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ON THE TRAILS OF HERITAGE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT STUDY
Throught Slovenia

In Slovenia, the endeavours and pioneer work for the development of the products Heritage trails started in 1995 on the incentive of our partners from Great Britain and with the support of the European Commission. The head partner at that time was the Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Novo mesto. The project “Dolenjska and Bela krajina heritage trail” set the basis for the development of a tourist product in this destination, and subsequently extended to many other areas in Slovenia and also abroad to the areas of the former-common state (the Ribnica-Kočevje area, Slovenian Istria and the Italian Comune della Valle, the area from both sides from the river Kolpa in Croatia, the area in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the territory of NE Bosnia with its centre in Bihać, and the core of Herzegovina with its centre in Ljubuško). The objectives of these activities were to create tourist offers in the local environment, in until then mostly relatively unknown tourist areas, which was based on the integration of a content of natural and cultural heritage, and so-called living heritage, namely the everyday lives of the local people. Activities in recent years have gained the trust from both local and national shareholders, who have been engaged in participative and partnership planning, and also the management of all activities.

An expert team with more than twenty years of experience of working in this field, has developed an interactive and professionally prepared offer of good practices, which represents the experience in shaping such an offer based on the principles of sustainable tourism and participative planning. The interactively designed methodology you will meet during the excursion will enable you to design, on the basis of the gained experience, under close attention and directions of the experienced team, your own tourist offer in your local environment where the key elements will be the natural and cultural heritage, and the life of the local people. On the excursion, you will encounter concrete examples of good practices in the development of rural areas, as well as gain valuable experience and learn the pitfalls in the development of this type of tourism product with the help of a team of experts.

Excursion programme

Day 1: ARRIVAL

Arrival in Slovenia and accommodation in a hotel. Meeting the team of experts before or after dinner. The team will present the project On the Trails of Heritage that has worked with great success for 15 years and put this region on Slovenia’s tourist map. Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 2: BELA KRAJINA

After breakfast a drive to Bela krajina, the southernmost part of Slovenia to the Kolpa landscape park. Kolpa received the European Destination of Excellence award in 2010 and was a successful candidate in several Leader projects. In the park visit to Šokčev mansion, a protected cultural monument in the Kolpa landscape park. An opportunity to learn about the natural and cultural heritage of Bela krajina with a beekeeping path in the vicinity. Leaving the Kolpa landscape park we continue to the Lahinja landscape park, with a visit to the village Veliki Nerajec, the recipient of a special European award in the year 2000 for countryside development and village renewal. In addition to the natural and cultural heritage there will be a presentation of handicraft. A drive to Metlika. Walk through the old town centre and a tour of the Museum of Bela krajina and a film about Bela krajina in Metlika castle. From there our journey leads to the village of Radovica where we will visit the old cottage of Bela krajina, while in the old primary school we will attend a class as it was taught in 1952 and learn about Bela krajina. The day ends in the winegrowing area of Drašići with a visit to “Sosedska zidanica” (Neighbour’s Vineyard Cottage), the oldest wine bank in Slovenia. We will learn about the restored vineyard cottage and how the villagers still keep the rich tradition and the traditional way of life and to finish taste some excellent wines from Bela krajina. Accommodation, dinner and overnight stay.

Day 3: DOLENJSKA REGION

After breakfast a drive to Šentjernej to Pleterje with a monastery and next to it Skansen – 200-year-old homestead. The landlord Simon will show us around: the old “black kitchen” in which granny Sonja will prepare bread that we will taste at the end of our visit. Our journey leads from Šentjernej to the landscape park Zagraški log. Here we will learn of an interesting story how a village community takes care of the park and how they organized through joint actions a museum, a special programme, accommodation units ... Next is a tour of a farmstead that in addition to tourism also breeds cattle and processes food and ultimately blends everything into a perfect tourist offer. After lunch a drive to the wine growing area of Grčevje where we will visit one of the vineyard cottages that is a member of the consortium “Turizem v zidanicah” (Tourism in Vineyard Cottages) – a new accommodation offer for tourists in Slovenia. Introduction to the activities of the consortium, its products and marketing results. At the end of the day a visit to Matjaž’s Homestead, the winner of the silver award of the Slovenian Tourist Organization for the most innovative tourist product in 2008. Introduction to the house that is a part of the European network “Houses of Tradition”, multivision “The Cviček story” and learn how to successfully market the Cviček wine. The visit ends with wine tasting. Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 4: DOLENJSKA REGION

After breakfast a drive to Novo mesto, walk through the heart of the old town and visit the Dolenjska museum with an exceptional archaeological exhibition displaying life in this area from 10,000 B.C. until today. Walk down to the tourist attraction “Rudolfov splav” (Rudolph’s raft). Rafting on the river Krka around the old parts of Novo mesto and a special activities programme on the raft with sampling Cviček. After rafting a drive to Žužemberk with a tour of the town that is being consistently restored for several years. The tourist association takes care of the activities that are performed in the town, special programmes with knights and female singers and the organization of traditional events that have very good attendances. After lunch a drive to Ribnica, the home of the world famous “dry goods” and pottery. Visit to the museum and the exceptionally interesting Handicraft Centre with a display of old crafts and an exhibition of various handicrafts. Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 5: DEPARTURE

After breakfast a workshop on the subject “On the Trails of Heritage”. An analysis of the examples we have seen and an attempt to draw some parallels with what is on offer in one’s own region. We will also consider the possibilities of developing our tourist products and ways of using EU funds.

Price

The price includes: the complete programme arrangement, inclusive full services, entrance tickets, visits, full board, accommodation in a hotel with at least 3***, the company of a professional guide, cooperation with a professional team, organization and VAT.

Note

The length of the excursion can be tailored to your wishes (shortened or extended).

We also suggest some other interesting examples of best practice:
  • SLOVENIA: Logarska dolina – Solčavsko (sustainable development of rural areas, management of protected area, forest management, rural tourism)
  • SLOVENIA: Škofja Loka (development of rural brands, selling of agricultural products at the market, direct sales)
  • SLOVENIA: Kras and the coast (viniculture development, wine trails, rural tourism, olive oil production, renovation of rural centres, rural entrepreneurship)
  • CROATIAN ISTRIA (rural area development, viniculture, organic food production, olive oil production, rural tourism)
  • AUSTRIA: Vulkanland (excellent example of a small undeveloped community with no perspective becoming a well known tourist destination through a methodical development policy. A diverse tourist offer is presented to the guests as “Vulkanland” – a feel-good destination in unspoiled countryside with a selected cuisine and a rich tradition).