Friday, 2 September 2022

Vinkovci Business Incubator Exceeds All Expectations

September 2, 2022 - Since its opening two and a half years ago, in February 2020, the Vinkovci Business Incubator has met, and, it is safe to say, exceeded all expectations and predictions - all capacities have been completely full for a long time, and only in the past year 22 companies with 63 employees were located in that area, while more than 160 entrepreneurs participated in organised workshops and round tables with the aim of increasing their entrepreneurial knowledge and skills.

As Glas Slavonije writes, wanting to be informed about their business plans and to get first-hand information and hear suggestions on how to further improve their relationship with the Business Incubator, Mayor Ivan Bosančić visited the tenants and on that occasion pointed out that the Business Incubator was one of the first major projects of his team, to which he especially proud.

"I am proud of my team that we managed to implement such a demanding project, worth HRK 21 million, with a minimal correction of only five percent, which means that in the end we obtained grants in the amount of HRK 20 million. The most important of all is the fact that today the Business Incubator is completely filled with tenants from different business spheres, from the IT sector, design, production to hospitality. Most of them have increasing needs and are constantly looking for additional workers", said Mayor Bosančić.

All of them, he said, have the support of the City in their efforts to improve and advance their businesses, especially when it comes to new projects and new employment.

As a reminder, the Vinkovci Business Incubator has an area of ​​1,861 square meters, consisting of 5 production and 13 office business spaces, an administrative part of the building, a conference hall of 100 square meters and a multi-purpose hall with the possibility of partitions, also with a total area of ​​100 square meters, as well as a co-working space and a canteen. In addition to space, the Business Incubator also provides tenants with business equipment and provides support through business consulting, education, connections, presentations, promotion and visibility in the initial and most critical stages of the development of their companies. All these tools are key to increasing the number of companies that survive on the market and encouraging their growth and development, as well as creating new jobs.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Business section.

Friday, 2 September 2022

Media in Time Festival in Vinkovci to Award Best Local Journalists

September 2, 2022 - The 3rd Media In Time journalism festival organised by the Center for Media Culture in Vinkovci is starting today with a panel discussion on the topic "Small" media, big topics".

As Press 032 reports, the festival in Vinkovci will carry a central theme dedicated to local journalism and the doubts and problems that exist in the local media when opening of certain topics, from problems with sources to attempts at political and other pressures and distractions, which sometimes come from their own employer and editorial staff.

The central part of this year's Media In Time festival will be the awarding of the Croatian Journalists' Association (HND) awards for the best local journalistic works, which bear the names of two exceptional Croatian journalists, Anđelko Erceg and Siniša Glavašević, and the Media In Time journalism festival will be the permanent venue for their awards in of the future.

These are the newly established awards of the Croatian Journalists' Association, which are intended to recognise journalists who self-sacrificingly and professionally do their journalistic work in local media, and who know how to remain in the shadow of their colleagues who deal with topics of national importance. It can be pointed out that the laureates are journalists from Dubrovnik to Vukovar. The award ceremony in the lapidary of the Vinkovci City Museum will be broadcast live on HND's Facebook and YouTube pages.

ercegiglavasevicnagradazalnhnd.png

HND

After awarding the award for the best local journalistic works, the opening ceremony of the exhibition "Franjo Fuis: from comics to theatre and film and back" by Veljko Krulčić will follow, which will be staged in the gallery of the City Theater of Jotza Ivakić as part of the collaboration between the Media In Time festival and Fra Ma Fu festival of Reporting and Reporters of Virovitica and Daruvar.

HND adds that on the second day of the festival, September 3, the program continues in Vukovar with a lecture by communication and media expert Tomislav Levak, a lecturer at the Academy of Arts and Culture of the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University from Osijek on the topic "How and why is misinformation and fake news produced and spread?". The panel discussion "Fake news – how to fight it" will follow, which will be opened with a presentation by a young computer scientist from Vinkovci, David Buday, an expert in OSINT (open source data), on finding information from publicly available sources.

