Slavonia is Croatian region located on the very north-east of Croatia. It cover the area between River Sava and Drava and borders with river Danube (Dunav) on the East. Slavonia is a flat and fertile area so it’s important source of food fro whole of Croatia. Slavonia is also known for it’s Djakovo Lipicaner Horse Breed, that is bred in Ðakovo for centuries. Slavonia, the lowland part of East Croatia, surrounded by the rivers Drava, Danube, Sava and Ilova, is a true oasis for tourists who want to replace the city hustle and bustle with the quiet of greenery and a relaxed stay in intact nature at least for a while. Administratively, it consists of the following counties: Vukovar–Srijem; Virovitica–Podravina; Požega-Slavonia; Osijek-Baranja; and Brod-Posavina. Slavonia is also abundant in cultural and historical heritage, unique continental architecture, churches, towers, castles and spas based on thermo-mineral waters. Over the past few years, this eastern Croatian region, which made tourism its priority within its economic development strategy (in addition to agriculture), has invested substantial funds in reconstruction of the existing and construction of new small family hotels, health and recreation resorts, transport infrastructure and environmental protection.
How to get to Slavonia:
Although located 200 to 300 kilometers from the capital Zagreb, Slavonia, and especially Osijek, have good connections with the rest of the country. Several dozen comfortable trains and buses operate between Zagreb and Osijek on a daily basis – the ride takes around four hours. If you use the modern motorway from Zagreb, you will reach Slavonski Brod in 1.5 hours and Osijek in 2.5 hours. Osijek also has an international airport accepting even the biggest of airplanes. In summertime, regular flights to Adriatic airports are available, while winter is reserved for charter flights.
Receptive port facilities for large tourist cruisers operating on Danube between Vienna and the Black Sea are being built in Vukovar, Ilok and Batina. Vukovar is the only Croatian port on Danube receiving not only cargo but thousands of tourists arriving in Croatia every year. Cruiser operators have expressed great interest in the ports – during the season that goes on from March to October, they stop in Vukovar several times a week. These are luxury ships owned by foreign shippers, normally carrying tourists from the United States, Germany and other European countries and operating between Hungary and Romania.
By plane: Osijek Airport and Zagreb airport are the most convenient for reaching Slavonia.
By bus: Various and frequent bus services run from Zagreb Bus Station to the Slavonian cities and towns.
Check Slavonija and North Croatia Road Map
By train – Train services runs from Zagreb to various Slavonian towns and places.
By Boat – boats are sailing along Danube river, connecting Western Europe with places all along Danube up to it’s end in Black Sea…
Art and Entertainment in Slavonia
Festivals, Art and Entertainment in Places around Slavonia
Osijek holds many events throughout the year. They include the Croatian Tamboura Music Festival featuring tamboura orchestras from across Croatia, and Osijek Summer Nights – a series of outdoor culture & entertainment events with a rich commercial and catering offer. The Osijek City Day includes a rich culture & art program with thematic exhibitions.
The other parts of Slavonia also have numerous cultural events. In late July or early August, Ðakovo, a bishop center of the Ðakovo and Srijem Bishopric, has traditionally organized the Ðakovo Embroidery for over four decades, where hundreds of culture & art associations from across Croatia and abroad show their creative achievements. A particularly interesting feature is the procession of all participants, dressed in folk costumes and followed by horse-drawn carriages through the town center, inevitably attracting tens of thousands of visitors. In early September, Vinkovci holds a folk festival – the traditional Vinkovci Autumns (www.vk-jeseni.com).
Every year, the town of Valpovo holds the Valpovo Summer, Donji Miholjac has its Miholjac Festival, while Našice celebrates the Days of Croatian Forests in summertime.
Požega traditionally organizes the Golden Strings of Slavonia music festival (celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2009) and the Kulenijada – a competition for private kulen producers.
Other Slavonian towns and villages also have similar creative folk events. The Old Sports Olympics is particularly interesting – it is held every year in late August in Brodinci near Osijek and the participants compete in forgotten old games of Slavonian shepherds and peasants.
