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Podčetrtek- 2019 Winner

What makes Podčetrtek special

Stretching over three municipalities, the destination offers special experiences in the unspoiled nature of Kozjansko and Obsotelje Biosphere Reserve (MAB) which will definitely contribute to your well-being. Podčetrtek promotes sustainable and environmentally friendly farming, ensuring that its food is of the best quality, complementing the dietary and detoxification spa programmes.

Health and wellbeing tourism

Podčetrtek aims at socially and environmentally sustainable use of cultural and natural resources.
The destination’s offer is based on a common history, natural resources, and thematic cultural heritage. The Olimia Thermal Spa and its comprehensive health and wellness programmes add to the area being known for well-being.

The Podčetrtek is now an ideal destination if you are looking for an active and healthy holiday aimed at finding personal satisfaction and inner peace. The products, services and activities are based on nature and culture, including locally produced goods and services. The range is of high quality, offered by professionals based on local tradition and with a homely touch.

Sightseeing tips

  • A large part of the destination is located within the biggest regional park in Slovenia, Kozjansko Regional Park. The park is known for its biodiversity and efforts to bring back old varieties of fruit trees, especially apples. Take a walk along one of the park’s trails and enjoy the unspoiled nature.
  • Visit the village of Olimje with its Minorite Monastery and one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe. Get to know local tourism providers offering home-made food, local beer, wine, and chocolate together with their unique stories and adventures. And don’t forget the Jelenov Greben, where more than 100 domesticated deer and buck wander around the property and some even let you hand-feed them
  • The Podsreda Castle is the mightiest of all Slovenian castles. This castle is a lively place holding numerous cultural and musical events.
  • Climb up the 40m tower of health and joy on the 622m high Rudnica hill. Since 2010, the areas of Kozjansko and Obsotelje have been part of the biosphere reserves network within the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme.

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Koper - 2017 Winner

What makes Koper special?

Koper, a historical coastal town with a lush countryside, offers a variety of experiences for active leisure time. Visitors can explore the precious cultural and natural sights, enjoy the local gastronomy and lose themselves in authentic stories - all in one place.

Cultural tourism

Koper is a Mediterranean city with a colourful history.

Don't miss Koper's finest palace in the main square - the Praetorian Palace, which today houses the city hall. The City Tower now serves as a bell tower and offers a beautiful vantage point. The headquarters of the present-day University of Primorska, the buildings of the Foresteria and Armeria, date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Built in the 15th century, today, the Loggia is home to a café that offers splendid views of the square. Numerous treasures are kept at the Cathedral of the Assumption. The destination also has a number of cultural institutions and societies that work together and develop attractive cultural programmes.

The façades of the buildings and their interiors reveal the millennial history of Koper. With more than a millennium of history, the city has gone through some name changes. Once it was named Capris, then Lustinopolis, Insula Capraria, Caput Histria and Capo d' Istria. Koper's architecture evokes the eras of the Venetian Republic and the golden age of Gothic style and the Renaissance. Intertwining narrow streets wind towards the main square that boasts the largest cathedral in Slovenia. A diverse palette of cultural experiences enriches the city streets and squares, especially in the summer months.

Sightseeing tips

There is a plethora of cultural sights in the town centre, a few of them are:

  • The historical town centre (Tito Square, Prešeren Square, Carpaccio Square)
  • Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Koper Cathedral)
  • the Bell Tower with the oldest functioning bell in Slovenia from 1333,
  • the Praetorian Palace

Cultural sites in the countryside include:

  • Strmec Castle (Socerb),
  • Vrešje House - Krkavče Live Museum,
  • Church of the Holy Trinity (Hrastovlje)

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Brda - 2015 Winner

Local gastronomy

The winning destination of Brda is prominent for its culinary art and gastronomy as the primary and only traveller motivation and the core of its local tourism.

