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Beigua Geopark celebrates 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

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A full calendar of initiatives in collaboration with municipalities and economic operators of the
Beigua regional nature Park – UNESCO Global Geopark.

The Beigua Geopark is a territory that preserves environmental excellence, historical and cultural of great value; a district, straddling the two provinces of Genoa and Savona, where twenty years ago was established the largest protected area of Liguria and in 2015 was recognized as a UNESCO Global Geopark as part of the prestigious Global Geoparks Network.

These are some of the reasons that prompted the Beigua UNESCO Global Geopark to join the celebrations of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 (IY2017). The initiative has been formalized by a United Nations resolution in order to raise public awareness and policy makers on the contribution of sustainable tourism to local economic development, encouraging all stakeholders to work together to make tourism a positive factor towards local development.

In this context Geoparks are committed to playing an important role and it is for this reason that the network of UNESCO Global Geoparks (119 areas identified in 36 different countries on five continents) has become an official partner of IY2017.

The goal is to promote UNESCO Global Geoparks as destinations of excellence for sustainable tourism in the international market, to increase the visibility and attractiveness of the overall asset Geoparks between the major players in the tourism sector, to promote the entire international system of UNESCO Global Geoparks through this important initiative promoted by the United Nations and managed by the World Tourism Organization.

For the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the Beigua Geopark has predicted an active participation in the initiatives promoted globally by organizing events, activities and events that will characterize the offer throughout 2017. A calendar of more than 65 events built in a close collaboration with ten municipalities that are part of the largest nature reserve in Liguria (Arenzano, Cogoleto, Varazze, Stella, Sassello, Tiglieto, Rossiglione, Campo Ligure, Masone, Genova) and various local economic operators, associations, sports groups.

Beigua is a fantastic area for outdoor activities as the classic events of trail running: the “Three for Team” race on February 26th, the “Trail running Beigua Geopark” on May 7th, the “Gran Trail Rensen” on 27th/28th May, the running trail “Cuore a mille” on May 7th, the non-competitive walking “Mare e Monti” on September 9th/10th, the articulated program of the Outdoor Varazze in October.

But also orienteering in the park of Villa Negrotto Cambiaso in Arenzano on January 29th, snowshoeing in February, Nordic Walking (with a national training event organized by UISP in March), bouldering in Varazze on 13th/14th May, the traditional athletics meeting in Cogoleto in late May, the foot races in Masone on June 18th, in Rossiglione on July 14th, in Campo Ligure on August 20th, “Run and Swim” on July 1st and the “Marine Mile” on August 13th both in Cogoleto, snorkeling and diving along the Beigua Riviera in July and August, horse trekking during the summer and the 1st “Beigua Geopark Golf Cup” in Arenzano on October 29th.

2017 brings the big news of the collaboration between the Geopark Authority and the Regional College of Alpine Guides of Liguria which will propose a series of demonstration activities in climbing (June 11th), canyoning (July 16th), trekking (September 24th).

Not to be overlooked is the Alta Via Stage Race mountain bike and Alta Via Epic Trail for intrepid trail-runners transiting, in mid-June, along the three routes of the Alta Via dei Monti Liguri present in the territory of Beigua Geopark.

Great news for cycling sports. In 2017 it is expected the construction of cycling-way Beigua Geopark route in implementation of funding allocated by the Liguria Regional administration for the Geopark as part of the project for excellence “Active Tourism” – Cycling Network in Liguria, with design and installation of dedicated signage and interpretative signage and popularization along a series of paths passable ring with road bike, together with promotional material, such not only to allow the use of the territory of Beigua Geopark, but also to enhance their different environmental excellence, historical , cultural and gastronomic.

A similar project will be realized also to promote the territory of the Geopark through the discipline of mountain biking (the network of paths called “ MTB”).

The rich program offers several guided tours to discover the extraordinary nature of the Geopark in the four seasons: the “Biancone Day” (traditional appointment for Italian and foreign birdwatchers on March 19th in Arenzano heights), the “Alta Via dei Monti Liguri blossoming” in May, “Europe Promenade” between Varazze and Cogoleto, as well as the fascinating excursions into the Gargassa Valley canyon in Rossiglione, as well as several events involving the Italian Hiking Federation (on the occasion of Earth Day, April 22nd) and the Italian Alpine Club (at especially of the National Trails Day, on 20th and 21st May).

Due to popular demand, after the experiences of the past years, hiking and photography workshops in the field will be proposed; they will be led by naturalist guides and experienced photographers (on January 29th the first workshop in Pratorotondo).

Some other events and thematic activities are going to celebrate the World Wetlands Day (February 2nd), the World Day of Forests (March 21st), the World Water Day (March 22nd), the World Day for Biological Diversity (May 22nd), the European Day of Parks (May 24th), the European Geoparks Week (between May and June), the World Environment Day (June 5th), the Eurobirdwatching (September30th/October 1st), the Planet Earth Week (October 15th-22nd) and the Mountain World Day (December 11th).

There is also space for sustainable tourism for younger with educational activities and workshops during the summer season at the Geopark Visitor Centers and the well-established collaboration with the Civic Museum of Natural History Giacomo Doria in Genoa during the Science Festival, October 26th – November 5th.

In addition to the many outdoor sports, there will be promotion initiatives of the precious cultural heritage and historical monuments in the municipalities represented by the Tiglieto Abbey Park (the first Cistercian abbey built outside the borders of France in 1120), the Medieval Castle in Campo Ligure, the furnaces of Cogoleto, the Forte Geremia in Masone, but also the museum of the “President of the Italians” Sandro Pertini in Stella San Giovanni, the museum in Sassello and other museums set up in Rossiglione, Campo Ligure and Masone.

Great attention to the local handcrafts as the filigree in Campo Ligure and the FlorArte event hoste in April 23th-25th in the elegant liberty greenhouse lof Arenzano park, the Flowers Festival in Sassello on June 18th and the events related to the Columbus Day in Cogoleto on October 12th-15th.

Also several events for tasting local products at some farms and gourmet trekking in the Deiva Forest in Sassello on the occasion of the Day of Orange Flags by Touring Italian Club, on October 8th.

2017 will be an extraordinary year, with events, activities that seek to excite visitors through the experiences and authenticity.

Welcome to the Beigua Geopark: a mountain of beautiful things to discover and a sea of appointments to live together…day by day.​


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