Brod Wheel is a folklore festival that has been held in Slavonski Brod for over 40 years. It was established in 1963 and is the oldest folklore festival in Croatia. Through a series of various folklore shows, the Brod Wheel presents the folklore heritage of Brodsko Posavlje: from the Original Brod-Posavina County Folklore Festival ‘Šokadijo sve ti je na glasu’, the County Folklore Singing ensembles Festival ‘Kad zapjevam i malo zagudim’, the Children’s Folklore Festival ‘Igra kolo maleno’, the Sacral Folk Singing Festival, Choreographed Folklore Festival, Croatian Single Tamboura Players
Festival, Culture & Art Associations procession and performance to ethnographic exhibitions. Supporting shows include horse carriage shows, hurdle and two-horse team races and pastry fair. The Brod Wheel is a form of permanent cultivation of the traditional culture and live folk creation, a powerful incentive to conscientious preservation and development of the inherited cultural wealth. (www.brodsko-kolo.com)
Golden embroidery – one of the highest achievements of Slavonia folk art and probably the highest achievement in the activities of rural women of Slavonia and Baranja. The technique has produced the most luxurious Slavonian costumes that are still made in their original form, as well as items decorating our homes and enriching our tourist offer.(www.zlatovez.com)
Destinations in Slavonia
Osijek – capital of Slavonia and river port; located on the right bank of the Drava River, about 25km upstream from its join with Danube River. Osijek lies twenty-five kilometers upstream from the place where Drava flows into Danube in East Slavonia – a city and a port, the economic, transport and cultural center of Slavonia..read more
Kopacki Rit – Croatian and Slavonian Nature park located in Baranja – Croatian very eastern border with Serbia – a marshland with amazing wildlife.Kopacki rit – the most attractive destination. The popular Kopacki rit Nature Park is an attractive tourist destination in Slavonia. This is a great flooded area along the right bank of Danube, in a large corner formed by Drava and Danube.. read more
Papuk Mountain – Croatian and Slavonian Nature park located on the very edge of Pozeska Dolina (Pozega Valley), the flat and fertile valley and is the only mountain in the area – walking and hiking paradise.Rupnica – the first geological natural monument in Croatia. It was pronounced protected in 1948 for the exceptionally rare morphological volcanic rock phenomenon. It is located within Papuk Nature Park. Thanks to this and other geological phenomena, in 2007 it has become the only Croatian member of the European Geoparks Network and UNESCO’s Geoparks Association… read more
Nasice – Našice is famous for its cultural and historical monuments as well as their remains dating back to the medieval times.The most impressive buildings in the centre of Našice are two castles of the count Pejacevic family, situated in spacious English gardens. They are beautiful examples of the country-style architecture in eastern Croatia built in the manner of historicism and classicism. The main, great castle of the Pejacevic family was built in 1812 and completely renovated after the earthquake in 1817. It was expanded during the count Ladislav Pejacevic’s life…read more
Đakovo – The town of Đakovo is situated on the Đakovo plateau in the central part of Slavonia, at an altitude of 111 meters. With 30,000 inhabitants, it holds the 19th place according to size in the Republic of Croatia and the second in Osijecko-baranjska County…read more
Slavonski Brod – Built during the Habsburg Empire era, the Brod Tower still lives in its original form. This is the largest tower from its era with the largest central building. Its fortification system used to ensure permanent peace for Slavonia for two and a half centuries.
Other slavonian destinations include: Vukovar, Bizovacke Toplice, Zupanja, Vinkovci, Pozega , Daruvar, Slatina, Orahovica, Pitomaca, Donji Miholjac and Virovitica.
