European Destinations of Excellence

The European Destinations of Excellence project, or EDEN, was designed by the European Commission in accordance with the guidelines of European tourist policy. The project is based on national selection processes that take place every other year and the result of which is the selection of a tourist “Destination of Excellence” in each participating country. By means of the EDEN project, the European Commission wishes to increase the recognisability of developing European destinations, create the foundation for the exchange of good practice around Europe, and encourage integration among the selected destinations. The main feature of the selected destinations, which are located in 27 Member States and Candidate States, is their commitment to social, cultural, and environmental sustainability.

EDEN in Slovenia 2008–2018

Destinations in Slovenia competed for the European Destination of Excellence title for the first time in 2008. The title has already been awarded to seven Slovenian destinations. Fourteen destinations have made it to the finals of the selection process.

For more information about the project, please contact:

Research, Development, Innovation and EU Projects Department
Telephone: 01 589 8549

Which are the EDEN destinations in Slovenia and why?

Every other year, the European Commission, in cooperation with the state authorities competent in regard to tourism, determines the annual project topic to create a guideline for all further activities. The EDEN Project is co-funded by means of the EU COSME programme.


2017: Cultural tourism

The destination Koper won within European Destinations of Excellence — Cultural tourism selection. Congratulations to Koper!

Four Slovenian destinations have been placed as finalists - Ptuj, Kras, Radolca and Slovenske Konjice.


2015: Tourism and local gastronomy

This time around, the goals were to upgrade the less tourist-frequented destinations that develop specific local cuisine and contribute to the comprehensive revival of the local environment in a sustainable manner, thus increasing the number of visits by guests throughout the year.

The title of the European Destination of Excellence in Slovenia has been given to a sixth destination, Brda Hills – Land of Luscious Smells and Tastes.


2013: Accessible tourism

The contenders for this title were destinations that develop accessible tourist offerings and contribute to the comprehensive restoration of the local environment in a sustainable manner and to the increased number of visitors throughout the year. Accessible tourism allows persons with disabilities and elderly people to use tourist amenities in a functionally independent, fair, and dignified manner.

Laško – the Confluence of Good became the fifth Destination of Excellence in Slovenia. Radovljica (Radol'ca) and the Karst (the Green Karst) were also among finalists.


2011: Regeneration of physical sites

Former mines, monasteries, castles, museums, and unexpected buildings where visitors can gain new experiences – Slovenia is full of such unusual places. Reviving immovable cultural heritage creates new surprises for visitors who wish to experience this green country in a new and surprising way. Idrija, the location of a former mercury mine of global importance and a place surrounded by areas that blend their attractiveness with a heritage enriched by new tourist experiences.

The mines in Velenje and Mežica and the Žiče Charterhouse were also among the finalists. 


2010: Aquatic tourism

Rivers, lakes, waterfalls, the sea, springs of thermal and mineral water – when water is concerned, Slovenia is a true European treasure trove. Slovenian tourism is developing in harmony with water. Sustainable development principles are inseparably connected with preserving special natural features and clean waters.  Tourist destinations that have found their competitive edge in water were contenders for the title European Destination of Excellence in Slovenia 2010.

The title was given to The River Kolpa and the product Touch the Story.


2009: Tourism and protected areas

National, regional, and landscape parks, nature reserves and monuments, and areas of exceptional biodiversity are a testament to conserved nature. More than one tenth of Slovenia consists of specially protected areas, and more than one third of the country is protected within the Natura 2000 network, which conserves the natural habitats of endangered plant and animal species significant to the entire European Union. The European Commission paid special attention within the EDEN 2009 project to tourist areas that take care of sustainable development related to such areas.

In Slovenia, the title European Destination of Excellence, which respects areas with protected nature, was given to Solčavsko: Harmony of the Three Valleys, while the Land of Living Water and the Kozjansko Park were also finalists.


2008: Tourism and intangible heritage

Customs and traditions, countless forms of knowledge and beliefs, historical awareness and geographic horizons, mythology and folk creativity, traditional arts and crafts – so much diversity is hidden in intangible heritage. Contenders for the 2008 European Destination of Excellence title were the attractive areas of Europe with the knowledge of how to include these special intangible features, which are still very much alive, in original tourist experiences.

In Slovenia, the first European Destination of Excellence title was given to the Soča Valley and its various, peaceful stories. Intangible heritage experiences also made Idrija and its Idrija Lace Festival and Kranj and its Prešeren Fair into finalists contending for the title. 


Read more about the tourist offerings of European Destinations of Excellence in Slovenia on the website’s tourist pages.


Slovenian EDEN Destination Network

Read about the European Destinations of Excellence 2008–2015 in Slovenia. The map shows winning destinations and those that made it to the final three.

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.

EDEN Ambassadors

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.

Janez Bogataj is one of the nine individuals selected to be EDEN Project Ambassadors.


Read more about sustainable Slovenian tourism

Green Scheme of Slovenian tourism

Promoting the development of green tourism in Slovenia.

Green Scheme of Slovenian tourism


Stories of Slovenian tourism

Learn the stories of Slovenian tourism and share your story with us.

Stories of Slovenian tourism



Recognition for creative and innovative achievements in tourism.




The project encouraging the promotion and realisation of new ideas – inventions in tourism.



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