Last year alone, over half of all European holidaymakers planned to enjoy a vacation in their home country. With many predicting the trend to continue into 2012, the European Commission, through its initiative, “European Destinations of Excellence” (EDEN) is urging Europeans to discover the breadth of hidden treasures on their doorstep.
Destinations will compete to be awarded the destination of excellence, focusing on a different theme each year. Maša Puklavec, from the Slovenian Tourist Board said: “Slovenian EDEN destinations are shining examples of sustainable tourism and provide an unforgettable experience for visitors that seek inspiration and enjoyment in scenery landscapes.”
In 2011, winning destinations were singled out for playing a key role in reviving their region, bringing sustainable development and new life to run-down cultural, historical, and natural sites and acting as a catalyst for wider local regeneration.
Famous for its mercury mine and lace making, Slovenia’s winner, Idrija, is a fascinating destination with spectacular scenery. Picturesque mountains, pristine forests, and Lake Wilde create a breathtaking landscape. Its rich cultural, natural, and industrial heritage is treasured by local people proud of their history.
The competition in 2010 celebrated destinations for innovative approaches towards aquatic tourism. The River Kolpa was selected as Slovenia’s winner. The river is considered the longest Slovenian “coastline” and one of the warmest rivers in Slovenia. The river is particularly popular in the summer months, as the water`s temperature rises up to 30°C. Visitors can choose between a wide range of sports and recreational activities, such as boating, canoeing, kayaking, or rafting.
In 2009, EDEN focused on tourism in protected areas. The Alpine scenery of Sol?avsko offers breathtaking natural sites. The three mighty glacial valleys are the main highlight of any stay. The most visited is the Logarska dolina nature park with picturesque views of the mountain chain of the Kamnik-Savinja Alps and the spectacular waterfalls. A lot of interesting hiking trails lead visitors into the lap of the Alps. A number of old stories reveal connections between people and nature and invite them for unforgettable experiences.
Find out more about EDEN’s destinations in Slovenia at http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/tourism/eden/