In addition to Croatian journalists, the participants of the 3rd Media In Time festival will also be the president of the European Federation of Journalists and the Union of Croatian Journalists, Maja Sever, and the president of the Croatian Journalists' Association, Hrvoje Zovko, fellow journalists from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, as well as students from the Department of Culture, media and management of the Academy of Arts and Culture of the University of Josip Juraj Strossmayer from Osijek, with which the Center for Media Culture recently signed a cooperation agreement.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Monday, 6 June 2022

Economy in Vinkovci in 2021 With Best Results in More than 30 Years

ZAGREB, 6 June 2022 - The economy in the City of Vinkovci grew in all key segments last year and achieved the best business results in more than 30 years, according to data from the FINA - Financial Agency for 2021, this eastern Croatian city reported on Monday.

A total of 755 Vinkovci enterprises generated revenues of almost HRK 5.6 billion in 2021, which is HRK 240 million or 4.49 percent more than in 2020 or as much as HRK 2.8 billion more than in 2017, with an increase of 104.60 percent, according to Vinkovci City authorities.

The local businesses were also successful in terms of profit, which amounted to HRK 213 million, up by HRK 143 million from 2020, or almost three times higher.

The number of businesses rose too (+6%) while the average pay for 8,374 employees amounted to HRK 5,027, an increase of 6.28%. The number of investors increased compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019 with 65 current investments.

These results are primarily due to entrepreneurs themselves, who have shown great resilience and progress in a period when the global economy is still feeling the effects of the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Vinkovci Mayor Ivan Bosančić said, adding that the local authorities are also supporting those businesses through grant schemes for SMEs as well as through projects.

The head of the city's economic department, Hrvoje Niče, pointed out that 44 more new companies were founded in the city last year compared to 2020.

This data does not include family-run OPG farms that are not obliged to pay profit tax, Niče said, underscoring that over the past three years city authorities have stimulated the opening of new and development of existing micro-companies.

Last year alone, the city's programs subsidized 177 micro and small enterprises from the Vinkovci area with almost HRK 2.7 million in grants. Among them are 53 enterprises that absorbed up to HRK 30,000 of city funds to improve their business by committing to raising salaries by 10 percent for their 128 employees, Niče said.

(€1 = HRK 7.529127)

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 30 May 2022

Meet Croatia's Most Contented Man: a Dour Yorkshireman in Vinkovci

May 30, 2022 - Complaining is a national sport in Croatia, but tucked away in a remote field near the historic eastern town of Vinkovci, I think I have found the most contented man in the country - a dour Yorkshireman named Steve. 

Complaining is a way of life in Croatia (as in other parts of the world, no doubt), and I have lost count of the number of times I have been sat alone at a cafe with a cold one and been subjected to rants at the table next to or behind me. As much as I love living here for the last 20 years, this tendency to complain and focus on the negatives is one thing I like least. For all the goodness in this country to celebrate, it is usually the negative aspects that make the headlines. Such is life, here and elsewhere. While I too see things to complain about, I see little reason to voice those feelings unless we are going to do something about it. And with the culture of complaining over a coffee usually the extent of the action, very little changes. 

284829914_1184944048925705_1219368355694801447_n.jpg

Which is why I really appreciate - and warm to - positive people who may well have lots to complain about in life, but they prefer to focus on the positives. 

One of my favourite places to hang out in this country is one of its most surreal hostelries - an authentic English pub quite literally in a field in the middle of nowhere in eastern Croatia, about a 10-minute drive from the historic town of Vinkovci.  The White Boar is owned by a dour Yorkshireman called Steve Gaunt, who has added plenty of colour to life in Vinkovci since arriving in 1991 as a volunteer to fight for Croatia in the Homeland War. 

