There are several things about an Amateur Radio award that can interest me. Learning something while earning it, a handsome award with flags, a map and no cost are a few things that come to mind. The Via Regia Award touches on all of those points.
The Via Regia (Royal Highway) refers to the oldest and longest known land connection between eastern and western Europe. For about 2,000 years it has connected lands that now constitute eight modern nations from Ukraine to Spain.
As you can see, the award sports a map of the route and flags and coats of arms of the modern countries that now line its path.
There are two versions of the award, one for HF and one for VHF. The requirements for the VHF award differ enough that I’d consider it a different award altogether so the information here all pertains to the HF version alone. There are no band or mode restrictions, so one can consider this a mixed mode award.
An applicant need only make eight QSOs with Amateur Radio stations in countries through which the Via Regia passed. This is an award that won’t require a long term effort or a towering stack of QSL cards to earn. The trickiest task might be nabbing that elusive Belorussian QSO!
All contacts must have been made after January 1, 2006. The route was recognized as a “Great Cultural Route of the Council of Europe” in that year.
Applying For The Award
Applying for the Via Regia Award is simple. Just send an email to viaregiaaward AT googlemail.com along with the an extract of all eight QSOs required. As mentioned earlier, the price for electronic copies of the award is 0! The award can be sent in PDF or JPEG format. If you desire a paper version of the award the charge is a reasonable 5 € (as of 2020). Juergen (DL4YCD) got my award turned around in a day, one of the quickest responses I’ve ever encountered.