UN World Tourism Organisation Praises Slunj

Lauren Simmonds

un world tourism organisation slunj
Kristina Stedul Fabac/PIXSELL

December the 23rd, 2023 – The UN World Tourism Organisation has declared Slunj the top rural destination out of 260 candidates.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, what was declared the most hospitable destination back in in 2018 is 2023’s top rural destination – Slunj. Out of 260 rural destinations from 60 countries around the world, the UN World Tourism Organisation has just chosen Slunj as the best.

The inhabitants of the area, which has less than 15 thousand residents and tourism is the driver of its overall development, understand that they can only truly pin themselves on the tourist scene with high quality offers and something that can’t be found anywhere else. Tourists fell in love with gorgeous little Slunj because of its magical waterfalls, mills, untouched nature, and excellent local gastronomic scene, RTL reported.

A hundred thousand visitors visit the sparsely populated area annually, most of them being Germans and local people, but there are also more and more Americans turning up here.

“What Slunj is also recognised for, apart from these protected areas, Rastoke and the beauty of the river Slunjčica, is that our community all comes together and participates in creating the offer of our destination, and that is the advantage of this little place of ours”, said Jasmina Mrkonja, Slunj’s tourist board director.

Locals will say that they are still developing the offer and try to make it diverse. For the local family farms (OPGs) which have a distillery and tasting rooms, and produce brandies and liqueurs, their priority is top quality above all else.

Because of the good reviews, both foreigners and locals come to them. Zlatko, who is visited by guests, says that because of the good reviews and recommendations, he thought that in addition to top quality meat and barbecue, guests should also be offered some attraction, so he also has a herd of about 20 deer, hinds and a doe that visitors can feed.

Kristina Stedul Fabac/PIXSELL

“It’s a big thing for people coming to Slunj. Suddenly they see that we have deer, a plot spanning 20,000 square metres, and then they sit back and enjoy themselves. They forget that they’re in a hurry, they don’t see the cars, they don’t see anything, and people automatically chill out and spend a few hours here, which they wouldn’t normally do,” explained Zlatko Ružnić from Brajdić Selo.

Those who come to one of the promenades in Rastoke, in the warmer parts of the year like to cycle or kayak down the Slunjčica river. Some of the restaurants and souvenir shops remain open all year round, and this includes the shop selling products from only this area.

“Foreign visitors are willing to come and try absolutely everything. So, from smoked trout and cheeses to local wine and brandy. They also buy local cosmetics and medicinal products. Local tourists from elsewhere in Croatia already know about our Rastoke flour, which is produced here at our traditional mills,” said Davor Šime Hrvojević about the habits of his customers.

The UN World Tourism Organisation’s award is a fantastic recognition for beautiful little Slunj, which will no doubt continue to put continental Croatian tourism and what this country boasts even far away from the coast on the map.


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