can do presentations, discussions and bike fixing, together with collectives like Aftarkeia Network, who are supplying us with one of their self-built solar cookers and helped us in spreading the word and finding hosts in Athens.
To finalize our long trip we will do a reflection of the biketour, collect ideas for coming years and maybe a party. You are welcome to join even just for the final days!
There is reason to hang out longer in the city after our official end for the Alternative Festival of Solidarity and Collaborative Economy, which is most likely going to take place on the second weekend of October, though the dates are not confirmed yet. Check it here yourself: Alternative Festival of Solidarity