Slovenska Bistrica, November 13th 2019
Tourism in Slovenia is blossoming! But it’s also true that foreign tourists in Slovenia are mostly attracted by the best-known tourist gems such as Bled, Ljubljana castle, Postojna cave, Piran… With the show “SLOVENIA’S HIDDEN GEMS” Radio SI wanted to point out that there are more excellent locations and tourist offers and experiences and attractions in our small country. Offers that visitors from abroad should not miss in order to feel the rich pulse of tradition, culinary offers, culture and other innovative approaches in tourism in Slovenia.
The competition on Radio SI highlighted excellent tourist packages and products that offer the best of Slovenia’s diverse regions — from eastern Prekmurje to the coastal region of Primorska — and ran throughout 2019.
The foreign-language team of Radio SI uncovered hidden tourist gems that remain unknown to the numerous tourists visiting Slovenia. Altogether 12 potentially overlooked but exceptional tourist packages from all over Slovenia were presented in 2019. As part of the show, 12 foreign couples living, working or studying in Slovenia (members of Radio Si’s International Club) tested these packages and shared their experiences on the English-language show and also on the website www.sloveniashiddengems.si. On this website you can listen to all the shows and find pictures and texts about the tourist packages.
The selection of providers was made by Radio SI and the listeners who voted for the suggested offers. At the end of the competition, listeners and visitors of the website voted from October 1st to 31st among the 12 finalists and chose three winners, who at our final ceremony in Slovenska Bistrica were given the prize “Slovenia’s hidden gem 2019”.
All finalists received a certificate of recognition and pottery from the craft center Slovenska Bistrica.
3rd place went to the tourist package “Kostanjevica na Krki – the smallest place for the greatest experiences”. With its rich cultural heritage – the medieval city center, the Kostanjevica Cave, the Božidar Jakac Fine Arts Museum and the Forma viva sculpture park – the place attracts a number of people from close and afar. Kostanjevica na Krki is an ideal place for a relaxing or active holiday with numerous hiking trails and sports activities on the Krka River, as well as, gastronomic experiences in the wine-growing region of the Gorjanci hills.
The “Velenje Underground” tourist package was ranked 2nd. This unique adventure is one of the best ways to experience the hidden part of Velenje, its underground. ‘’Velenje underground’’ is the ultimate culinary experience in the deepest dining room in Slovenia. The oldest elevator in Slovenia will take you to the Slovenian Coal Mining Museum. In the deepest Slovenian dining room, you can experience the ‘knap’ (miner’s) environment and the superb dishes of the Villa Herberstein team. 1st place was won by the “Wilderness of Kočevski Rog” tourist package. The Kočevsko area offers a primeval forest experience where you can feel the healing powers of ancient trees. You can breathe in the clean forest air, listen to the sounds of birds, observe the movement of canopies in the wind, caress tree trunks and blend in with nature. You can also meet forest dwellers. The most powerful animal of the Kočevje forests is certainly its majesty – the brown bear. You can get acquainted with it through guided tours through the woods or through a photo lens. In short, they invite you to experience the hospitality of the Kočevje nature, to venture deep into the forest and to hear from close range how nature breathes.
Based on the excellent response to the Slovenia’s Hidden Gems project among providers and foreigners, as well as our radio listeners, the team at Radio Si is already preparing to continue their work in 2020. This time around, they would like to introduce 12 packages of Slovenia’s most attractive tourist offers to visitors from abroad. To that end, we’re asking providers and listeners to propose new unique locations and tourist packages that are a must for foreign tourists.
Photo: Peter Kopše Pišec