Thursday, 2 December 2021

Festive December Holidays Fun at 2021 Christmas in Ludbreg

December 02, 2021 – From winter walks and cycling to festive lights, farmers markets and the arrival of Saint Nicholas, there's a full calendar of activity and fun at Christmas in Ludbreg

Sitting just an hour's drive northeast of the Croatian capital, the town of Ludbreg is easily among one of the most appealing day trips you can take from Zagreb. And, no more true is that than in the December holiday season.

IMG_20211202_111110_1.jpgBatthyany castle, Ludbreg, December 2021 © Nikolina Breber

The fields and hills surrounding Ludbreg are today still home to traditional agriculture and winemaking. In the winter season, the families of these farms and vineyards bring the best produce to sell in town. Sparkling with Christmas lights and with seasonal music events adding to the atmosphere, Ludbreg is a great place to pick up a Christmas gift.

But, the nature surrounding the town is not only loved for its produce. Winter and Christmas in Ludbreg is a great time for active events and keeping fit. You can here challenge yourself on a cross country trek or bike race this season.

There are events at Christmas in Ludbreg for everyone. From the youngest family members and their teenage siblings to mom, dad and grandparents too. Here's a look at December's seasonal calendar for Christmas in Ludbreg.

St. Nicholas Day - 5 December - Ciklokros League Ludbreg

Ciklokros_Liga.jpg© Ciklokros

Following a successful tour in spring, the second round of 2021's Ciklokros League is here. This time, it's a series of seven Sunday races that journey through the stunning Autumn/Winter landscapes of northwest Croatia. And, on 5th December, it's the Ludbreg race.

Ciklokros_Liga2.jpg© Ciklokros

Cyclists will race successive laps of a 2000 metre course past the waters, lawns and trees of Ludbreg's Otok Mladosti. The fun trail is a mixture of dirt track, grass and course gravel path, unchallenging and perfect for any kind of bmx, mountain bike or cross country racer (more fragile, traditional road racing bikes perhaps wouldn't be so suitable and electric bikes are not permitted). Although keep an eye out – race organisers have placed some obstacles on the route for you to go around.

The event welcomes competitors all ages and abilities, with an initial race starting at 1pm and the second at 1.20pm. You can get more info here and apply to take part here, with the entry fee being just 50 kuna.

St. Nicholas Day - 6 December - Arrival of Saint Nicholas by Horse Drawn Carriage

E0A9695-min-scaled.jpg© Matea Maltarić

Many children have to wait until Christmas Eve for a visit from Santa Claus. But, not the youngsters of Ludbreg. In Croatia, the celebration of Saint Nicholas Day is still observed traditionally on December 5/6th. Often, it's a time of gift-giving. Always, it's a time loved by the young people of Ludbreg.

Of course, Santa usually arrives on a sleigh pulled by reindeer. But, there's simply no guarantee of the necessary snow so early in winter. So, in Ludbreg, Saint Nicholas arrives by horse-drawn carriage. Horses are a much-loved feature of sporting and social events in Ludbreg, with the town's summertime equestrian games now being a decade old.

E0A9729-min-scaled.jpg© Matea Maltarić

Because it's his day, Saint Nicholas gets the first ride with the horses. But, after he arrives to greet everyone, his carriage and horses will take youngsters for a ride around Ludbreg. Children and families can arrange horse riding or a tour in a horse-drawn carriage around Ludbreg throughout the year.

Ivana Galić concert at Batthyany castle - 17 December

Ludbreg_castle.jpgBatthyany castle, one of the venues for Christmas in Ludbreg © Siniša Sović

Despite her young years, singer Ivana Galić already has a performance career that stretches back some 20 years. She has appeared as part of choirs and ensembles and as a soloist at concerts across Europe. In her native Croatia, she is particularly well known for the vocals she lends to black music genres – jazz, soul and gospel. Indeed, she has performed in the UK as a guest of the renowned Birmingham Community Gospel Choir. It is to this gospel genre that Ivana Galić and her quartet return at this special Yuletide concert.

The venue for the concert is Batthyany castle. The focal point of Ludbreg Old Town, the castle today is a fully refurbished version of the opulent residence fashioned here in the 18th century (although, the original castle that stood on this spot is significantly older). What more spectacular setting could you ask for this special seasonal concert? The concert starts at 6pm.

Advent at Christmas in Ludbreg - 19 December

sqiuygfcdvgbhj1.jpgChristmas in Ludbreg 2021 © Nikolina Breber

Ludbreg is a wonderful town to visit at any time of year. But, during Advent, Ludbreg is particularly quaint and romantic. The town is dressed in flickering, seasonal lights and nowhere is the seasonal spirit better felt than on the parade of huts and stalls of the Christmas market.

