Modernization, promotion and exploitation of caves


My Caves
Project Number – MIS 5048155
Priority axis 2 - A Sustainable and Climate adaptable Cross-Border area
Investment priorities 6c - Conserving, protecting, promoting and developing natural and cultural heritage
Intervention fields 091. Development and promotion of the tourism potential of natural areas
Call 2nd Call for proposals under priority axes 2 & 4
Lead Beneficiary Municipality of N. Zichni
Beneficiaries "Rodopeya" Tourist Association
Alistrati Cave SA
Municipality of Madan
Public Benefit Enterprise of Municipality of Prosotsani
Start Date Jul 04, 2019
End Date Oct 31, 2023
Budget 780.269,85 €
ERDF Contribution 663.229,37 €
National Contribution 117.040,48 €
The project's primary aim is to incorporate innovative, state of the art methods in order to render cave sites in the cross - border area an attractive thematic tourism destination. Caves form a unique and vulnerable part of our natural and archaeological heritage. They also constitute a valuable scientific resource, providing evidence of human cultural change, the development of the landscape and climate changes. MyCaves will strive to:
- maintain and seek to improve interest in visiting caves
- encourage and support cave conservation
- apply innovative techniques pertaining to technology to disseminate acquired knowledge and outline the importance of sites of speleological interest 
- organise meetings and events, including training to raise awareness on all aspects regarding the importance of preserving caves and their significance as sites of natural heritage and scientific interest 
The project is expected to increase the attractiveness of cave sites in the cross - border area and the number of people visiting. Enhancing the attractiveness of natural resource sites improves the overall attractiveness of the cross - border area, thus leading to higher visitor figures,  increased international visibility and an overall elevated status as a tourist destination. Higher tourist flows in an area of exquisite natural and cultural heritage provide additional opportunities.

Another very important outcome is pointing out the need to improve the quality and variety of the services the local enterprises currently provide. Therefore, the modernization, promotion and exploitation of caves in the cross – border area is practically synonymous to enhancing its tourist potential by pointing out the inherent advantages of certain natural heritage sites.

The project is especially directed on using technologically advanced techniques that will help cave management authorities preserve natural heritage sites, achieve higher status as a tourist destination and ultimately help put the tourist sector on a sustainable development path. The proposed ICT applications will provide means for a better interpretation of the importance of caves and natural heritage sites in general. The project will serve as a good practice in depicting the major advantages of preserving and promoting natural heritage sites. Added value is also foreseen in aspects such as initiatives leading to cross – border cultural events, exchange in terms of knowledge, human resources and good practices, joint initiatives in future projects and restoration of sites whose immediate or distant future seems nowadays, at least obscure.

Furthermore, the benchmarking studies of the project will draw attention to issues pertaining to local and regional policies that if not already present will apparently emerge. The promotional actions planned, will help communicate these issues early enough as to offer adequate time to tackle future problems before they arise.


D.2.1.4_myCaves_Nea Zichni promo video_GR
D.2.5.1_Rodopeya video results
MyCaves_app promo_ENG  /  MyCaves_app promo_GR

D.2.3.2_MyCavesTour_app  flyer_EN / GR / BG
D.6.4.2_Leaflet_Madan Municipality_EN / BG
D.2.4.2_ Tourist map_caves & mountain hiking routes in the Central Rhodope Region_EN.BG.GR

D.3.1.1_Best Practices in Cave Management, Conservation and Restoration (GR with EN abstr)
Best practices forum_presentations_ preservation of natural & cultural heritage_GR
D.3.4.1_Best practices forum_ presentations_ preservation of natural & cultural heritage_EN.BG

D.3.1.2_Benchmarking Tourist Destinations Cave Areas_GR (EN abstr)
D.3.3.2_Benchmarking Tourist Destinations Cave Areas (Marketing Planning Tool)_GR
D.3.5.2_Benchmarking tourist destinations cave area_BG (EN abstr)

D.3.1.3_Echo guides & Alter tourism development business report _EN  /  training material-presentations (GR)
D.3.1.4_Process sales & marketing of local traditional products seminars_report (EN)  /  training material-presentations (GR)

D.6.1.1_Participation in EXPOs -  Belgrade Tourism Fair (GR)
D.6.4.2. Participation in EXPOs in an exhibition in Bulgaria

D.4.4.1_Rehabilitation of Lighting using LEDs - Sharenka cave and surroundings in Madan
Delivery and installation of architectural - artistic LED lighting at the exterior entrance/exit of the cave, powered by RES (renewable energy sources) – 1 pcs
Delivery and installation of solar park poles with LED plinth and built-in solar panel along the pedestrian connection to the cave - 20 pcs


D.4.4.2_Small Scale Interventions - Sharenka cave and surroundings in Madan
Construction of an arch in the form of an above-ground artificial rock; delivery and installation of a front door; Cleaning of the access (pathway) - a pedestrian connection (length - 1.1 km, width: varies on average from 0.5 m. up to 1-1.5 m.); Making decorative stairs; Renovation of an existing decorative bridge; Delivery and installation of decorative fences made of impregnated wood (total length of 600 m.; height of the fences - 0.8 m); Construction of benches, imitating artificial rocks, with sheds of impregnated wood.



D.4.5.1_Rehabilitation of Lighting using LEDs - Yagodinska Cave



D.4.5.2_Small Scale Interventions in Caves and Surroundings - Yagodinska Cave
The railings in Yagodinska cave have been replaced with new stainless steel railings.


D.5.5.2_Integration and innovative techniques - Yagodinska Cave
Construction of a multimedia corner in Yagodinska cave to improve the tourist experience, provide educational opportunities and attract more visitors.

 D.5.4.2  -  IT innovations - Sharenka cave : development of an augmented reality application by using 3D videos visualized on tablets
1. 3D video capture to provide video-holographic images and projections to recreate the daily life of a Thracian family who inhabited the cave in which they lived, raised their children and worked for a living mining ore in the rock formation by hand – cave – old Thracian mine.
2. Development based on the captured 3D videos of an augmented reality application to integrate the holographic 3D videos and visualize spectacular images and objects.
3. Making and placing markers of certain sizes and color to identify the specific place in the cave, with the help of which to integrate the holographic 3D videos.
Video 1 Video 2 | Video 3

D.4.2.1 - Rehabilitation of lighting using LEDs - Alistrati Cave
Replacement of the already existing lighting, specifically the lighting fixtures and lamps of Alistrati cave with new LED technology lamps for energy efficiency.

D.4.2.2 - Small scale interventions in Caves and surroundings - Alistrati Cave
Renovation of the toilets that serve the visitors of Alistrati cave: Removal of all existing old floor, wall and sanitary ware tiles; Construction of new water supply - drainage networks where the new sanitary items will be connected; Installation of wall and floor tiles and then connection and installation of all sanitary items. The tiles were placed at a height of 2.20m from the floor and the rest of the walls were painted; Replacement of all internal doors

D.5.2.2 & D.5.3.2 - IT innovations - Alistrati & Aggitis Cave
CAVE EXPLORER QR APP: A guided visual access application that provides multimedia content to cave visitors using QR technology. Users download the app and media content at the beginning of their visit. Exploring the cave, they are able to scan QR tag codes along their route, triggering multimedia content relative to their location, including audio, video, animation, maps and text, providing information that enrich their visit. The app also has “augmented reality” capabilities; the user is able to use the camera and the screen of their smartphone / tablet to see inside the cave. The displayed view is enriched with real-time multimedia information.


D.5.2.1 - Robotic tourist protection and guide interpretation system - Alistrati Cave

D.4.3.2_Small scale interventions in Caves and surroundings - Aggitis

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