About the project

RIDE&BIKE - Horseback riding and cycling as a common cross-border opportunity

The project “Interpretation of natural and cultural heritage for active holidays” with the acronym “RIDE&BIKE II” is implemented within the Interreg V-A Slovenia-Croatia cooperation program and actively involves natural and cultural heritage, especially scattered heritage elements, which are interesting to get to know, especially for active visitors and tourists, and especially for cyclists and horseback riders.

The project is a follow-up to the RIDE&BIKE project, which was implemented in the financial perspective OP SI HR 2007-2013 and which encouraged the partner network to think about the further development of a cross-border destination that would build its competitive advantage on horseback riding and cycling tourism.

The project links natural and cultural heritage with active tourism and other offers with the heritage offer. The main objective of RIDE BIKE II is to develop specialized tourism products based on the interpretation of natural and cultural heritage and to establish comprehensive management and development of sustainable active tourism.

The key result of the project is the contribution to the increase of the number of visitors to the cross-border destination, while the direct impacts of the project are:

  1. an organized cross-border offer with 2 cross-border tourism products based on the smart integration of registered natural (NATURA 2000, other standardized forms of protection) and cultural heritage (manor houses, museums, old market towns);

  2. the development of RIDE&BIKE standards (10), for tourism facilities (catering, accommodation;

  3. raising awareness among key stakeholders of the importance of valuing natural and cultural heritage and integrating it into the active tourism offer.

In the Posavje area, we have set up 4 innovative stopping points for active visitors to the area, provided promotion and presentations at trade fairs at home and abroad, co-created standards for a horseback riding and cycling-friendly offer, drew and digitized new, connecting riding and cycling routes, etc.

A cross-border project approach in the project is needed to link the specialized tourism offer that a destination has to offer. The planned approach aims to optimize the use of natural assets, taking into account the socio-cultural identity of the destination and creates the conditions for long-term economic development. The innovation of the project is reflected in the development of a common cross-border destination: a cross-border specialized tourism product, common destination standards and comprehensive innovative promotion.

“RIDE&BIKE 1” and “RIDE&BIKE2” - project details

Partner countries: Slovenia and Croatia 

Lead partner: Zagorje Development Agency Ltd.

Project value: € 875,472.55 of which 85% is a grant from the European Regional Development Fund.

Other partners in the project

  • KŠTM Sevnica, Glavni trg 19, 8290 Sevnica

  • Turistička zajednica Krapinsko-zagorske županije,

  • Turistička zajednica Savsko-Sutlanska dolina i brigi,

  • Razvojna agencija Kozjansko,

  • Razvojna agencija Sotla. 

Geographical area of implementation of the entire project

Republic of Croatia:

  • Krapina-Zagorje County (32 local self-government units: Donja Stubica, Klanjec, Krapina, Oroslavje, Pregrada, Zabok, Zlatar, Bedekovčina, Budinščina, Desinić, Đurmanec, Gornja Stubica, Hrašćina, Hum na Sutli, Jesenje, Konjščina, Kraljevec na Sutli, Krapinske Toplice, Kumrovec, Lobor, Mače, Marija Bistrica, Mihovljan, Novi Golubovec, Petrovsko, Radoboj, Stubičke Toplice, Sveti Križ Začretje, Tuhelj, Veliko Trgovišće, Zagorska Sela, Zlatar Bistrica)

  • Zagreb County (3 local self-government units: Brdovec, Dubravica, Marija Gorica)

Republic of Slovenia:

  • Savinja Region (7 local self-government units: Dobje, Šentjur, Šmarje Pri Jelšah, Rogaška Slatina, Rogatec, Podčetrtek, Kozje)

  • Lower Sava Region (6 local self-government units: Sevnica, Krško, Brežice, Radeče, Kostanjevica na Krki, Bistrica ob Sotli)

The cross-border area in which the Ride&Bike project is being implemented is recognized as a region rich in cultural heritage, traditions and customs, with numerous natural assets and a varied rural tourism offer. However, the main motive for tourists to come here is the spa or thermal offer. At the same time, there is a lack of connection between individual tourism providers, a lack of specific knowledge among tourism providers, and an insufficient offer of active leisure activities. This disconnectedness means that the region remains an unrecognized tourist destination, despite its rich thermal offer. The creation of a network of cross-border cycling routes adds an active holiday option to the existing thermal offer. Alongside the cycling and horseback riding offer, guests can also enjoy the rich cultural and natural heritage and discover the regional cuisine.

The creation of a network ensures a future for increasing productivity and added value in the region’s tourism sector. The project will develop the previously underdeveloped field of “small” business tourism by stimulating creativity and innovation in tourism.

Overall objective

The overall objective of the project is to increase the visibility of the cross-border destination through the comprehensive development of rural integral tourism products based on specific forms of tourism (cycling and horseback riding tourism), to increase the tourist offer on both sides of the border and to increase the cooperation between tourism providers on both sides. At the same time, the project activities will increase awareness of the forms and effects of sustainable tourism, the desire to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the cross-border area and will also increase employment opportunities and therefore the quality of life in rural areas. At the end of the project, as a result of the project activities, new cross-border tourism products will be developed with a focus on cycling and horseback riding, which will increase the number of visitors and tourists in the cross-border area.

Direct objectives of the project

The objectives of the Ride&Bike project are:

  • to create a network of cycling and horseback riding trails in the cross-border area,

  • digitization of cycling and horse riding routes with GPS coordinates,

  • the construction of 4 stopping points for horses as infrastructure for horseback riding tourism,

  • the production of promotional material on cycling and horseback riding routes and the production of a cycling map,

  • upgrading of existing websites focusing on the offer of cycling and riding tourism,

  • development of a smartphone app,

  • training of existing tourist guides with new knowledge and specific features of the cycling and horseback riding offer in the cross-border area,

  • setting up, connecting, and training of tourism providers in the cross-border area,

  • awareness raising and training of tourism providers,

  • holding training workshops for natural and cultural heritage administrators and tourism operators,

  • increase the number of registered providers of cycling and riding tourism in the cross-border area,

  • presentation of cycling and horseback riding routes at specialized fairs in EU countries,

  • the development of a pilot model for the marketing of cycling services, with a comprehensive system of bicycle rental and marketing.

Project indicators

The indicators for the overall Ride&Bike project are:

  • drawing of one (1) horseback riding trail and two (2) branch-offs,

  • drawing of one (1) cycle track,

  • marking of one (1) horseback riding path and two (2) branch-offs,

  • establishing of two (2) websites and one (1) website upgrade,

  • twenty (20) training sessions for different target groups,

  • development of promotional material,

  • organization and presentation at three (3) trade fairs,

  • construction of eighteen (18) rest areas,

  • development of a smartphone app,

  • development of one (1) pilot model for the marketing of cycling services in the cross-border area.

At the same time, twenty (20) routes will be digitized, one hundred and ninety-eight (198) people will be trained, five hundred (500) website visitors and one hundred (100) users of the smartphone app will be reached through the implementation of the project activities.

General description of the tasks of KŠTM Sevnica in the project

As a project partner in the Ride&Bike project, KŠTM Sevnica will ensure the realization of the following activities:

  • digitalization of six (6) new cycle paths and three (3) horseback riding paths,

  • the development of technical bases and additional content for six (6) cycling routes and three (3) horseback riding routes,

  • the creation of a new website with primarily new cycling and horseback riding routes (and the possibility to publish existing routes); and

  • nine (9) cycling workshops (training sessions).