Among the areas highlights are:

  • a series of culinary events linked almost exclusively to food, wines, and fruit,
  • the Brda Wine Road, Slovenia's only genuine wine road that closely connects wine culture with cuisine
  • the picturesque hilly, green and amazingly sunny landscape entices visitors with its array of exquisite Brda wines, diverse cuisine and rich cultural heritage.

Brda wines have found their way into the world's most distinguished restaurants. The indigenous Rebula is the signature wine of the area.

Boasting a mild Mediterranean climate that supports tourism year-round, the area provides guests with an unforgettable experience in close contact with the local inhabitants and life that beats in Brda at a rate of its own. Foreign journalists often refer to Brda as Slovenia’s Tuscany, but in many aspects the Slovenian region is much more pristine and genuine.

Sightseeing tips

  • Visit the land of invigorating moments and unforgettable oenological and gastronomic experiences. Capture the essence of Brda with its exquisite wines and diverse cuisine. From endemic and old local grapes to white and red varieties, the wines of Brda are a symbol of experience, memories and socialising. Complete your oenological and gastronomic journey by tasting the produce of Brda (fruit, olive oil, honey) or delve into the sumptuous dishes cooked by skilled regional culinary artists.
  • Experience the impressive historical heritage and green landscape. Visit the scenic medieval settlement of smartno, Dobrova Castle, the Vipolze Manor, the Sabotin Peace Park, or one of many artistic collections – wherever you go, you will be charmed by the hospitality of the local people and the richness of monuments. You can also explore the green countryside in a sustainable way: rides on electric bikes or scooters, donkey trekking, API-therapy, walking barefoot, lavender or olive oil product workshops, honey production tours, olive oil tastings in an olive bar, etc.
  • Have an active holiday retreat in Brda. Hike the hills and vineyards, the Alpe-Adria hiking trail that connects the Alps with the Adriatic Sea, orchards and olive groves, or take a ride in a jeep, on an electric scooter or bike, and experience the green, hilly and remote landscape of Brda. Who knows, you might even come across a grape or cherry harvest!

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Lasko - 2013 Winner


In 2008, the Municipality of Lasko drew up a strategic plan for the development of accessible tourism, involving the most diverse organisations, individuals and tourist service providers, including non-traditional destination structure, contents and programmes.

Today it offers a range of programmes for various groups of impaired persons.

The town also has extensive experience with organising events in sports tourism and hosts preparatory training for athletes with disabilities.

Sightseeing tips

  • Experience the beer-brewing tradition.
  • Dip into the curative springs and benefit from their healing powers already acknowledged by the Romans.
  • Experience the adrenalin of flying in a tandem glider parachute.
  • Get introduced to local crafts and trades in an Eco-workshop.

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Idrija - 2011 Winner

Regeneration and revival

After 500 years of operation, the mercury mine closed in 1995, heavily impacting the local economy and employment prospects.

Since its closure, local authority projects have regenerated local land marks, attracting new tourists to Idrija, helping the local economy to recover and flourish. The projects were aimed at reviving industrial heritage and preserving the natural environment.

Combined with new activities such as the Lace Festival, sports marathons, as well as new hiking and cycling routes, Indrija is a unique destination for active and historically interested visitors.

In 2012, the mercury mining heritage in Idrija was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Protected Site.

Sightseeing tips

  • Visit Realka, the first Slovenian non-classical secondary school.
  • Take a walk in Zgornja Idrijca Regional Park, spanning over 4,000 ha - a spectacular place to discover Idrijas natural environment.
  • Pay a visit to the small town of Spodnja Idrija, which is situated in the valley of the Idrijca river. It is most famous for the baroque pilgrim church Our Lady of the Assumption.

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River Kolpa - 2010 Winner

What makes the River Kolpa special?

One of the special features of the area is its unique geographic location. This piece of land has formed a special cultural identity, influenced by numerous ethnic groups living in the area. History, culture and exceptional concentration of natural values contribute to the harmony of this region.

