Chelopech, Bulgaria – a Family Bike Experience

Chelopech, Bulgaria

Chelopech is the smallest municipality in Bulgaria. It consists of the village of Chelopech on the south slopes of Stara Planina mountain, 1 hour drive from Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. The region is rich in natural resources thanks to its geographical positioning and has one of the largest copper-gold sites in Europe. The history of the village dates as far as VII century. The village has a rich industrial past thanks to its rich natural resources. Today the village is occupied by 1754 residents and is the first startup village in Bulgaria.

A Family Bike Experience

The third training in the “European Stories” project, conducted in October 2021 in Matera, Italy, was focused on the ideation of sustainable touristic experiences. One of these ideas was the Family Bike Experience in Chelopech. The idea was developed in a team with a representative of the municipality of Chelopech, and international partners from Bulgaria, France and Ireland.

The idea:

The idea stemmed from the renewed infrastructure of Chelopech and the established velo-training park for children in the village.

Chelopach cycling ground park for children

Its focus is the development of a common space (platform) for different routes for cyclists where they can choose their route based on diverse factors such as: length, difficulty, sightseeing, cultural relevance, topics of interest, etc.

Target Audience:

The audience in mind is families, biking clubs, and bike lovers from Bulgaria and abroad. People with interest in a healthy lifestyle and with ecological mindset. People looking for a quality time with their family or friends out of the city, but who also need to ensure safe environment for their children and have hassle free biking experience. At the same time, the offer aims to be cost efficient in order to be accessible to people on a tighter budget.

How it will be executed:

The team envisions the creation of an app that contains all available tours and points of interest. The visitor selects which tour to visit and has the opportunity to alter it by adding / switching points of interest to visit. Apart from the sights on the routes, visitors will have the opportunity to interact with locals and hear their stories. After going through the tour, the visitor (app user) can upload their route for others to experience, as well as pictures and reviews.

The solution will offer visitors information not only about specific sightseeing opportunities, but also about nearby utilities such as restrooms and bike repair shops, as well as caffes and restaurants they can stop by.

The result:

This offer will provide both tourists and the local community with new experiences, interaction and means for economic growth. Services that currently may not exist, will have the opportunity to develop and provide not only the visitors, but also the local community with new engaging activities to do in their own village. Indirectly, the proposal would contribute to decentralization of services from big cities and towns to smaller villages. At the same time, it will drive interest towards Chelopech as a destination, without overtaking the economy of the settling.

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