Discover Croatia’s interior and visit the region Međimurje. This northernmost region of Croatia lies between the rivers Drava and Mura and is well known for it’s green hills and fertile plains.
The rounded lush green hills are covered by deciduous forest and vineyards and offer splendid views and are perfect for a gastronomical and wine tastings. The fields are filled with grain, corn and potatoes and the inhabitants are known for the industrious labor and keep the local customs in high honour.
Međimurje is also called the flower garden of Croatia!
Nature in Međimurje
The region Međimurje can be roughly divided in two distinct parts – de upper hilly area and the lower plains creating a varied landscape with a wide diversity in flora and fauna. One half of Međimurje is enclosed by the meandering Mura river with its green and natural wild beauty, here deer, beavers and wild boar live in harmony in the floodplain forests. The Drava river on the other side is a source for renewable energy through it’s hydro-power central which created two artificial lakes. The lakes and rivers are a haven for fish, birds, insects and mammals, and many different species can be found here throughout the year.
The varied landscapes of the region Međimurje offers plenty to enjoy this natural surrounding – whether you like to walk, cycle or canoe, watch and photograph birds, butterflies or mammals. In the protected nature monument ‘Bedekovićeve grabe’ (nearby the village Lopatinec) you will find one of the most endangered European butterfly species, the beautiful Scarce Large Blue (Phengaris Teleius) in the wet meadows filled with a wide variety of wildflowers. In this region you also may encounter, preying mantis, songbirds, pheasants, birds of prey, owls, woodpeckers, squirrels, roe deer, foxes, and many more species.
The fields and hills of Međimurje are show their unique features all year round, but most magnificent are the hills when they are full with spring and summer flowers! In May the sweet smell of the Acacia flowers linger around the deciduous forests, whereas in June the magnificent and often very large Tilia or Linden trees are in full bloom, it’s flowers are harvested and dried for making herbal tea.
Another kind of nature, is the cultivated ‘Zrinski Park’, surrounding the old castle in the centre of Čakovec, it boasts century old trees and is great for a leisurely stroll.
Međimurje is the perfect place for an active holiday, whether you like hiking, cycling, river rafting, horseback riding, tennis, paintball, quad bike riding, swimming in a thermal spa or the swimming pools of Čakovec, you can find facilities throughout the whole region. At several locations you can also hire bikes and in the summer months you can even hire electrical bikes in the centre of Čakovec.
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Food and Wine
The traditional cuisine of Međimurje has a long history and as a demonstration of this, there is a famous 17th century cookbook from the Zrinski court, containing many recipes of the regions authentic Baroque kitchen and illustrates the dishes as they used to be prepared for the noble family.
Some of the local dishes are pretepena juha (‘thick cream soup’), meso ‘z tiblice (cooked cured pork with lard packed and stored in a wooden barrel), Turoš cottage cheese, temfani piček (chicken in a cream sauce), žljičnjaci/trganci (type of pasta).
You can choose one of the local white wines to accompany your dish, like Graševina (Welschriesling), Moslavac (Furmint), Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Traminac (Gewurztraminer), Muscat Blanc and the local variety Pušipel, while red wine varieties are represented by Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
There are several restaurants throughout Međimurje that serve local dishes with accompanying wines of the region.
Wine and wine road
For some more wine tasting experience you can ride along the wine roads in the hills of Međimurje, where the cultivation of grapes and production of wine dates back to ancient times. Wine growing is mostly a family business in this region so most wineries are small and offer wine tastings in their own cellars.
The Wine Road is undoubtedly one of the most popular attractions in Međimurje, as the region is well known for it’s excellent white wines, the road consists of a 30 km itinerary with about thirty wine tasting establishments. Each winery is pointed out by brown road signs with a depiction of a grape and the name of the wine house. Do go and try the white wine Pušipel, as this wine variety is specific for the Međimurje region, and is a variety of the Moslavac grape. An annual wine festival is held in the end of may, called Urbanovo where local wineries present their new wines and medals are awarded to the most prestigious wines.
Tourist office of Međimurje – Turistička zajednica Međimurske županije
Address Ruđera Boškovića 2, Čakovec
Telephone +385 40 374 064