The River Kolpa was awarded Slovenia's European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) in 2010. The title EDEN is awarded by the European Commission for promoting sustainable tourism development.
The river Kolpa stretches for 292km, of which 113km run along the country border with the Republic of Croatia. The river is also considered the longest Slovenian “coastline” and one of the warmest and intact rivers in Slovenia.
In a sense, the river Kolpa offers an intact, picturesque, and invaluable source of inner piece. A part of the river, which cuts the area from Stari trg to the village Dragoše, is a protected area of the Kolpa Regional Park. Particular care is given to 16 natural treasures and 41 cultural landmarks, which are located along the river and in its vicinity. The Kolpa Regional Park is not strictly classified as a protected area, but it is one of rare regional parks in Slovenia, which has been proclaimed on the national level. For that reason it has its own administrative institution, the Kolpa Regional Park Public Institute.
The river is divided by more than 50 dams, which are typically made of stones and are remainders of mills, sawmills, and blacksmith's, which no longer exist. However, some dams still serve their purpose.
Kolpa is rich with flaura and fauna. Many rare, endangered bird species have found their place of living at its vicinity, particularly birds connected to water. The village Miliči hosts around twenty pairs of grey herons. There is also an otter, which is one of the most endangered European mammals. Latest researches have discovered as many as 39 autochthon fish species in the river. This indicates that nature is still intact in this area. The river is attractive all year round. But it is particularly popular in summer months, when it is perfect for swimming, as the water temperature rises even up to 30°C.
If you decide to pay Kolpa a visit, you surely won't regret it. You can choose among a wide rage of sports and recreational activities, which are possible all along the river's stream, such as boating, canoeing, kayaking or rafting. The river is not very demanding and it is suitable even for first-time rowers. Even fishing enthusiasts will be able to make the best out of the river.
Along the river and in its vicinity you can find organized and earmarked hiking routes. One of such routes, called the Trška path, begins in Stari trg ob Kolpi and ends in Sodevci. The southernmost Slovenian path winds from Radenci to Damelj, and is followed by the Mlinarska path from Damelj to Vinica. Further on, along the river you can find the Fair path, which ends in Žuniči. In Žuniči you can also find a 200m long the beekeeper’s educational path. The exploration of the area along Kolpa continues on the educational path Kučar-Kolpa in Podzemelj, and comes to an end on the educational path Zdenc-Vidovec in Božakovo. Cycling paths along the river also enable recreational pastime.
If you want to dwell on the river banks a while longer, there are also tourist farms, camps, inns, or other accommodation facilities along the river and its surroundings. You will undoubtedly be offered homemade dishes, good wine, and openheartedness.