Slavonia

Nestled among three big rivers – the Sava in the south, the Drava in the north and the Danube in the east, Slavonia is the ‘bread basket’ of Croatia. Renowned for its prime agricultural land and vast wheat fields, this is the area of major importance when it comes to food production.

One of the last remaining floodplains in Europe and the remnant of the dried-out Pannonian Sea is the home to one of the most biologically rich habitats in this region – the Kopački rit Natural Park – the wetland abounding in different fish species, migrating waterfowl and birds.

In addition to offering a variety of outdoor recreational activities, such as camping, fishing, hunting, hiking and wildlife watching, Slavonia is one of the most ecologically valuable places in Croatia, which also enables sustainable agriculture.

tours in slavonia
Tamburica Slavonia

From the historic and cultural point of view, the region is known for its ancient towns and forts, 18th century classical and baroque architecture, but also for the remnants of the early human cultures dating back to 6100 – 5200 BC.

 

The fertility of land reflected on the region’s rich intangible cultural heritage: traditional music and songs as well as folklore festivals are today under UNESCO protection. If you visit any local restaurant offering typical Slavonian food on Friday or Saturday evening, you are likely to experience a lively atmosphere created by the Tamburica band playing on Croatian traditional string instruments. The most popular spirit-lifting music performed by Tamburica bands is called Bećarac.

Traditional Slavonian cuisine is a blend of typical local dishes and foreign culinary influences (such as Hungarian, Turkish or Serbian). Much like in these parts of Europe, the favourite local treats in Slavonia include numerous pork delicacies, such as the typical paprika-flavoured sausage varieties (Kulen and Kulenova Seka), spicy freshwater fish stew (locally known as Fiš Paprikaš), spicy beef and game Goulash stew varieties (called either Čobanac or Perkelt) and stuffed peppers in a thick tomato sauce. As indicated above, paprika is not only a condiment – it is the culinary leitmotif in Slavonia.

Kulen slavonia

Apart from being the biggest paprika fans in the whole country, Slavonians also have a sweet tooth – they always have a stock of dry biscuits filled with jam or walnut filling. Some of the most ubiquitous desserts in Slavonia are: Hungarian chocolate layer cake (Mađarica), honey layer cake (Medena pita) and a walnut roulade (Orehnjača).

One of the biggest viticultural areas in Croatia is without doubt Slavonia. Its fertile valleys are an ideal terroir for the cultivation of Central European grape varieties, such as Welschriesling (graševina), Rhine Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon, Sylvaner, Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch (frankovka). In the recent years Slavonia has seen a number of long warm autumns which allowed for the cultivation of warmer-climate varieties, such as Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel. The varieties predominantly used in making the Slavonian signature premium wines are Welschriesling and Rhine Riesling.

In geographical terms, the region can be divided into two bigger sub-regions: Slavonia (the vineyards of Kutjevo, Daruvar, Đakovo and Slavonski Brod) and Podunavlje (Srijem, Erdut and Baranja).

Slavonia boasts two world-renowned winemaking hubs whose wines are massively exported and served in posh restaurants across the globe – Ilok and Kutjevo.

Finally, the visitor experience Slavonia offers can be summed up in a few words: relaxed atmosphere, hospitable people, hearty slow food and distinctively elegant wines.