14-Vinkovci-engleska-govornica-Paul-Bradbury-Izvor-Total-Croatia-News.jpg

Wounded in the war, Steve's impressive repopulation efforts in a land of emigration and population decline (6 kids with his lovely local life) are just the tip of the iceberg of his contribution to life in the east over the last 30 years.  In addition to adding Yorkshire puddings to a Vinkovci restaurant menu and being responsible for the installation of a (still-functioning) London red public telephone box in the historic centre, Steve has made countless contributions to the cultural offerings of the local museum through his metal detecting finds. 

58825857_1253769871438287_5458135119401320448_n.jpg

But it is his beloved pub where Steve comes into his own, and where  I have rarely seen anyone as contented in their surroundings as this guy. He built the pub to have his own place to escape, a place to chill with his mates and family, to drink when he liked, and to experiment with other projects too. A keen cider drinker, he has slowly been mastering the art of cider production as one of his latest hobbies.

21-Pub-Steve-Gaunt-Izvor-Total-Croatia-News-1068x602.jpg

I first met him on Vukovar Remembrance Day on November  18 a few years ago, as he was hosting a barbecue for all the foreign veterans who had travelled for the anniversary.  it was certainly one of the most unusual nights of my time in Croatia. 

258153709_2036804109801522_3527889707326653048_n.jpg

But it was on my last visit to The White Boar a few months ago that I realised just how contented this dour Yorkshireman was. I was visiting with an English friend on business in Osijek, who didn't quite believe that The White Boar really existed. 

It was a fun visit, full of laughter and good conversation, with our choice of music on the jukebox (The Smiths). With no neighbours.

I remember two things Steve said that day that prompted this article.

20-Paul-Bradburi-i-Steve-Gaunt-pub-Izvor-Total-Croatia-News-1068x714.jpg

"I have everything I need here. Vinkovci (population about 30,000) gives me everything I need." With so many others complaining that there is no life in the east, it struck me that here was a man of modest needs, appreciative of the things that others did not see.

At one point, he looked his watch, turned down the music, asked us to be quiet, and looked out the window.

"Did you hear that?" as a train passed by along the nearby track. "That is the only sound I hear all day from a neighbour."

Bliss. 

Life in your very own English pub in a field in the middle of nowhere, with opening hours to suit you, and your own selection of beer and music.  And what tune did our dour Yorkshireman choose to highlight his contented status in life. You guessed it, Heaven Knows I'm Mierable Now by The Smiths. Which goes something like this when sung by a man from Leeds.  

Croatia off the beaten path is a constant voyage of unique discovery, even though I have been here for 20 years. There are lots of similar bubbles of contentedness such as Steve all over the country, and discovering them one by one is yet more magical reason to live in Croatia. 

And yes, The White Boar really does exist. You can follow it on Facebook

romantic-vinkovci_1.jpg

And if you are curious about how a red London telephone box came to reside in central Vinkovci, read on...

I am always in search of undiscovered stories and bubbles of contentedness in Croatia, so if you have one you would like to share, contact me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Bubbles. 

Friday, 20 May 2022

Vinkovci to Expand Industrial Zone Through €25m Project

ZAGREB, 20 May 2022 - Vinkovci Industrial Zone Zalužje, which has 49 business entities with more than 1,700 employees, should soon be expanded by an additional 111 hectares, which should, according to the city administration, spur strong economic development in that Slavonian city.

The project to expand the industrial zone Zalužje with land worth over 184 million (€25 million) will be Vinkovci's largest development project in the coming period, said Vinkovci Mayor Ivan Bosančić on Friday.

On Thursday, the government decided to give land to this eastern Croatian city for the expansion of the zone.

"The expanded part of Zalužje will be constructed as a sustainable, smart, and digital zone, and in addition to the available land, we will provide investors with full complete infrastructure, transport connectivity, and local and regional authorities involved in attracting investments and open to cooperation," said Bosančić.

For more, check out our politics section.

Saturday, 14 May 2022

Over 400 Participate in Recreational Cycling Tour of Vinkovci

ZAGREB, 14 May 2022 - The third edition of the annual event called "Tour Natur", which was held in the eastern Croatian city of Vinkovci on Saturday, brought together over 400 cyclists who toured the city to get acquainted with its past and its ongoing projects.

