Slovenian EDEN destinations are shining examples of sustainable tourism and provide an unforgettable experience for visitors who seek inspiration and enjoyment in scenic landscapes, the luxury of various water sources, cultural and technical heritage and authentic local gastronomy. We have collected some of the main events taking place in Slovenian EDEN destinations (European Destinations of ExcelleNce) for the upcoming summer.
Each destination has prepared a rich programme of events for the spring and summer months; however, to make your choice easier, we have highlighted an event for each destination that represents its identity in the best possible way.
Laško – EDEN destination 2013
As early as in Roman times, Laško was known as a spa town. It was frequented by the Roman legionaries, in the Middle Ages by missionaries and from then until the end of the 19th century, become a popular summer resort regularly visited by the Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz Josef I. These visitors were all coming for the health benefits. On the basis of its rich thermal tradition, Laško has managed to integrate natural resources, top-level medical knowledge, local features and stories into excellent tourist products. The Laško destination, ‘Confluence of Good’, has a venerable 160-year tradition of spa activities and 60-year tradition of medical rehabilitation activities, while also being known for its excellent beer.
More about the selection of this year’s EDEN destination can be read here.
Pivo in cvetje (Laško, 11-14 July, 2013)
It all began in 1963 with a small flower exhibition. Now, Pivo in cvetje is the biggest tourist event in Slovenia. In recent years, it has also entered the scene of international music festivals. Laško, which has less than 4,000 inhabitants, is visited by up to 140,000 visitors during the event. Several music, entertainment and sports events take place in various venues – the centre of everything is made up by the four main concert venues; naturally, visitors are greeted with a jug of cold Laško beer. The main part of the event is the Saturday evening, which attracts up to 50,000 visitors, who also visit this spa-brewing town for the fireworks and water symphony.
Idrija – EDEN destination 2011
Famous for its mercury mine and lacemaking, Idrija is a fascinating destination with spectacular scenery. Picturesque mountains, pristine forests and Lake Wilde create a breath-taking landscape. Its rich cultural, natural and industrial heritage is treasured by local people proud of their history.
31. Idrija Lace Festival (Idrija, 14-16 June, 2013)
The traditional Idrija Lace Festival as an ethnological, economic, cultural, educational and entertaining event that grants Idrija a peculiar character, as the town breathes the lacemaking tradition during the festival. During the Festival, you can take part in lacemaking workshops, see exhibitions of domestic and foreign lace, taste the special local dishes of Idrija, join the state competition in lacemaking and relax with good music and entertainment in the late evenings.
Other summer events in Idrija:
- 17th Alter-art Festival (9-10 August 2013) and the 12th Tango Festival (12-13 July 2013): Two traditional festivals that host young cultural creators from Idrija and elsewhere presenting their work through language, image and sound.
- Charcoal Sunday (Krnice, 25 August 2013): This is an ethno event that offers a cultural and entertainment programme, traditional food and a charcoal-making competition.
- The Celebration of Idrija Flour Dumplings (Idrijski žlikrofi) (Idrija, 7 September 2013): This is a culinary event that aims to promote the regional and European protected dish carrying the label “traditional speciality guaranteed”.
River Kolpa – EDEN destination 2010
The River Kolpa 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.
49. Jurjevanje in Belakrajina (Črnomelj, 19-23 June, 2013)
Jurjevanje in Belakrajina is the oldest folklore festival in Slovenia and one of the largest as well. In its more than forty-year tradition, it has become an integral part of Črnomelj and its people. Jurjevanje is a dance, music and song festival. Visitors can hear music played on traditional BelaKrajina "tamburica" instruments, "brač", "berda", "bisernica", "bugarija", "gudalo", "white birch leaf", "rug" and some other traditional instruments. Most of the groups performing at Jurjevanje are authentic groups, as defined by CIOFF. Jurjevanje is also a national CIOFF member and hopes to become an International CIOFF Festival in a few years’ time.
Other summer events in the Kolpa River destination:
- 19th Semič Wedding (12-14 July 2013): A true wedding ceremony carried out by ancient customs and in traditional costumes typical for the region of Bela Krajina (White Carniola).
- Tamburanjeva Kostele (15 August 2013): A traditional cultural-ethnological event that, in kostelščina – a unique dialect – means playing the tamboura, and various events that take place during celebrations of High Mass.
- Every Thursday in July and August 2013 at 8 p.m., you can visit the Summer Evenings at the town square in Kočevje.
Solčavsko - EDEN destination 2009
The Alpine scenery of Solčavsko offers breath-taking 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 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 you to take part in unforgettable experiences.
The days of Solčava, a traditional ethnographic event (Solčava, 26-28 July, 2013)
The days of Solčava (Solčavski dnevi), a traditional event that presents the customs and habits of the locals from the past with the hint of present, invites numerous visitors from Slovenia and abroad to the upper part of the Savinja valley. Over three days, the attractive and diverse ethnographic, social and entertaining event represents an attractive reflection of the identity of Solčavsko.
Other summer events in Solčavsko:
- The “Bicka” Sheep Wool Festival (20-22 September 2013): Presentation on the indigenous breed of sheep called jezersko solčavska, a demonstration of sheep shearing and wool processing, a workshop for the manufacture of felt products, a fashion show featuring wool clothing, traditional mountain pasture cooking, a cultural and musical programme, etc.
- Throughout the year, Exhibitions and themed events in the Rinka Centre –a multipurpose centre for tourism and sustainable development.
The Soča Valley – EDEN destination 2008
The Soča valley, with its rich World War I heritage, was selected as Slovenia`s first winner. It is situated in the heart of the Julian Alps and in one of Europe’s oldest national parks, Triglav National Park. The area is famous for white water activities on the emerald Soča River.
Štrukljada (Kobarid, second week in June)
A culinary festival of delicious rolled dumplings from Kobarid that takes place within the frame of the Kobarid Fair. Kobarid dumplings are dumplings with a signature. Namely, each Kobarid housewife prepares them in her own unique way and ‘signs’ them by leaving a fingerprint in the centre of the dumpling. In the past, they served as a snack during the summer grass cutting, while nowadays they are the ‘main stars’ of the dessert menus in traditional and more demanding restaurants in the Kobarid area.
Other summer events in the Soča Valley:
- Čomparska noč (Bovec, August): A traditional ethno event offering delicious local specialties, such as čompe (potatoes) with cottage cheese, and workshops during which the youngest visitors can create art using potatoes.
- The hiking festival in the Soča Valley (Bovec, Kobarid, Tolmin, in September, October): Guided trips in the Soča Valley suitable for both families and the more experienced.