Maribor is feeling very Olympic this year!

The Olympic Games are every athlete’s dream. They can experience a piece of this dream at a young age at the European Youth Olympic Festival, which, in the true spirit of the Olympic Games, has a winter and a summer edition. With more than 30 years of tradition, this is the largest multi-sport event for young athletes aged 14–18. It is primarily designed to give young athletes their first encounter with Olympism and to gain valuable experience on the road to the Olympic Games.

Many well-known top athletes, who have gone on to compete successfully at the Olympic Games, win medals at major competitions and shine bright in international leagues, have also had their first Olympic experience at these Festivals. Among them are ski jumpers Peter Prevc, Timi Zajc and Nika Križnar, swimmers Anja Klinar and Blaž Medvešek, athletics competitors Matic Osovnikar and Brigita Langerholc, handball players Vid Kavtičnik, Blaž Janc and Urh Kastelic, volleyball player Dejan Vinčič, judo competitors Adrian Gomboc and Kaja Kajzer, and many others.

Maribor will be hosting the young athletes from 23 to 29 July. During this time, more than 2,500 athletes from 48 countries will compete in eleven disciplines, including three new to the Festival: skateboarding, mountain biking and 3x3 basketball.

More about EYOF Maribor 2023

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Sports disciplines

The lively FOKSI the Fox, the mascot of the Olympic Committee of Slovenia, will lead you through the sports disciplines that young athletes will compete in in Maribor.

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Road Biking

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Athletics

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Sports gymnastics

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Judo

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Basketball 3x3

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Volleyball

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Handball

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Swimming

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Skateboarding

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Tennis

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Mountain Biking

One city, one heart

The slogan of Maribor, Slovenia’s second largest city, reveals the heartfelt stories hidden among the city’s streets and squares and in its surroundings. Its “First Lady” is the oldest vine in the world, serving as the centre of action and adventure. But it is far from being the only attraction of the city, which is nestled between the green forests of Pohorje and the wine-growing hills. It is time to get to know the host of this year’s European Youth Olympic Festival.

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Where will the young athletes compete?

Discover the sports venues in Maribor that will serve as the testing ground for young athletes in each sport.

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Young swimmers will dive into the Olympic pool of the Pristan Swimming Centre.

The Poljane Athletics Stadium, which is part of the Tabor Sports Park, will be the venue of athletics competitions.

The premiere of skateboarding at the EYOF is set in the state-of-the-art MB Sk8park.

Young tennis players will be swinging their rackets on the courts of the Branik Tennis Club.

Bike Park Pohorje has hosted major mountain biking competitions in the past, and now, for the first time, young mountain bikers will also try it out at the EYOF.

You will be able to marvel at the agility of young gymnasts in the modern Tabor Hall.

The Draš Centre at the foothills of Pohorje will host young volleyball players.

You can watch the judo competitions in the Lukna Hall.

Leon Štukelj Square, named after the most successful Slovenian Olympic champion, will be transformed into a 3x3 basketball court during the EYOF.

Europe’s young handball players will fight for victory at the Leon Štukelj University Sports Centre.

The state-of-the-art Vrbanska Sports Hall will host the matches of the young female handball players.

Rok and Filip – EYOF Maribor ambassadors

Top athletes are an inspiration to young people. An inspiration to the competitors at EYOF Maribor and ambassadors of this year’s event are two Maribor-born Slovenian athletes.

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Rok Možič

Rok Možič is exceptionally talented and is considered one of the most promising volleyball players in the world. He is currently impressing audiences in the Italian league and also plays for the Slovenian national team.

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Filip Flisar

Freestyle skier Filip Flisar may have put his competition skis on the shelf, but his achievements have not been forgotten. He won the Ski Cross World Champion title and the ski cross crystal globe and recorded several World Cup victories in the discipline.

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Good to know before you come to the Olympic Festival

If you have decided to support young athletes in person, here is some useful information on how to get to Slovenia, where to stay, where to eat, etc.

