The Phoenicians’ Route
Certified "Cultural Route of the Council of Europe " in 2003
The Phoenicians' Route refers to the network of major nautical routes, which, as from the twelfth century BC, were used by the Phoenicians - accomplished sailors and merchants - as essential routes for trade and cultural communication, across the Mediterranean. In ancient times, through these routes, the Phoenicians and other great Mediterranean civilisations contributed to the creation of a "koiné", a Mediterranean cultural communtiy.
It encompasses 18 countries including a large number of North African and Middle East countries, thus strengthening historical bonds with the Mediterranean countries. These bonds are represented by a vast heritage, originating from ancient Mediterranean civilisations, present in numerous archaeological, ethnic, anthropological, cultural and naturalistic sites throughout the countries of the Mediterranean, and also a significant Mediterranean intangible heritage.
The Mediterranean cities were the stopping places of a journey along the Phoenicians' Route, through which people exchanged artefacts, knowledge and experience. In this respect, the Phoenician route travel experience is intended to show the traveller our common routes, linking the countries of three continents and over 100 towns, originating from ancient Mediterranean civilisations.
Council of Europe values
The Phoenicians' Route aims to foster Mediterranean intercultural dialogue, sharing the values of the Council of Europe, especially human rights and democracy. Established in many non-European countries, including several places of conflict, the routes help to promote freedom of expression, equality, freedom of conscience and religion, and the protection of minorities. This network is a way to work together for the development of peace and mutual respect in the Mediterranean.