Could the Cyclades become an internationally recognised destination of thematic tourism? The answer is yes, but what will be the common thematic narrative linking the islands?
Mythology tells of the birth of the Cycladic islands out of the terrible Gigantomachy. A myth is a figment of the imagination from a time when man was unable to interpret unexplained phenomena. In the case of the Cyclades, this concerns geology. The geological creation of the Cyclades has bequeathed us with a series of very special geological monuments, which could be part of this common narrative. The promotion of geological heritage sites (geotopes) contributes to the development of a form of special interest tourism, called geotourism, which has been on the rise in the past decade.
Geoparks are official geotourism destinations. A geopark is an area containing a sufficient number of geotopes, thus being a mosaic of geological features considered to be of exceptional scientific interest and rarity. Typically, the interest in the area is not just geological, but also has ecological, archaeological, historical and cultural value.
The birth of the Cyclades Geopark begins in Syros with a truly “bottom-up” approach. Social Enterprise “Apano Meria” managed to gather all the necessary bodies and scientists and in cooperation with the Municipality of Syros – Ermoupolis, submitted a proposal for the financing of the rehabilitation of three trails leading to sites of particular geological interest and the creation of a Geological Museum, which was approved.
With the support of the Cyclades Department of Culture of the South Aegean Region, the Municipality of Syros – Ermoupolis and Social Enterprise “Apano Meria”, the action “In search of the geological treasure of Syros” is in progress. As part of this action, a scientific conference was held, and the head of the Sustainable Tourism Department of DAFNI Network, Georgia Kanellopoulou, participated with an announcement.
DAFNI Network, having as members all the island Municipalities of Cyclades and the South Aegean Region and having in place the right scientific team and experience, can actively contribute to the promotion and maturation of necessary actions for the establishment of the Cyclades Geopark.