80235931_604137397064960_8023206016545980416_n-scaled-1.jpgChristmas in Ludbreg © Visit Ludbreg

This year, scents and flavours of the Christmas season will waft through the Ludbreg air on Sunday 19 December. On the occasion, folks from the surrounding family farms will come to town to show off the best of their seasonal produce. Looking for some authentic, tasty or traditional gifts? This is the place to come.

The Christmas market will start at 13.00 and run until 20.00. In 2021, it takes place in the newly renovated Zanatski trg (Craft square) and on the promenade.

Crazy Hill Trekk 2021 - 19 December

ŠRD_BSV_Ludbreg2.jpg© ŠRD BSV Ludbreg

Some will wait until January before trying to shift the extra kilograms you gain eating rich Christmas food. Not in Ludbreg, where folks balance fine living with a healthy lifestyle. The cooler winter temperatures are perfect for a little exercise and exertion. That's exactly what you'll get at the second annual Crazy Hill Trekk.

ŠRD_BSV_Ludbreg3.jpg© ŠRD BSV Ludbreg

This orienteering trek race will take you through the magical hills and forests that lie on the outskirts of Ludbreg - Vinogradi Ludbreški and Kalničko gorje. As the name suggests, the terrain around Vinogradi Ludbreški is a pretty landscape filled with neat rows of grapevines. Just to the south of Ludbreg a more rugged topography begins to emerge. The peaks of the Kalnik mountains form a natural border between the historic Croatian regions of Zagorje, Prigorje and Podravina. To their west is Zagreb County, to the south and east is Koprivnica- Križevci County and to their north is Varaždin County and Ludbreg. This is an incredible setting for a wintertime expedition.

ŠRD_BSV_Ludbreg.jpg© ŠRD BSV Ludbreg

The trek welcomes entrants of all abilities and experience. For trekkers who are more prepared and more experienced, there's the 18-20km trail, with a slightly more demanding orientation aspect. For lighter runners and those simply looking for some fun recreation in a fantastic winter setting, there's a 8-10km trail. The former should take much less than the maximum 6 hours set as a time limit, with an equally generous 4 hours set for the latter.

You can find out more about the trek races and apply to enter via here.

Sunday, 13 December 2020

Advent Opatija: Virtual Walk Through the Most Beautiful Advent By the Sea

December 13, 2020 – The magical atmosphere of Advent Opatija has been transferred to the virtual world! A walk through the most beautiful Advent by the sea is now within reach of anyone who needs a little Christmas magic and warmth.

As Turističke priče reports, on the Opatija Tourist Board website, a virtual walk through the city has been set up which brings visitors directly into the scenes of the winter idyll on the seashore. From the Advent wreath in Slatina to Advent in Volosko, a walk in virtual reality provides a full experience of Advent locations, presented through 30 scenes with a 360-degree view.

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Advent Opatija / Photo: Facebook Visit Opatija

With the virtual walkthrough Advent Opatija 2020, visitors can experience each of Opatija's Advent locations day and night, see the city from heavenly heights, and "enter" Opatija's churches.

Thus, visitors worldwide, who cannot feel Opatija's Advent magic live, can enjoy it via their computers or mobile phones. All those interested can walk through the festively arranged Angiolina Park, guarded by uniquely painted Nutcrackers. Then, move on to the crinoline exhibition made of greenery and flowers, and "knock on the door" of the Candy House and allow themselves to be captivated by the irresistible holiday atmosphere of each of Opatija's carefully designed Advent locations.

In addition to the romantic night atmosphere, visitors can see the Advent Opatija in this virtual walk even during the day, when its natural beauty and architecture, which has been captivating guests for almost two centuries, come to the fore.

The virtual tour also provides a bird's eye view of the port, Hotel Kvarner, and American Gardens. Visitors can even "walk" in two Opatija churches, the one of Sv. Jakov located in the park of the same name and the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is situated on an elevated position above Slatina and below the American Gardens.

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Angiolina Park during the day / Photo: Studio Saršon, Facebook Visit Opatija

In just 15 days, this campaign called "Opatija in Christmas attire" has reached more than 1.5 million internet users worldwide.

"In a year like this, we have a great desire to touch the hearts of those who want magic all over the world," says Suzi Petričić, the director of the Opatija Tourist Board.

Fairytale parks, lavishly decorated squares, streets illuminated by hundreds of thousands of lamps, romantic promenades filled with a holiday atmosphere, and numerous attractions have made Advent in Opatija the most beautiful story of this year's holidays.