Castles in Slavonia:
Slavonia has a particularly rich architectural heritage – castles and towers. A special place is reserved for the castle with a wine cellar in Kutjevo (www.tzzps.hr), which used to be part of a former Jesuit estate. Built in the early 20th century, the castle in Donji Miholjac (www.tz-donjimiholjac.hr) represents a unique building of the kind in Croatia and this part of Europe. The same goes for the hunting castle in Bilje (www.tzo-bilje.hr), built in the Viennese architectural fashion. The Pejacevic Counts left their castles in Virovitica, Našice (www.tznasice.hr) and Osijek (www.tzosijek.hr). There is also the baroque castle that once belonged to the Noraman-Prandau Counts with a park in Valpovo (www.tz-valpovo.com). The Eltz family castle in Vukovar (www.tzvsz.hr) holds museum treasure of the region, especially the remains of the Vucedol culture with the famous Vucedol Dove. Also, don’t miss the Odescalchi family castle in Ilok and its wine cellars (www.ilocki-podrumi.hr). The area around it contains the most preserved remains of the Turkish era – Turkish mausoleums and a Turkish bath.Check also Castles in Croatia
Spas in Slavonia:
Slavonia is rich in thermal and mineral waters. Especially in Bizovac (www.tzobizovac.hr), where they found hyper-thermal water of a temperature of as much as 96 ºC in oil wells in the early 1970s. Bizovacke toplice (www.bizovacke-toplice.hr) is now the most modern and best equipped spa in Croatia, its multipurpose bathing complex and the modern health resort providing a unique experience – a trip to the geological past and an encounter with the long gone Pannonian Sea. The Bizovacke toplice complex has around 250 hotel beds, offering its guests a number of options and an attractive surrounding area full of ethno heritage, such as the globally recognized colorful Bizovac folk costume.
Accommodation in Slavonia
As of recently, tourist accommodation has become very good in Osijek and Bizovac. After the reconstruction of some 4-star hotels in Osijek, a dozen more small family hotels have opened. They also reconstructed hotels in the nearby Našice, Požega, Vinkovci and Vukovar. In addition to Osijek, 4-star hotels are available in Valpovo and Beli Manastir, while Ðakovo and Našice have 3-star hotels. Having reconstructed and redesigned a number of dedicated premises in the city’s educational and social facilities, Osijek has also become a distinctive congress center. Agro-tourism is also becoming deeply rooted in the Slavonian plains – several dozens of estates provide accommodation services (www.tzosbarzup.hr).
Hotels in Slavonia
Beside Osijek, 4 -star hotel is to open in Vinkovci – in addition to the modernly equipped rooms, it will have a congress hall and the first wellness center in Vukovar-Srijem County. The new 3-star Central Hotel was opened in the center of Slavonski Brod. It offers 17 air conditioned and comfortably furnished rooms and a deluxe suite. Three new family hotels will open in Ilok in 2009, with a combined range of accommodation, wine & gastro and ethno options. The Ilok Cellars will also be fully operational: 3-star accommodation for 50 persons and luxury suites in Principovac including a wine boutique, a restaurant and a belvedere. The 3-star Hotel Višnjica opened in Stalina and Vinkovci will have its first hostel with 84 beds. The Golf Country Club will open in Zmajevci, Baranja.
Horseback Riding, Hunting and Fishing in Slavonia
Adventure tourists can use increasingly diverse forms of active tourism. There are numerous organized marked bike tracks, and they also designed an adventure tourism offer. Horseback riding is available at the Ðakovo Stables with over four hundred horse of the Lipizzaner breed. Baranja organizes jeep tourism and fishing in the backwaters of Danube where you can catch a hundred-kilo catfish and a gargantuan pike.
The fishing options in Slavonia are available along Drava, Danube and other Slavonian rivers with their respective affluents, flooded areas, natural and artificial lakes, marshes and pools, artificial flows, channels and accumulations, and other waters permanently or occasionally connected with the main flows.
Hunting has a rich tradition in Slavonia, especially big game hunting. It still offers high-prize game in open hunting grounds (deer, boar, roebuck) and in confined hunting grounds (fallow deer, mouflon).Small game includes: pheasant, snipe, quail, wild duck, wild goose and hare. Beautifully decorated hunting lodges offer quality accommodation and homemade cooking. Boar is present in most of the county’s hunting grounds. Pheasant is widely present in the entire county and represents the main hunting game specie in common hunting grounds.
