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23 April 2021

Part of Iron Curtain Trail is Cycle Route of the Year 2021 

The section of the Iron Curtain Trail between Gmünd in Austria and Bratislava in Slovakia, has been declared Cycle Route of the Year 2021. The jury made this known during the first day of the Fiets en Wandelbeurs Online Experience.

Due to the limitations of the emergency measures, the presentation this time was 100% online. A representative of the route in Austria, Dominik Hiller of Weinviertel Tourismus, held the accompanying Cycling Trophy proudly aloft to the camera during the Zoom meeting. Three other routes were nominated for the contest: the LF-Kust route and LF-Zuiderzee route in the Netherlands and the Oranje cycle route in Germany and the Netherlands.

Iron Curtain Trail

The entire Iron Curtain Trail (EuroVelo 13) is almost 10,000 km long and winds from the Black Sea to the Barents Sea, along the former Iron Curtain that used to divide Europe into East and West. On the section between Gmünd and Bratislava, the jury came across remains and monuments from the Cold War era which still felt threatening. ‘But every disadvantage has an upside, owing to the forced relocation of the former population on the east side of this border, rewilding has created a unique area of nature,’ according to the jury’s report.

Beautiful Landscape

The jury praised the beauty of the landscape along the route as well as the rustic villages, historic towns and cities. ‘Various rivers meander between them before reaching final agreement by conjoining with the Danube. The old city of Bratislava is a dream destination.’

Other provisions such as signposting, picnic benches and visitor information are all to a good level according to the jury. ‘The countries which were once divided by the Iron Curtain have worked together brilliantly to realise a wonderful route that has rightfully earned its place.'

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