The European Destinations of Excellence project promotes the development of sustainable tourism in Europe, and it places in the forefront small, yet interesting destinations that offer authentic experiences and allow visitors to explore the rich local tourist offer. Every two years, new destinations – winners are included in the network, which can boast the richest tourist offer depending on the topic, which changes with every call for applications.
The purpose of the European Destinations of Excellence is to increase the recognisability of emerging European destinations, facilitate the exchange of best practices across Europe, and promote the cooperation between selected destinations that are located in the 27 EU Member States and Candidate Countries. Their key characteristic is the commitment to social, cultural, and environmental sustainability.
Destinations in Slovenia competed for the European Destination of Excellence title for the first time in 2008. The title has already been awarded to nine Slovenian destinations.
Kranj - European Destination of Excellence 2023
Kranj has been selected as the winner of the 2023 European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) competition, for their pioneering work as a sustainable tourism destination.
In total, 20 destinations competed, out of which 3 shortlisted destinations were invited to present their candidatures in front of the European Jury.
Kranj impressed the European Jury not only with their remarkable achievements in sustainable tourism, but also with the exciting programme of activities they intend to implement during 2023. They also stood out for their capacity to act as a role model for other destinations.
Which are the EDEN destinations in Slovenia and why?
Podčetrtek - European Destination of Excellence 2019
Podčetrtek, the landscape of "counts and robbers" is marked by vineyards and forests, along with Kozjansko and Obsotel that have been included in the UNESCO list of biosphere reserves since 2010.
When we think of Podčetrtek, we immediately think of Terme Olimia, the largest tourist provider in the area that offers programs for fulfilling all desires, a holistic wellness offer with the latest and largest sauna world and the best wellness in Slovenia, excellent beauty services, adrenaline water adventures and recreational opportunities, thus forming a mosaic of well-being.
Destination that was chosen as the European Destination of Excellence runner up was Dolenjska.
Dolenjska is known not only for its gently rolling countryside and cheerful locals, but above all for its tranquility, which creates beautiful grounds for all forms of purification. The wavy nature of the landscape calms, but at the same time provides the basis for adrenaline biking, walking, riding or rowing.
Explore Slovenian Destinations of Excellence!
Koper, the city of a hundred sunsMore
The Brda Hills, land of luscious smells and tastesMore
Idrija, a town with a mercury world heritageMore
Kolpa, feel the riverMore
Laško, the confluence of goodMore
Soča, a valley of peaceful storiesMore
Solčavsko, Harmony of the Three ValleysMore
EDEN in Europe
The European EDEN network consists of Member States and Candidate States that joined the EDEN project.
The European Destinations of Excellence project was formed in 2006 at the initiative of the European Commission. The main objective of the project is to promote and develop sustainable tourism at the national level. Diversity and common values help enhance the cooperation among the countries participating in the project. The entire project is spearheaded by charismatic individuals, whose extensive experience in tourism allow them to form a group of EDEN ambassadors.
All winning destinations make up the European network of EDEN destinations, for which the European Commission organises two workshops per year, at which destinations acquire knowledge on various topics related to the sustainable development of tourism and form many new ties with all parts of Europe.
The EDEN project also pays special attention to tourism among the elderly. The EDEN55plusNW project connects five EDEN destinations in Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia, and it is focused on promoting sustainable destinations in these countries among elderly tourists in the Italian market.
EDEN project ambassadors on the national level are persons whose extensive experience and knowledge of tourism help promote its sustainable development. On a national level, they are selected by national tourist organisations. They include individuals from various social environments – journalists, travellers, authors, and artists. They believe in the basic idea of the EDEN project and their main goal is to enhance the public's awareness of the sustainable development of tourism and its promotion.
Dr Janez Bogataj, a Slovenian ethnologist and art historian is one of the nine selected individuals, ambassadors of the EDEN project.
For more information about the project, please contact:
Research, Development, Innovation and EU Projects Department
Telephone: 01 589 8549
EDEN - European Destinations of Excellence in Slovenia
Explore places that pay special attention to the development of an authentic and rich tourist offer and emphasise sustainability and socially responsible tourism.