Horseback Riding in Baranja : The Ipša family of Baranja decided to launch a continental tourism businesson their agricultural estate. Aiming to base their offer on individual, rather than mass tourism, Andrea and Zoran Ipša renovated an almost 90-years-old farm, organized accommodation and started a horseback riding school. The old farm, situated around 20 kilometers from Osijek en route to..
Pilgrimage – Religious Tourism in Slavonia
Destinations of Pilgrimage and Religious Tourism in Slavonia
The Shrine of the Lady of Sanctuary in Aljmaš (SVETIŠTE GOSPE OD UTOČIŠTA U ALJMAŠU)
The Shrine of the Lady of Sanctuary in Aljmaš represents the most important pilgrimage center in the East Croatia. Aljmaš is a well equipped tourist spot with several catering facilities, equipped parking lots, as well as some interpretation options relating to the shrine. Aljmaš also offers other attractive tourist options both in the town and its immediate surroundings. This primarily includes the bank of Danube in one of the most accessible locations in the region and the lose proximity of Kopacki rit Nature Park, as well as the Erdut Vineyards and Erdut itself. Tourist signage and tourist information for the shrine and the supporting religious facilities have been made available through cooperation between the County, the Municipality of Erdut and the local tourist boards. ( www.svetiste-aljmas.com)
The Shrine of the Lady on Water in Ilaca (Svetište Gospe Ilačke)
The Shrine of the Lady on Water in Ilaca is the most frequented shrine in Vukovar-Srijem County. The shrine was created in 1865 when a well of water burst out on the way from Nijemci to Ilaca. That same night, a resident of Ilaca saw the Blessed Virgin Mary with Baby Jesus in her arms in his sleep – she told him the well was hers and that he should fence it and not let anyone have their cattle drink there. The young man fenced the well, and the first pilgrims to Ilaca named it the Lady’s Water. Water still flows from the well. They put a statue of Virgin Mary next to the well and unusual events became more and more frequent. Therefore, in 1870 they blessed the church next to the well with a public garden and stations of the Way of the Cross. A roofed area with an altar has been provided for outdoor festivities and in 1981 they built a stone chapel with a statue of the Lady of Ilaca. The shrine is visited by pilgrims from across Croatia throughout the year. ( Svetište Gospe Ilačke : http://www.tzvsz.hr/?&article_id=137)
More Slavonia related info:
About Slavonia / Osijek / Kopacki Rit / Papuk / Destinations in Slavonia / Accommodation in Slavonia / How to get to Slavonia / Festivals, Arts and Entertainment / Food and Wine / Horseback Riding, Hunting and Fishing / Pilgrimage /
The town of Đakovo is situated on the Đakovo plateau in the central part of Slavonia, at an altitude of 111 meters. With 30,000 inhabitants, it holds the 19th place according to size in the Republic of Croatia and the second in Osijecko-baranjska County. (More about Ðakovo at Ðakovo Turist Office page: www.tz-djakovo.hr)
Ðakovo Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul and Strossmayer Museum
Although Ðakovo is not the county center and is only the sixth biggest town in East Croatia, it is the clerical center of Slavonia and was the administrator of the Catholic Church in Bosnia for a substantial part of the Croatian history. This is why Ðakovo has the most impressive and important sacral building in the entire Slavonia and Baranja – the Ðakovo Cathedral of St. Peter.
Right next to the cathedral is a museum dedicated to the man who takes most of the credit for its construction and one of the greatest Croatian historical figures – Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer, which only contributes to the importance of this locality. Due to that face, the significance of the Ðakovo Cathedral of St. Peter by far exceeds the size of Ðakovo as a town.
