As part of the Danube GeoTour project, Idrija UGG and Papuk UGG organized a study tour for journalists and bloggers from Slovenia and Croatia, from 9 to 12 September 2019. The first two days were hosted by Idrija UGG and the third and fourth by Papuk UGG.
The purpose of this study tour was to present some results, and especially the products that were created as part of the Danube GeoTour project and some other attractions of the Geoparks.
The visit to Idrija started with a breakfast made from ingredients provided by the recipients of the "Idrija selected" collective trademark certificate: Klančar fruit yogurt with granola and BoVa honey and tea from the House of Herbs with honey from Rupnik Beekeeping. IDRIJA SELECTED Certificate of Excellence is awarded to those products and services that meet high standards of quality, include locally sourced raw materials, and showcase the traditions, culture and lifestyle of people living in the Idrija UNESCO Global Geopark.
For the first time, journalists visited the Idrija Geopark Visitor Centre in the company of two authors and looked at an exhibition. The underlying theme of the exhibition is about how the Earth's forces influenced the formation of the Idrija region and shaped life in this region. Contents from the entire area of the Idrija Geopark are presented. The exhibition aims at encouraging visitors to visit the Idrija countryside in addition to visiting the main tourist providers in the town of Idrija, to visit the natural and cultural sights there, to get in touch with the tourist providers outside the city and stay there for a longer period of time.
The Turf Hunt mobile app revealed the sights of the town of Idrija, which is famous for being the site of the now dormant and the second largest mercury mine in the world. Mercury's heritage is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. At the Idrija Lace School, both journalists and bloggers tried their hand at making bobbin lace, which is an important part of this region’s intangible cultural heritage. At the Škafar Inn, they were served traditional Idrija dishes smukavc and ocvirkovca, followed by a Rezi cake, decorated with sugar lace. After lunch, a tour of Anthony’s shaft awaited them, where they could see how the miners worked. Accompanied by a guide, they walked along the Rake water channel to the mysterious Wild Lake, which is one of the pearls of Slovenia’s natural heritage. The day ended with a tour of the klavže water barriers on the Belca river, and a fish dinner at the Barbara Inn.
Next day, after a rest at the Hotel Kendov dvorec, the journalists and bloggers visited Idrijske Krnice and learned about the beauties of the Idrija countryside. The members of the Hudournik Society presented to them a part of their Tourist Package called Vandranje po gričih (Strolling in the Hills), which bears the Idrija Selected certificate. The program included a visit to the House of Herbs and a sampling of various dairy products at the Krnčan farm. At the end of their visit, our guests were shown how to make Idrija žlikorofi at the Hotel Kendov dvorec. This traditional dish is made of dough, filled with potato stuffing, and is characteristically shaped. The people of Idrija have always liked to serve žlikrofi with bakalca, a dish prepared with mutton and vegetables. Due to its good taste, it is often the main course at numerous high profile events in Slovenia.
The focus of the visit in Papuk UGG was the Geological Interpretation Point "Zvečevo," created as part of the project as an outdoor interpretation point that explains in a popular, simplified way the process of metamorphosis of the West Papuk rocks. In addition to this, the guests also visited the nearby Vile Montis Aurea, a holiday complex located in the village of Novo Zvečevo. During our visit to the western part of Papuk UGG, our guests visited Rupnica, the first Croatian geological monument, the Trešnjevica geosite and the area of the future Geo Info Center in Voćin. After that, they headed to the Jankovac Park- Forest. There is an educational path, which winds its way from a mountain hut to the Jankovac lakes, through a beech forest, all the way to the Skakavac waterfall. Along the path, there are info-panels that indicate the important biological, geological and cultural-historical heritage of this area. For this trail, Papuk UGG received the 2006 "Green Flower" award from the Croatian Tourist Board.
The study tour included visits to local wineries and family farms offering local products. A visit to the Kutjevo vineyards, located on the southern slopes of the Papuk Mountains, was organized as they partly occupy the area of Papuk UGG. The town of Kutjevo, the centre of wine production in this area, has a long and rich history. It was first mentioned in 1232 as Honesta Vallis de Gotho, the estate of a Cistercian monk. From that time on, wine, especially the Graševina variety has been intensively produced in this micro-region. In the city centre there is a castle and an old wine cellar. During the trip, our guests visited the Kutjevo Winery, the Galić and Krauthaker wineries, tasted their products and toured the production facilities.
The visitors spent two nights at the Zlatni Lug Household, where they encountered expert guidance and tasted the owner's homemade products. During the second day of the visit, they visited the Papuk UGG administrative building in Velika, and the Duboka-camping site with an Adventure park. This was followed by a tour of the Larva Household.
Project co-funded by European Union funds (ERDF, IPA). Copyright pictures UGGp Idrija & Papuk