It might be the smallest county that Croatia has, but what it lacks in size Medimurje exceeds in content and cultural background. Located far in the north of the country, this region is often nicknamed ‘oasis’ or ‘garden’ of Croatia due to its rich soil and abundant river resources. It is also quiote interesting for business opportunities, being included in Financial Times list of small regions worthy of foreign investing.
Surrounded with rivers Drava and Mura, Medimurje is the place to go in spring. April and May tend to be the best months to visit during the year, as they come with a lot of cultural events and folklore manifestations. In the small town of Prelog, festivals of flowers and strawberries are annually ogranized, while Sveti Martin features its very own village Olympics.
The settlement of Donja Dubrava has a fair of river vessels, Nedelisce organizes a cycling event called Proljetna Biciklijada while Kotoriba welcomes visitors on their much-loved celebration called Dani Sibe i Ribe. Literally translated, it means ‘Days of Wood Splints and Fish’ and ties the craft of basketmaking with prepping tasty fish dishes. If attending, try traditionally prepared carp on ‘raslje’ roasting tool.
Medimurje is also a prime destination for wine and beer lovers. The region features about twenty cellars, most of which present their works on Urbanovo festival that is organized between May and June. It is named after Catholic Patron of wine makers, Saint Urban. The manifestation has three distinctive parts: the first one celebrates the local blend of white wine called pusipela, the second opens up all cellars for interested viewers while the third part is a large gathering in Terbotz Keep of Zelezna Gora.
Late May is also the time of year when industrial complex of Stari Hrast organizes Beefest Sjever event in Cakovec. All regional beer breweries traditionally attend this gathering, but it is not surprise to find some guests from faraway lands as well.
Fans of historical topics will find plenty to enjoy in the medieval castle Stari Grad Zrinskih, which is also located in Cakovec. The village of Gornji Hrascan has a traditional blacksmith workshop ‘Horvatova Kovacnica while an old mill dating from early 20th century is the original feature of Zabnik settlement. A memorial home ‘Cimper’ dedicated to local mining industry can be found in Mursko Sredisce, while the one build in honor of philosopher Rudolf Steiner is in Donji Kraljevec.
If you are a fan of engineering, an old-timer vehicle museum of Sardi is located in Selnica, and has numerous exhibits that are well worthy of your attention. The collection also includes motorbikes, tractors and agricultural machines, as well as replica of an old craft and historical weapon workshop.
Medimurje is also regularly visited by people who want excitement and adventure. An adrenaline park called Accredo Centar can be visited in Lopatinec, with paintball and quad tracks being key features. At the same time, more relaxing experiences wait for you in Sveti Martin Spa center, offering unique massages in vine and sunflower oils. You are more than welcome to stay in Castellum Hotel, a Cakovec resort that offers classy accommodation, large halls, private gym and observation points.
Being far away from the sea doesn’t mean Medimurje isn’t a place to visit in Croatia. Come and enjoy this oasis of Croatian continental territories.
Feature Photo: Davorin Mance