Commenting on the event that attracted the highest number of participants so far, Mayor Ivan Bosančić, who also participated in the ride, said that the route passed by the city's landmarks and through parts where EU-funded projects were being implemented.

The mayor announced the construction of 20 kilometres of bicycle lanes throughout the city.

The purpose of the Tour Natur event is to promote tourism and raise awareness of the beauties of scenery in the city.

Since last December, public bicycles have been available at three locations in Vinkovci as part of efforts to make the city cleaner and greener.

Before using public bikes, users need to register in the Nextbike application, scan the bicycle number and pay. Rental prices start at HRK 5 (€0.66) per 30 minutes, and the annual ticket costs HRK 200 (€27).

The value of the project is HRK 656,000 (€87,470), of which 40 per cent was provided by the EU through the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund and 60 per cent came from the city budget.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Best Beaches in Slavonia - Freshwater Paradise

May 12, 2022 - Summer is on the horizon, temperatures are higher and people are already planning how to cool down in the coming hot months. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford or reach the Adriatic coastline for much-deserved relaxation. However, Croatia has countless beautiful rivers and lakes used for swimming and recreation and Slavonia is full of those. A look into the best beaches in Slavonia.

As mentioned before, some people living outside of regions located near the Adriatic coast can’t afford or travel great distances for the ultimate Croatian summer. Because of those limitations, people needed to find ways to cool themselves and relax in their cities during unbearably hot months. Slavonia is definitely one of those regions. Older Slavonians will remember those summers decades ago when only a few families could afford to go to the Adriatic coast, after saving money all year, and others “less fortunate ones”, would go to rivers and lakes near their hometown. Those swimming places were made up on the go - “beaches” were mostly covered with untouched nature and unexplored terrains. Let’s just say they weren’t particularly safe but after a few accidents and realizations that structured swim places can be profitable and safe havens for families with kids, local authorities started investing in swimming and recreational infrastructure on those lakes and rivers. Water quality began to be reviewed for swimmers and after tests showed that the quality is excellent, the building could start. Without further ado, these are the best beaches in Slavonia.

“Copacabana” on Drava River in Osijek - “Kopika” 

The list of best beaches in Slavonia starts with non-other than “Kopika”. One of the most popular river beaches in Slavonia, this is one of the swimming places in Slavonia that you can’t miss. Beach that offers views of iconic places in Osijek like Tvrđa, co-cathedral of St Peter and St Paul, Hotel Osijek, and the Bridge of Youth? Amazing. Since 2020, the beach and recreation center went through a lot of renovations and “Kopika” will shine in its new guise this summer. Modern pools, showers, cabins, and many more, make this beach unmissable this summer.

 

48_hours_in_osijek_kopika.jpeg

"Kopika" beach in Osijek (image credits: Mario Romulić)

Križnica Island on Drava River 

This island is located on the Drava River near the small town of Pitomača, the westernmost municipality in Virovitica - Podravina County. Once the border between the Kingdoms of Croatia and Slavonia, this ancient island was the last one in the historic Pannonian Sea and its sandy beach attracts swimmers and recreationalists all over the country. Its bike routes, local cuisine, and natural private retreat make this river beach one of the best in the country and it’s an unmissable place to visit for refreshments and relaxation.

 

križnica_best_beaches_in_slavonia.jpg

Križnica Island on Drava River (image credits: glaspodravine.hr)

Poloj Sports and Recreation Center 

Apart from the Drava, the Sava River and its Poloj beach takes the crown as one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. During summer, this beach attracts plenty of swimmers in need of refreshments. The white sand beach that can compete with some on the Adriatic coast, offers a lot of content - sandy fields for volleyball, futsal, places for barbecue, bike and pedestrian routes, and many more. Slavonski Brod and its surroundings is an amazing place for Digital Nomads and other tourists because it offers everything for everyone. So, visit this amazing place during summer, you won’t regret it.

