Slavonia is a geographical but also a historical region situated in the eastern part of Croatia. It is determined by three rivers - the Drava River to the north, bordering with Hungary, the Sava River to the south, bordering with Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Dunav River to the east, bordering with Serbia. The epithet “golden” is often used to describe Slavonia due to the fact that it is a region of flatlands rich in agricultural areas with wheat crops making the fields look like fields of gold. Rich and fertile soil resulted in riches which is visible in the extravagant architecture as well as the detailed national folklore costumes. The cities of Slavonia such as Osijek, Dakovo or Pozega and their surrounding areas will welcome you with their gastro offer, which is a story in itself, cultural monuments that also illustrate the wealth of the region, as well as the slow pace of living which can also be heard in the specific accent of Slavonia.
- Geographical location: eastern Croatia
- Climate: continental
- Average summer temperature: 23° C
- Average winter temperature: -5° C
We could devote an entire section to the cuisine of Slavonia however here we will just give you the basics so that you can get an idea of the way people in Slavonia enjoy food. Let’s go in order just like we would if we attended a lavish lunch in Slavonia. We can expect delicious and hearty soups with lots of vegetables and noodles, followed by a delicious meat specialty with baked potatoes and for dessert cakes with lots of walnuts, creamy frostings and spices. Let us not forget kulen, an excellent meat product using top-quality meat and plenty of spices. A typical dish from Slavonia is cobanac, a meat dish that chefs claim is best prepared using several different kinds of meat, as well as fis-paprikas, in other words riblji-paprikas prepared with freshwater fish. Finally, wash everything down with a glass of fine wine from the region of Slavonia that has a long-standing tradition of wine-making.to top
Should you visit the region of Slavonia, you will have to get used to the slow, relaxed pace of living but to keep you from getting lazy we will give you a few suggestions for how you should spend your time as far as sports activities are concerned. We recommend long walks along the river for starters. Every river has a walking path. Once you’ve gotten the hang of things through these pleasant strolls, try some light hiking on Papuk, the highest peak in Slavonia. You can go swimming in the Drava River or at one of the many pools in this region. Naturally, there are great opportunities for hunting and fishing for those of you that prefer this kind of activity.to top
Fun and night life
Slavonia places great emphasis on preserving its cultural heritage through many traditions. The best way to familiarize oneself with these traditions is through folk and folklore as well as music festivals. Some of the most famous festivals include Vinkovacke jeseni, held in September which displays the traditional customs of Slavonia, and Dakovacki vezovi held at the beginning of summer and is a grand event with participants from Slavonia and Baranja as well as folklore groups from other regions of Croatia. You can also listen to sacral music concerts at the cathedral in Dakovo, check out an exhibition or visit a museum.
The people of Slavonia love to have a good time and in the cities you can find plenty of places to party all night long.to top
How to get there?
- By car:
- Zagreb-Osijek 286 km
- Zagreb-Slavonski Brod 193 km
- Zagreb-Vukovar 293 km
- By bus: www.akz.hr
- By plane: www.croatiaairlines.hr (Osijek airport)
- By train: www.hznet.hr
What to see?
The Cathedral of Josip Juraj Strossmayer - Dakovo
The cathedral was named after Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer, due to the fact that it was built during his time and occupied the spot of a former cathedral built during 14th century. You will immediately recognize the cathedral by its characteristic dark red color and for this reason the cathedral is often the motif for postcards and photographs. The architecture is dominated by Neo-Romanesque and Gothic styles and Josip Juraj Strossmayer is buried in the cathedral in a crypt under the shrine.
Vucedol is an archeological locality located five kilometers from Vukovar. Here you can see traces of the past since a fair amount of ceramics, richly decorated, was uncovered at the site. The most famous object is the Vucedol dove which is also the symbol of Vukovar. The entire culture of that time period was named after this site and is known as Vucedol culture.
The Osijek Fort is one of the most significant old Croatian historical nuclei which illustrate the harmony of Baroque military buildings. One’s attention is drawn to the main watch post which dates back to the 18th century however within the fortress certain living quarters have been preserved as well as the high school and St. Michael’s Church where valuable church equipment is kept. The entire fortress is surrounded by fortified walls and one enters through the city gate.
Ilok is situated at the foot of the Fruska gora. It is a small city, population 7000 and is also a river dock on the Dunav River. Ilok is known for its viticulture, old wine cellars and a long-standing tradition of wine making. Do not miss an opportunity to taste the top quality sorts of Ilok wines. Ilok is also situated right on the Croatian border so by visiting Ilok you will have reached the easternmost part of Croatia.to top
Where to go on a trip?
“Kopacki Rit” Nature Park
Go on an excursion to the “Kopacki rit” Nature Park which is located near Osijek and you will see one of the most significant and most attractive marshes in Europe. There are many lakes and rivulets along the Dunav River. It is quite an unusual and interesting experience to pass through the forest by boat. One area of the park has been declared a protected area and is the home of many species of birds and some of them use the park as a stopover on their migration routes. On dry land you can see does, deer, otters, wild cats and other animals. Since it is a swamp area, there is an abundance of plant life. Kopacki Rit can be enjoyed by panoramic boat, boat, or even horse pulled wagons which is truly unique.
Although Slavonia is known as the flatlands region, Gora Papuk is just the place for an excursion. We promise the incline is not difficult and the highest peak of Papuk is 954 meters. You will enjoy light trekking through oak and beech forests and vineyards on the southern slopes. This has been a favorite excursion spot since the 19th century due to the landscape and beautiful mountain houses, which is why we recommend an excursion to this mountain.
Vukovar is situated at the mouth of the Vuka and Dunav rivers and today lives as peacefully as it did prior to the Homeland War. The city is slowly being rebuilt and cultural monuments are being reconstructed such as the castle of the Eltz Dukes which dates back to the 18th century. One of the symbols of Vukovar, aside from the Vucedol dove, is the Water Tower and is a common motif of Vukovar today. These days, the citizens of Vukovar enjoy fishing as a way to relax and the catch of the day is often incorporated into a dish known as fis-paprikas. You should definitely taste it!
Osijek is the centre of the entire region. Its long history as well as the modern influences which intertwine with the heritage of days gone by will give anyone the inspiration to go on an excursion and visit this particular city. The Fortress is one of the most beautiful Baroque buildings in all of Slavonia, while the economic development of the region also enabled cultural development. In Osijek you can watch a great theatre production any time of the year, go to a concert or visit a gallery. Having a good time is guaranteed in Osijek because people from Slavonia love to party.to top