After careful evaluation, the scientific committee of the Swiss Tourism Awards then selected the town of Idrija and awarded the prize:
The town of Idrija in Slovenia received the prestigious Swiss Tourism Award as the “jewel of the Slovenian Alps” because of its natural beauty and historical significance.
The town is located in Western Slovenia, not far from the Italian border, in a basin surrounded by the beautiful Slovenian Alps, in this area particularly steep and impervious. Many nature trails start from the town, a destination for many tourists every year.
Another important attraction of Idrija is its ancient mercury mines, no longer active today, which date as far back as the first half of the 1500s. The mines can be visited, as can the headquarters built at the time to manage them, Gewerkenegg Castle, active in its function for more than 400 years.
Around the city there is also an underground lake at a depth of more than 120 m below sea level, and there are several small streams among which the most important is the Idria River. The city of Idrija was for 25 years part of the province of Gorizia, and therefore Italian territory, so a small ethnic Italian minority still resides there.