 

poloj_best_beaches_in_slavonia.jpg

Beach Poloj on Sava River, Slavonski Brod (image credits: Alen Vrlazić/tzbpz.hr)

Lakes Banja in Vinkovci 

Once upon a time, these two artificial lakes had different usage. More precisely, it was used for clay excavations for a brick factory back in the day and only brave men would go and swim there. However, in 1997, the realization of the potential these lakes have for sport, recreation and relaxation hit, and since then, Lakes Banja became a popular swimming place for residents of Vinkovci. The amazing quality of water and clean and tidy beaches are a perfect place for fishermen and people who want to have a proper swim. After that, barbecue, beer, and an amazing time.

 

banja_best_beaches_in_slavonia.jpg

Lakes Banja in Vinkovci (image credits: Banja Vinkovci/Facebook)

Ada Island on the Danube River in Vukovar 

Ada is a beautiful Croatian river island on the Danube River covered in a sandy beach and it’s a favorite swimming place in the city of Vukovar. Only 10 minutes away from cities center by boat and ranked among the ten most beautiful and interesting beaches in Croatia located along rivers and lakes. All those interested in peaceful vacations or maybe active vacations and adventures will surely find something for themselves. Amazing tourist offer that includes boat tours, volleyball on sand, and a gazebo full of refreshing drinks under the shade of the forest, makes this one of the best beaches in Slavonia.

 

Ada_best_beaches_in_Slavonia.jpeg

Residents of Vukovar playing beach volleyball on Ada Island (image credits: Branimir Bradarić/lokalni.hr)

Lake Orahovica near village Duzluka  

Only 1500 meters away from the historic town of Orahovica, this artificial lake is probably the only proper place to swim in its radius. Last year, this famous lake celebrated its 60th birthday and it’s not stopping soon. This lake is a magnet for fun. From the most popular music festival in Slavonia Ferragosto Jam to the rich recreation offer, Lake Orahovica is an unavoidable place to visit and what’s also really important to mention, its water comes from the mountains! Besides its clear natural water, location is idyllic - just at the foot of Papuk Mountain and the historic fortified city Ružica City that, according to one legend, was a gathering place of fairies. It’s truly looking like a fairytale from Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić novels indeed.

 

orahovacko_jezero_best_beaches_in_slavonia.jpg

Lake Orahovica is surrounded by historic sightings and mountains (image credits: orahovica.hr)

 

ferragosto_best_beaches_in_slavonia.png

Ferragosto Jam brings the best of Croatian music every year to Lake Orahovica (image credits: screenshot/ferragostojam.com)

Honorable mentions are recently officially opened for swimmers Bajer Lake in Đakovo, Lake Borovik located west of Đakovo, natural Lake Đola in Darda near Osijek, beaches in Batina and Aljmaš where Drava River flows into Danube River, Lake Petnja, northwest of Slavonski Brod and so many more.

All of these places are rooted in Slavonians' lives. Great tourist offers and safe place for families, makes river and lake beach a must-visit during this summer. Yes, summers in Slavonia can be more insufferable than in, for example, Dalmatia (different climate), but for that, these freshwater beaches make every hot summer durable. Furthermore, it makes it the most anticipated season in Slavonia. Hopefully, this list of best beaches in Slavonia will encourage tourists to come - Slavonians will welcome you with open arms.

For more, check out our travel section.

Sunday, 24 April 2022

From Požega to Ilok: Best Bike Tours in Slavonia

24th of April 2022 - A few days ago, the world commemorated Earth Day, so it’s only convenient to present one of the most ecological and recreational ways of transportation - bikes, or in this case, bike tours. A look into the best bike tours in Slavonia.