Come and cheer on the young athletes

Slovenia does not just have world-class athletes, we also have passionate fans who are often an extra player, giving wings to their sporting heroes. You can come and join us in creating a true Olympic atmosphere during the European Youth Olympic Festival.

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Catch the wave of accompanying action

In addition to the competitions themselves, there will be a ton of activities all over Maribor during the European Youth Olympic Festival. The Festival will start at Ljudski Vrt, the stronghold of Maribor football, and end at Trg Svobode, the central square for cultural events during the Festival. Get to know the other venues for the accompanying programme.

Experience Maribor in your own way

Maribor combines an active experience of nature among the forests of Pohorje with the gastronomic delights of the wine-growing surroundings. Here you can feel the lively pulse of the city streets and the next moment find yourself in the tranquil corners of nature. There’s something for everyone. The choice is yours.

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A gourmet getaway for rockers at heart

A five-star rock ’n’ roll of tastes will take you to Maribor’s gourmet spots and fill you with nostalgia for the city’s rock ‘n’ roll character of the 1960s. The experience is a unique blend of gastronomy and alternative cultural life that will make you rightfully cry out: “Rock on!”

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A gourmet getaway for rockers at heart

A gourmet getaway for rockers at heart

A five-star rock ’n’ roll of tastes will take you to Maribor’s gourmet spots and fill you with nostalgia for the city’s rock ‘n’ roll character of the 1960s. The experience is a unique blend of gastronomy and alternative cultural life that will make you rightfully cry out: “Rock on!”

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Along the path of the most beautiful wine stories to the Old Vine

Along the path of the most beautiful wine stories to the Old Vine

Maribor’s surroundings are adorned with vast vineyards, which hide beautiful spots, such as the heart-shaped road in the Svečinske Gorice hills. A sommelier will help you discover the wines of the Štajerska region that pair perfectly with local cuisine. You will visit one of the largest and oldest classical wine cellars in Europe and finish your tour at the Old Vine House, home to more than just the oldest vine in the world. Live through its 450 years of history with special VR glasses.

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Raft on the Drava River

Raft on the Drava River

Enjoy the Drava River from a raft. The experience is even better in the evening with a bit of music and dancing. Let the ‘flosar’ (raftsman) and ‘flosarska frajla’ (the raft hostess) reveal the magic of this once-respected profession. Rafting on the Drava is an unforgettable experience, which provides a whole new view of the city.

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Bee Flight Zip Line

Bee Flight Zip Line

Fly like the bees. Literally. Your adventure on the Sunny Paradise Estate zip line begins and ends in a beehive. Fly towards the nearby forest and back via two zip lines for a total length of 340 metres and enjoy the colourful honey plants below as you fly.

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Wine tastings at the Old Vine House

Wine tastings at the Old Vine House

A more than 450-year-old vine, which is considered to be the oldest in the world, grows on Maribor’s Lent. It is a symbol of wine culture of the Štajerska region and the city of Maribor. It has its own museum, festival and even its own anthem. It is no wonder that the Old Vine House houses a wine bar with a selection of wines from 55 local winemakers. Here you will have the opportunity to taste the finest wines from the Štajerska region, accompanied by a local snack of homemade bread, pumpkin seed oil and salt.

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Top 10 active experiences in and around Maribor

A bike will come in very handy in Maribor. Whether it is to ride along the Drava Cycling Route or to feel the adrenaline rush at the Pohorje Bike Park. Go for a hike in the Pohorje forests or Nordic walking through the vineyards. Feel the adrenaline rush in the adventure park, in the air or on a summer toboggan track. Here are a few more suggestions on how you can spend an active holiday in the city of the world’s oldest vine.

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Active experiences for every day of the year

You can be active outdoors whenever you visit Slovenia. Explore it with your hiking boots on or on a bike. Plunge into the rapids or enjoy the calmer currents. Get your adrenaline pumping, find new challenges, but be careful and responsible in everything you do.

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