Zreče, Slovenia – 2019 International Finalist
Zreče – The area of wellbeing
Zreče is a settlement in the north-eastern part of Slovenia, lying on the outskirts of the Pohorje mountain range in the upper valley of the river Dravinja. The settlement is limited by the surrounding hills – in the north and in the east from the ridge which is descending from Rogla (part of this is the hill Brinjeva gora), in the west from the ridges Sleme, Zabork and Križevec. The city of Zreče (395 meters above sea) is the centre of the municipality and it encompasses six local communities, namely: Zreče, Stranice, Gorenje, Skomarje, Resnik and Dobrovlje. In Municipality Zreče live 6.455 citizens. Zreče developed as a unified settlement in the last twenty years and become a town in 1987. Brinjeva gora above Zreče is an archaeological site and a pilgrimage path. It lies on a hilltop with the same name and it is situated 630 meters above sea. Zreče is an important economic and tourism centre of the broader area, the Municipality of Zreče is extremely oriented towards tourism and industry (UNIOR d.d., WEILER ABRASIVES D.O.O. and GKN DRIVELINE SLOVENIJA d.o.o). These two sectors are also the leading economic activities, equal and they cooperate well together. Till 1965 a narrow gauge railway connected Zreče and this from the direction of Poljčane and Slovenske Konjice. This made a huge impact on the development of the town and of its surroundings.
The biggest provider of accommodation and tourism services at the destination is the company UNITUR d.o.o. which operates the low mountain sports and ski centre Rogla and the thermal spa Terme Zreče. The company Unitur d.o.o. is successfully cooperating with other providers of tourism services at the destination as they are aware of the added value which these providers represent within the development and marketing of products in accordance with the trends and expectations of guests. In town there are also a private accommodations such as hotels, apartments, tourist farms,…
Many open green spaces are available in and around the town. They have various forms and sizes, with different green plantings. Especially the green areas in the town are of a high ecological importance. Green spaces enable walks, rest, fun, play, sports and leisure activities…These are spaces which offer all inhabitants in the town and in other settlements the possibility for leisure activities which is increasing the housing culture of the town. Numerous excursion points and well-arranged cultural-historical and ethnological sites in Zreče and in the broader destination are a popular motif for visiting our area. Regardless, if the guest decide to visit the spa, to hike to the lakes of Lovrenc, to the hilltop Brinjeva gora, to go for a walk around the lake of Zreče, to visit the adventure park called The Devil’s land with a Pohorje village, the Dwarfs educational trail, to slide down the adrenaline sled on Rogla, to visit the Skomarje house, the blacksmith Ošlak and the Museum of the narrow gauge railway or they try a pint of the blacksmith’s beer from the brewery of the Hotel Underneath Rogla, they will feel good here.
Destination Rogla – Pohorje includes the municipalities Zreče, Slovenske Konjice, Vitanje and Oplotnica which are intensively developing its tourism offer in the last decades. This is based on irreplaceable natural resources, extraordinary cultural-historical and ethnological heritage, a well-developed tourism infrastructure and a authentic Pohorje hospitality. Within the destination the municipality of Zreče is developing into a recognisable tourism municipality with a development and marketing strategy set for the period from 2017 to 2021 which is strongly influencing not only on the quality of holidays but on the quality of life of the local population. The vision of tourism development within the municipality of Zreče is based on recognition, competitive offer, arrangement of environment, natural and cultural heritage and the development of an environmentally friendly sustainable tourism.
It boasts with the motto «Area of wellbeing». In 2005, the town was twinned with Sedbergh in Cumbria, UK. The efforts of Sedbergh to find a twin town were featured in a BBC documentary, The Town That Wants A Twin and Zreče was the winning town. In all that years both towns exchanged a lot of different groups of citizens between them. On September 22nd 2018, Zreče achieved a standard of excellence ENTENTE FLORALE EUROPE 2018 which merits a Gold Award presented at the Prize – giving ceremony in Tullamore, Ireland.