Spring is in full swing which means a yearly reminder of recreational tourist offers Croatia, or in this case, what Slavonia has to offer. Bicycles are a huge part of Croatian lives. Bike clubs, amateur cyclists, and regular people who want to be part of these events became more and more frequent and stayed part of these movements and events. Of course, with every recreation or hobby, there’s always a potential for tourist opportunities. For example, Dalmatia with its already diverse tourist offers incorporated bike tours, which suit really well with the geographical location of the region. Hilly and somewhat mountainous terrain with the scent of sea salt and a view of the Adriatic Sea, attracts every tourist who wants to experience the beauties of the Dalmatian region recreationally. Even islands like Brač, Hvar, and Korčula where you can transport your bikes with catamarans, have various offers of bike tours. Istria does an amazing job as well and northern Croatia with Međimurje, Zagorje, and Zagreb regions attracts more and more bike lovers every year!

However, the full circle couldn’t be rounded without the region of Slavonia which is doing an amazing job in promoting its land and presents new and creative tourist offers every single year. From Požega and its Golden Valley to the wine roads of Srijem and Baranja, bike tours in Slavonia could easily have one of the best tourist offers in Croatia. So, without further ado, let’s start with the best bike tours in Slavonia.

Vinkovci, Vukovar - Srijem county 

If you want to explore Vinkovci and surrounding places a bit more adventurously, definitely consider these available trails which stretch through the whole Vukovar-Srijem county. There are a few different types of surfaces available - macadam, earth, gravel, grass, and asphalt, which are intended for riding mountain or other types of quality bikes. The trails are marked in blue, red and yellow and they all have one thing in common - the bridge on river Bosut in the center of Vinkovci which is the start of every bike trail. The blue trail is 19 kilometers long and leads from Vinkovci to the village of Borinci to a rural home called “Antin Stan” in Ivankovo and back to Vinkovci. The red one is 15 kilometers long, moving the new dam on Bazjaš canal to the Kunjevci forest and back to the center of Vinkovci. Last official trail is marked with yellow color and is the longest, around 21 kilometers, stretching from bridge on Bosut towards rural house and picnic area Sopot in direction of Rokovci. After that, the trail continues to Kunjevci forest and back to Vinkovci. If you’re ever interested in trying these bike tours, contact the Vinkovci Tourist Board for maps of these routes here.

 

biciklističke_rute_vinkovci_bike_tours_in_slavonia.pngColorful bike tours in Slavonia around Vinkovci, (Screenshot: Master plan grada Vinkovaca za promet)

Apart from these official bike trails, there are a few routes that go further in Vukovar-Srijem county:

  • Danube cycling route (EuroVelo 6) - This one passes along the Danube River and its length is 138 kilometers in Croatia. Probably one of the most popular bike routes in Europe cuts through Vukovar-Srijem county, connects with cycling route Srijem and continues toward the Black Sea. The route can be checked here.
  • Srijem route - Connects the southern area of Vukovar-Srijem county with the northeastern part. Its starting point is the center of Vinkovci near the popular Lamp and goes through Rokovci, Andrijaševci, Cerna, and Gradište towards Cvelferija (9 villages of Županja’s area) then through Gunja, Vrbanja, and Drenovci to the city of Otok.
  • Route Otok - This bike route offers two possibilities: the first one is a ride across Privlaka to the city of Vinkovci and the road from Nuštar and Bogdanovci to Vukovar while the other route is going through the village of Komletinci to Nijemci, towards Tovarnik and Ilok.

bike_tours_in_slavonia_ruta_otok.jpg

Route Otok and Srijem with other bike tours in Slavonia around Županja area, (Screenshot: tz-zupanja.hr)

Even though the area of Vukovar-Srijem County seems small, it has a lot to offer. Golden fields of wheat and sunflowers that have been just planted, sun in the sky, multiple options for eating and drinking, and most importantly, the people. If you need quick transport, buses and trains are available - most of the time.

Osijek, Osijek - Baranja County 

Besides already mentioned EuroVelo 6 Danube River route that goes through Osijek and its county as well, there is the Greenway Cycling route that connects Croatia and Hungary with the goal of cross border relations, building up tourism and eco-tourism in the area along the Danube-Drava Rivers. There is already a great piece on our dedicated to cycling Total Croatia Cycling site, about the Greenway route and the whole project that took place in 2016. You can read it here.

