Why it’s best to put Slavonia and Baranja in Croatia in your Bucket Checklist

Editor’s be aware: Croatia shouldn’t be at the moment on the UK’s journey hall checklist, however we’ll replace this text when the steering modifications.

Do you know that wild brown bears nonetheless roam the forests of Slavonia? Or, that the area produces a few of Europe’s best white wine?

Situated between the Danube, Sava and Drava rivers in japanese Croatia, Slavonia, and close by Baranja, are lands of fertile plains and historic forests, steeped in custom and 17th-century folklore.

Sunflowers in Slavonia

Sunflowers in Slavonia (c) xbrchx

Throughout the summer season months, the fields burst with sunflowers amid fairly, rural homes. The cities in Slavonia comprise many baroque mansions and church buildings constructed with autumnal colored bricks and painted in yellow hues.

There’s loads of conventional foody fare to pattern with influences from neighbouring nations corresponding to Hungary and Serbia.

Uncover Slavonia’s spectacular structure and folklore

Begin off in Slavonski Brod (merely ‘Brod’ to the locals – that means ‘water crossing’) a historic metropolis that borders with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Slavonski Brod Fortress, an deserted stronghold from the 1700s that was designed to accommodate four,000 troopers and 150 cannons, is effectively price a go to. It retains many preserved fortifications and inside additionally, you will uncover a reasonably quirky museum, “Home of Tambura”.

The museum traces the historical past of the Tambura, also referred to as tamburica or tamburitza, a conventional string instrument of the area used to play people music.

By the way, if you’re in Slavonski Brod in mid-June, be sure you participate within the Brodsko Kolo Competition, a festivity of all issues Slavonian.

The cathedral of St. Peter in Djakovo

The cathedral of St. Peter in Djakovo (c) dbajurin

Near Brod is the metropolis of Đakovo, residence to the spectacular St Peter’s Cathedral, which was constructed within the late 1800s within the Romanesque and Gothic kinds, with two bell towers standing 84m excessive.

For those who love horses, you received’t need to miss a visit to the “Ergela” stud-farm in Đakovo, which was established in 1506 and breeds well-known Lipizzaner stallions, the masters of dressage. Right here you may tour the Stallion Station, together with visits to the horse stables, out of doors racetrack and terrains for dressage and hurdle racing. There’s additionally day by day music and dressage present.

Osijek

Osijek (c) ilijaa

Additionally it is price spending half a day in Slavonia’s capital, Osijek, which additionally borders Baranja. Town, a sea of orange roof tiles surrounded by lush, inexperienced fields, is definitely explored on foot, with loads of baroque-style buildings to admire as you discover. The spectacular sq., Trg Ante Starčevića, is featured on the 200 kuna banknote Tvrđa.

Head to the outdated city within the japanese a part of town and pay a go to to the 18th-century defensive fortress Tvrđa, which is constructed on the suitable financial institution of the River Drava. The fortress was inbuilt medieval Osijek following the defeat of the Ottoman forces in 1687.

High tip: Drive from Osijek to the Illok, the easternmost city of Croatia. Perched on a hill overlooking the Danube, the picturesque city is surrounded by vineyards and accommodates a 16th-century hammam (Turkish bathtub) from the Ottoman interval.


Wish to lengthen your journey to Slavonia and Baranja?

Danube coast in Vukovar

Danube coast in Vukovar (c) xbrchx

Golden sheaf of hay on the field at summer

Golden plains of Slavonia (c) Jacek Nowak

Sensible Journey provide a 7-day personal tour of Slavonia and Baranja together with four* lodging, native journey on a luxurious air-conditioned bus and a half-board meal plan. Costs begin from €900 and the tour contains visits to all of the cities talked about on this article together with a number of vineyards and alternatives to find native folklore and delicacies.

CLICK HERE to e-book your journey with Sensible Journey


Getting again to nature

Papuk Nature Park

Papuk Nature Park (C) borongic

Take a while to loosen up and unwind in one among Slavonia and Baranja’s nature parks. Papuk Nature Park is a UNESCO geopark that circles Papuk Mountain, Slavonia’s highest mountain at 953m at its peak.

It’s a huge and exquisite place to get misplaced in, with the possibility to find mountain lakes, caves, waterfalls and historic geological options – a Carcharodon Megalodon tooth was as soon as discovered right here the scale of a hand.

Highlights within the park embody Jankovac Forest Park, a beech forest with a excessive protecting standing as a result of its inhabitants of uncommon and endangered animals and mushrooms. Look out for deer, fox, bats and even wild boar. From right here you may hike to the Skakavac waterfall. In springtime, the waterfall can stand up to 10m vast and might be essentially the most lovely waterfall in Papuk.

For a unique nature expertise, go to the superbly maintained Kopački rit Nature Park in Baranja, residence to one among Europe’s largest wetlands. The park is positioned close to Osijek the place the Drava and Danube rivers meet and may both be explored on foot or by boat. Massive herds of deer wander the park, and you may observe 300 totally different hen species, together with uncommon white-tailed eagles and black storks.

A style of Croatia

Kulen

Kulen (c) Sinisa Botas

Fish paprika stew

Fish paprika stew (c) Neven Milinković

Slavonia is a land of abundance and hospitality, and conventional Slavonian delicacies is cooked for big teams of individuals to get pleasure from collectively.

Common dishes embody “kulen”, a kind of flavoured sausage made from minced pork, and spicy fish or paprika stew cooked in a small cauldron. One of the best place to get pleasure from some of these dishes is in one of many villages within the Slavonian countryside.

Head to Baranjska kuća in Karanac, about 20km from Osijek, and tuck into heat shepherd’s pie cooked in a clay oven, or if you’re feeling courageous, why not attempt snails cooked in nettle sauce? Both means, you’ll obtain the warmest hospitality and there’s an excellent likelihood there shall be some conventional dwell music to accompany your meal.

Time for wine!

Ilok vineyard

Ilok winery (c) deymos

Winegrowing in Slavonia and Baranja is a 1,800-year-old custom, and there’s an abundance of vineyards to tour and revel in a scrumptious tipple.

The city of Kutjevo in Slavonia is a goldmine (or higher but, a “winemine”) for wine tasting, and accommodates a medieval wine cellar courting to 1232.

Two of Slavonia’s high wineries are additionally positioned right here: Krauthaker, whose graševina and candy wines have received many awards, and Enjingi, which specialises in organically produced wine together with Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc. Alternatively, Iilok can also be a must-visit vacation spot for wine tasting.

Reality file

Keep: In  Karanac, e-book your keep on the highy-rated Three* Residences Ivica i Marica, with personal loos, free WiFi and free bike rental. Costs begin from £63 per evening.

Tour: Sensible Journey provide a 7-day personal tour of Slavonia and Baranja together with four* lodging, native journey on a luxurious air-conditioned bus and a half-board meal plan. Costs begin from €900 and the tour contains visits to all of the cities talked about on this article together with a number of vineyards and alternatives to find native folklore and delicacies.

Getting there: Fly to Zagreb and from there you may take a 5-hour practice or Three-hour bus to Brod, or it takes simply over 2 hours by automobile.


Disclaimer: This text was sponsored by Sensible Journey and written in partnership with Sensible Journey Croatia and the Croatian Nationwide vacationer board.

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