This northern Croatian, triangle shaped county borders Slovenia in the north and Hungary in the east, influenced by farming and wine making traditions, Međimurje has lots to offer. Tourists come from all over Croatia, Austria and Slovenia to enjoy the delicious wines and soak in the Terme Sveti Martin. Charming cabins and wineries embellish rolling hills while forests border the hills for hiking and some designated hunting areas. It was my first experience hearing the golden jackal call in the late evening, early night. When not in the rural country side visitors can stay in Čakovec for a castle and stone lined pedestrian streets.
Međimurje has a variety of protected natural areas to explore. Due to exceptional biodiversity the county parks positioned around the rivers Mura and Drava provide destinations for hiking, photography, and bird watching.
Međimurje’s traditions are enchanting, their traditional cuisine is centuries old, their wine stories are intertwined with original recipes. While visiting be sure to try pretepena juha (‘thick cream soup’), meso ‘z tiblice (cooked cured meat packed in a wooden barrel), Turoš cottage cheese, temfani picek (chicken in a cream sauce) accompanied with a savory buckwheat porridge, always finish your meals with the famous međimurska gibanica (a layered cake). These dishes are best served with Medjimurje’s refreshing wines. Try their Graševina (Welschriesling), Moslavac (Furmint), Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Traminac (Gewurztraminer), Muscat Blanc which is one of the best Muscat I’ve tried. There are also delicious Bordeaux varieties.
Drive, or cycle up into the hills. Starting outside of Čakovec on four main country roads. See them all for lovely hilltop churches, beautiful views, fantastic restaurants and the cutest hilltop cabins. The prettiest areas to see are:
Visit Međimurje has a list of parks and natural beauties with maps for visitors. While staying in the hills you will notice there is a lot of forest. At night if you are lucky you will hear the golden jackals calling from the forest, I loved hearing them sing in the early part of the night while staying in cabin Mita.
This valley village surrounded by hills, it’s said that Štrigova is where the earth fell in love with the sky, she kisses the sky with her peaks, the sky reciprocates with sun and rain when needed and snow and fog when the earth needs protection. The village has a lovely church and a border into Slovenia.
There rolling hills are topped with wineries:
- Wine house Hažić
- Vino Lovrec
- Vinarija Levačić
The Mohokos is the highest peak of a hill range situated in Međimurje Count, the hill range goes for about 20 kilometres across the northwestern and represents the terminal easternmost slopes of the Alps.
River side cafes and a paved river walk is a good place to stretch your legs.
Sveti Martin na Muri
This industrious town is known for textiles and a couple pretty sites. One is the Old Mill which offers a river side trail and a cool old building. There are boat trips along the river from the dock at the mill, the walk around the area is an hour. Check 10 Things to do In Sveti Martin (Winter) post for more.
Toplice Sveti Martin
Terme Sveti Martin
In the summer the waterslide park and outside pools are filled with visitors from all over. The inside pools offer refuge during the winter and include some nice hot pools and hot tubs. My favorite is the outside warm pool that’s designed in a loop for swimming under a forest, it’s lovely.
The coolest places:
Farma Jelena I Muflona- I cuddle with the deer when I bring them something to eat. The big horn sheep don’t seem interested in me, but the deer are friendly.
Address: Jurovčak 57a
Kapelščak, the best village in the area, I love it! A beautiful church, lovely cabins and the loveliest views.
A small town with a lovely lake and park. The views around the lake are fantastic! Varaždin mountains to the south west and west make this lake a lovely place to walk, or just sit and enjoy. There are cafes and restaurants near the lake a couple nice places to stay. One is a hotel and other two are bed and breakfasts listed on booking.com.
Old-timer Museum Šardi
The old-timer museum in presents more than a hundred of old and valuable cars, tractors, motorbikes and other vehicles, they also share traditional tools and old weapons.
Address: Jelačićev trg 1, 40314, Selnica
They also have a beautiful church and some hills with cute cabins.
Driving around the region is easy, there are plenty of places to stay and many fantastic restaurants to explore.