Another European bike route goes through Slavonia - EuroVelo 13 or “Iron Curtain Trail”. The name stems from the fact that the border was part of the infamous “Iron Curtain”. Beautiful landscape, pristine forests, Drava River in all its glory, and of course gorgeous cities along the way - Beli Manastir, Belišče, Valpovo, Donji Miholjac, Koprivnica, and many more. Of course, great food and drinks for relaxation. For more information about this route, check here.

When it comes to cycle tourism, Osijek and Baranja regions are top-notch. It’s not a surprise that Osijek has the most cycle paths in Croatia which spread through the whole city. If you own a good bike and love cycling moreover public transport, Osijek is a great city for you. Here are a few suggested bike tours exploring Osijek and its surroundings:

  • OSIJEK - UŠĆE KARAŠICE - OSIJEK: This route starts from the city of Osijek and goes to Višnjevac. After that, there is a wooden bridge towards the west that continues through beautiful forests and natural landscapes near the Drava River. The route stretches all the way to fishing house located on mouth of Karašica and Drava rivers. The length of the route is around 20 kilometers and it’s not particularly complicated. Suited for mountain and track bicycles. You can check the details of the route here.
  • OSIJEK - KOPAČEVO - BILJE - OSIJEK: This time, the best city exit is the one towards Podravlje where the ride goes to Kopačevo and the reception center of Kopački rit. Beautiful landscape and the only traffic participants are cyclists, pedestrians, and animals. From there, the route goes through Kopačevo, Bilje in Baranja all the way to Osijek. This bike route is around 32 kilometers long and suitable bicycles are mountain and tracking ones. Visual details can be found here.

A few others are:

  • KOPAČEVO - ZLATNA GREDA - TIKVEŠ - KOPAČEVO, route details
  • BIZOVAC – ČOKADINCI – KOŠKA – LADIMIREVCI – BIZOVAC, route details
  • KNEŽEVI VINOGRADI – KOTLINA – KAMENAC – KARANAC – KNEŽEVI VINOGRADI, route details.

On the other hand, Baranja used its tourist offer of great food, wines, and other products and, most importantly, beautiful wine yards that unfurl through the whole region to the maximum.

Wine roads are the most popular routes in Osijek - Baranja County, so it’s not surprising that out of a total of twelve tourist and wine roads in the county, just in Baranja are eight. During these bike tours, tourists can visit multiple wine cellars along the way and explore beautiful landscapes. For all details about wine bike tours in Baranja, check here. Beautiful nature park Kopački rit also included bike tours recently for an easier and more exciting experience of Slavonian nature and enriched tourist offer even more. Check the website here.

Požega, Požega - Slavonia County 

When we talk about cycling or any other type of recreation, we have to mention the center of Slavonia. The Hilly mountain terrain of old Slavonian mountains Papuk, Psunj, and Krntija, make this region even more exciting for bike lovers. Thirty marked bike trails make Požega - Slavonia County a place for one of the best bike tours in Slavonia. Besides the already mentioned EuroVelo route and other state bike trails, Požega and its surroundings offer an amazing variety of bike trails for everyone. If you thought Slavonia is flat, you’ve been grossly deceived. The landscape around nature park Papuk is a great reason anybody trying these routes needs to have high-level body fitness.

  • The so-called “Green route” that passes through the Požega Wine region - beautiful wine yards (almost similar to Ilok’s or Baranja’s wine roads), hills, and exquisite views of old mountains. Route details.
  • Požega vistas trail is another one that stands out in that region - This trail has all sorts of terrains - from asphalt ones in the old town of Požega to forest trails and open landscapes with dirt roads, all the way to Požeška gora and trails and obstacles that pumps up the adrenaline, passing by old wells and trails of old, ancient life and back to Požega. Route details.
  • The trail through fields and meadows - goes through traditional Slavonian villages and hilly places rich with agriculture. Exciting long upward and downward roads between villages and eventually back to Požega. Route details.