Lipizzaner Stallion Stables in Ðakovo
Ðakovo’s horse breeding tradition can be experienced at the stallion stables situated on the east edge of Ðakovo. In addition to passionate horse enthusiasts, the facility is visited by regular tourists and its exceptional significance makes it a special attraction. In addition to its breeding and selective tasks the National Lipizzaner Stables initiates a number of activities focused on the tourist market, the most important among them being the construction of the riding range and the overall renovation of the Ivan dvor area. Read about Lipizzaner Stud Farm Jubilee in Ðakovo
Food of Slavonia
Few of Croatian regions are so rich in recipes. The famous Slavonian cuisine has a touch of Dalmatia, Zagorje, Lika and some European cuisines. Many occasions in the lives of the Slavonians have called for great celebrations. So they came up with specific dishes for harvests, births, engagements, weddings, sacral holidays (Christmas, Easter, Shrove) or the popular Slavonian pig-slaughter days. Dishes prepared according to traditional recipes are particularly popular: cobanac, fish stew, chicken stew and many others. They normally prepare vegetables in the form of stew with paprika. Every true Slavonian will treat you to some homemade kulen, homemade ham, smoked sausages and other typical delicacies in their home. Fish stew has a special place among the numerous Slavonian specialties. River fish is particularly in demand in Slavonia. Especially carp on a spit, roasted over open fire, or catfish in corn flour served with bean salad with fresh onions and pumpkinseed oil. These dishes are perfectly accompanied by one of the Graševina wines from Slavonian cellars. Famous Slavonian wines and wines made by small producers are equally represented in the offer. The first sparkling wine in Croatia was produced in 1896 in Slatina.
Wines in Slavonia
Hotel Vinarija Zdjelarevic ★★★☆☆
“This enchanting hotel and winery is located in the picturesque wine-growing village of Brodski Stupnik in the very heart of Slavonia, Croatia’s famous wine-growing region.” Prices from €63 – Number of rooms: 15 – Check Hotel Vinarija Zdjelarevic, Brodski Stupnik availability
Slavonia has excellent conditions for winegrowing and winemaking. In the past, the wines of Slavonia were often found on the tables of emperors and noblemen and it is this tradition that the present Slavonian vineyards derive from: Srijem, Baranja and Ðakovo in the east and Kutjevo in the west of Slavonia. Slavonia has truly excellent capacities for production of large amounts of premium wine, especially white wine. It is hard to say which Slavonian vineyards are better and more tempting: those in Srijem and Baranja in the Danube region, those in Ðakovo in East Slavonia or those in Kutjevo in Central Slavonia. The center of development of Slavonian winemaking is the area around Kutjevo. Enjingi, Krauthaker and PPK Kutjevo are the most important Slavonian winemakers. Eninjgi, and especially Krauthaker, keep experimenting with new varieties, which definitely erases Slavonia’s Graševina monoculture image as it was six or seven years ago. The biggest barrel – the winery within the former Adamovic-Cseh manor in Erdut is known for an oak barrel having a volume of 75,000 liters, which is why it has been included in the Guinness Book of Records. The old medieval fort in Erdut, considered to be the key sightseeing point, provides a view of Danube.
Organized wine tours
The vineyards of Baranja and Erdut are the first two vineyard areas to become part of the Vintour – the wine roads of the European Union. This project is associated with the tourist development of rural regions organized on wine roads. Hungary, Italy, Spain and Croatia are the members and the project is financed by the European Union. So far, the project includes seven wine roads from Hungary, Spain and Italy, and Croatia partnered with the neighboring Hungary with which Osijek-Baranja County signed the General Convention for Connection of Wine Roads. Once the necessary conditions have been fulfilled, Vintour should also include the vineyards of Ðakovo, Fericanci and Našice. Each vineyard region will thus have its starting point. For Baranja, it will be the Prince Eugene of Savoy in Bilje and Kopacki rit Nature Park. Aljmaš and its shrine should be the starting point in the Erdut vineyards. Ðakovo will start with the cathedral and the National Lipizzaner Stables. Bizovacke toplice with its castles and gardens in Donji Miholjac, Valpovo and Našice will complete the offer of the Fericanci-Našice vineyards.