Brief description
Enhancing tourism in the Alytus-Puńsk cross-border region by creating the basis for a special type of tourism – pilgrimage.
Region Internal EU borders
Countries Lithuania (LT) – Poland (PL)
Location PL: Podlaskie Voivodship
LT: Alytus County
Type of project partners Municipalities
Size (total budget including EU grants) € 50,000 to € 200,000
Main themes Tourism and cultural heritage
Keywords (Types of Activities) Study visits, exchanges and networking
Marketing, promotional activities, awareness campaigns
Keywords (Aspects of Good Practice) Genuine cross-border dimension
Genuine cross-border impact
Good dissemination
Good sustainability
Background and Objectives Pilgrimage in the Christian world has been going on for over 15 centuries and today thousands of pilgrims visit religious and holy sites to pray and give thanks to God.

The project capitalised on a number of religious sites that are located in villages within the border areas between Lithuania and Poland and created a cross-border pilgrim trail. The main objective was to attract additional tourism to these villages and the whole cross-border area.

Main activities The project activities included the preparation of a feasibility study with detailed plans and travel guides for the “Trail of Pilgrims”.

Churches and other religious buildings in Pivašiūnai and Punia in Lithuania and Puńsk and Smoliany in Poland were included in the project and the necessary infrastructure to facilitate the access of visitors was provided.

Information stands, portable bio-toilets and outdoor public furniture were among the items that the project procured.

A website was also launched where visitors can find the map of the trail with information on stopping points and distances.

Main results The project resulted in the creation of a 147 km long trail going through the villages and small towns of Smolany, Puńsk, Simnas, Krokalaukis, Ūdrija, Alytus, Punia, Butrimonys and Pivašiūnai.

The route was presented in a contemporary manner: during various exhibitions and tourist fairs and on the internet, where one can follow virtually the route on an animated map and can feel like he is already walking on the real pilgrim path.

Aspects of good practice
This is an innovative project with proven sustainability six years after completion. The “Trail of Pilgrims” remains one of the tourist attractions in the cross-border region and its extension to a total of 222 km, stretching from Puńsk Province (PL) to Alytus county region (LT), for visiting ten additional churches is under way.
Start and completion dates:
July 2006 – January 2008
More information

Partner LT: Administration of Alytus County, External Relations and Investment Division
T: +370 315 55 548
Partner PL: Puńsk Commune Office,