The scenery is completed by picturesque villages, old town centers, castles and sawmills which add a touch of the local life to the overall impression of the region. Local traditions are still very strong in the area and are an important part of its charm.

Don't miss...

  • the natural treasures of the Regional Park Kolpa and Regional Park Lahinja.
  • take part in the celebration of St. George in Bela Krajina.

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Solcavsko - 2009 Winner

What makes Solcavsko special?

Solcavsko is a region of waterfalls – there over 20, of which Rinka is the most spectacular. The 80-meter arch of water drops in a sinuous, willowy curve, like a sleek ponytail. It is one of the highest free-falling waterfalls in Slovenia and is a protected natural monument.

Situated seven kilometres into the Logar Valley, it is only reachable by foot. Driving, and even cycling is not possible in the valley. The valley also has a nature-ethnographic trail that takes you through the most beautiful spots of the park.

Solcavsko is a pristine Alpine environment, and the local government and tourist authorities are keen on keeping it that way. But it is not just about the environment. The cultural heritage of the local foresters, charcoal burners and farmers is just as important. All of them have coexisted with nature over the centuries.

For an authentic Slovene experience, you can stay with a family and get your breakfast and dinner home-made every day. It is a great way to try the delicious mountain fare.

What to look for in...

  • spring: larch turns green, wild flowers appear, beach leaves open
  • summer: the valley floor blossoms with wild flowers
  • autumn: the larches turn fiery yellow in this season
  • winter: sparkling snowy fields, great for cross-country skiing

Sightseeing tips

  • Spend a night at a local, family-run rustic hotel.
  • Wake up at a mountain lodge looking out over the Savinja Alps.
  • Try the hearty and delicious Slovene food.
  • Explore the area with a local forester.
  • Ride on a hay wagon or traditional carriage.

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The Soca Valley - 2008 Winner

What makes the Soca Valley special?

Snow-covered peaks and the flourishing valley form the Soca Valley landscape. The destination’s vital link and popular spot is the blue-green Soca River with picturesque gorges and wonderful streams, waterfalls and green meadows. Paths lead to natural sites such as the great gorge of the Soca river by the Soca path, the Tolminka gorge and the Kozjak waterfall.

Another integral part of the valley is Triglav National Park, the only national park in Slovenia and one of the oldest in Europe. The park was named Triglav after Slovenia’s highest peak, which is situated almost at the heart of the park. This area is also home to the story of Goldhorn, a supernatural white chamois (mountain-antilope) with golden horns, which, according to the legend, has the power to restore its strength in nature.

The Soca valley is a popular hub for natural scientists and botanists as well as home to the Juliana Alpine Botanical Garden – the first alpine botanical garden in Slovenia.

Visitors can have active holidays and relaxation at the same time. The Soca Valley offers water sports on the Soca River, hiking, cycling, skydiving, gliding, mountain biking, Alpine, Nordic and freestyle skiing and ski touring, fishing, climbing, mountaineering, potholing, golfing, and more. Craftsmen sell characteristic local products made from wool, wax and Soca river pebbles.

Don't miss the local culinary specialities either: compe and cottage cheese, frika, postóklja and prepared Soca trout. Dishes such as bulja, bovski krafi or kobariski struklji are sure to satisfu those with a sweet tooth.

The Soca River Stories

The Soca River Stories is a two-day event at the end of April or beginning of May. It tells the stories of World War I and its consequences for the valley and its population.

Around a million soldiers were killed between 1915 and 1917 at the Soca front during the battles. The event aims to turn the bad memories into a favourable event, promoting cultural, ethnological and natural heritage, as well as peace.

The event takes place at the Kluže Fortress, and presents the life of local and international soldiers during WWI. It helps visitors understand the history of the Soca front battles - chronologically, geographically and contextually. On the first evening, memories of soldiers fighting on the Soca front are read and on the second day visitors with guides wearing WWI uniforms take part in the Walks of Peace.

A number of museums and private museum collections also compile and present WWI artifacts on The Soca Front.

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