Group of suggestions for touristic,hiking or bike routes, where the visitor is invited to learn about water heritage, specifically that related with groundwater
The province of Alicante possesses a rich and varied geological and hydrogeological heritage, having a large number of enclaves. But since the information about them has been collected in an unfocused manner, it has not until now been processed systematically, and there are very different selection criteria and no assessment into the relative importance of each location.

One of the objectives of assessment of natural heritage is to foster its preservation and sustainable use. An extraordinary contribution to this objective is that the general public has knowledge of its value and its suitable form of use and leisure, and so its exposure becomes a key factor for its present and future preservation.

To obtain effective exposure, however, the information must be presented clearly, whilst incorporating the most modern and cutting-edge communication techniques. Thus, it has been designed two interconnected products: two free guides, in printed and PDF format, which include routes covering selected Places of Hydrogeological Interest (PHIs) forming Alicante’s Natural Hydrogeological Heritage, and a web page with all the information.

For more than 30 years the Provincial Council and the Instituto Geológico y Minero de España have joined forces to boost knowledge of the geological and hydrogeological aspects of Alicante. Blue Routes Guide to Alicante’s Hydrogeological Heritage has arisen out of the close and longstanding collaboration between both institutions on matt

Resources needed

The basic resources to develop this practice has been:
• The technical staff from the two main stakeholders
• Editing and printing of the guide
• Development of a web page.

Evidence of success

The Blue Routes have had an important touristic and educative impact in the province, that it is shown in some figures such as:
• Over 110,000 visits to the web page since its launch in 2016.
• Over 5,000 copies of the guide distributed.
• Thousands of publications, likes and retweets in social media.

Also, an increase of visitors of the sites presented in the guides has been produced. Municipalities are even empowering the proposal by installing signals and informative panels

Difficulties encountered

Reach a wide audience;
The divulgation of the guides was slow at the beginning, and after some learning, basically in the use of social media, we were able to boost the process;
To transfer this proposal for tourism and leisure with an educational background;
Get visitors by payment over 10€;

Potential for learning or transfer

All the regions have heritage that is worth to protect and valorize and public organisms with experts that have a good knowledge of their territories, and so this experience is highly transferrable.
.A systematic approach to its study helps in the identification of the values of the heritage, and even to discover some elements that would be otherwise ignored.
But just the study is not enough. Informative publications and platforms with attractive proposals for the citizens would transfer these values the society and even create new opportunities.

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Main institution
Provincial Council of Alicante
Comunidad Valenciana,
Start Date
January 2010
End Date


Alberto Lorente Saiz Please login to contact the author.