For more details about the most exciting bike tours in Slavonia, definitely check here.

romulic_papuk_bike_tours_in_slavonia.jpeg

Papuk (photo credit: Mario Romulić)

To conclude this list, we need to shoutout few honorable mentions that definitely deserve their own article: off-road routes of Virovitica - Podravina County, muddy, exciting forest roads around rivers, sunny fields of Podravina, and glimpses of Western Slavonia, which has probably one of the best bike trails in Croatia. Pannonian bike roads pass through the calm landscapes, across the hills, through the woods and fields, along rivers, streams, and lakes. With the wind on your face, definitely discover the beauty of Pannonian cycling trails. For more details, check here.

Slavonski Brod and Brod-Posavina County with a must-visit to the monumental Brod Fortress, the largest of continental Croatia with its unique Tambura Museum. Posavina villages of Klakar, Donja, and Gornja Bebrina offer even more pleasures and forests that express the greenest places in Slavonia. Lipik, Pakrac and their Lipizzaner and Kuna Trail... What are you waiting for? For more details, check counties official website.

After an exhaustive analysis that can reach five more such articles, it’s only left of us to invite you and visit these beautiful places. From Požega to Ilok, these truly are one of the best bike tours in Slavonia, but not just that - in Croatia as well. For more cycling articles, visit our dedicated website.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Monday, 18 April 2022

Fifty Volunteers Take Care of Croatian Veteran Needs

18th of April 2022 - The Palliative Team was launched which included six Croatian veterans who volunteered together with the staff of the Vukovar Health Center.

As Novosti.hr reports, the president of the association “Defender Helps the Defender” (Branitelj pomaže branitelju) Željko Miškulin, wanted to expand the projects so three months later, they founded an association whose goal is to support the Croatian veteran population.

“I saw the needs of the veterans and their sense of forgetfulness since they fell ill. Veteran health and mortality problems were high, several of us suffer from multiple sclerosis, and most members have the status of Croatian war invalids. It was my path and guidance to embark on an adventure that proved useful and successful”, says Miškulin. The association has 50 members of volunteers and, although at the beginning it gathered people from Vukovar - Srijem and Osijek - Baranja counties, today they come from other Croatian counties as well.

In the beginning, the founding members and President Miškulin as volunteers of the Vukovar Health Center, provided palliative care to veterans in their homes, socialized and talked with them, and enabled family members to perform other tasks. After some time, they secured a visit from a dentist to a veteran who was then a bedridden patient for two years, with clergy and priests later joining the cause. Now they provide psychological support, organize examinations, controls, ambulance transport, free accommodation, and food during treatment for family members in Zagreb.

“We have excellent cooperation with the hospital in Vukovar but also with health institutions in Osijek, Zagreb, Zadar, and the health Center in Vinkovci. We also focused on helping the children of Croatian veterans with developmental and severe disabilities, we provide them with equipment and aids with Caritas helping us”, explained Miškulin, adding that the veterans are delighted that someone thinks about their needs.

 

Behind them are four implemented projects, three more are underway, and new education and an increase of the member numbers are planned as well.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Friday, 15 April 2022

Contents of a Slavonian Easter Basket: From Eggs to Green Onions

15th of April 2022 - The most important Christian holiday is almost here which means plenty of food and traditions that have been part of Croatian culture for centuries are in focus. A look at the contents of a Slavonian Easter basket. 

With Lent being over on Palm Sunday, Holy Week and the final days before Easter have begun. Of course, that means believers who participated in relinquishing and fasting during Lent can finally start eating normally, except on Good Friday when fasting is strictly prescribed. Preparations for Easter include a lot of cooking and preparing sweet pastries to celebrate Jesus’s resurrection. Good Thursday is dedicated to the remembrance of Christ’s Last dinner and no one can work on their soils or crops. As already mentioned, Good Friday includes a strict fast with only one proper meal allowed, which symbolizes Jesus’s torment and death. After Good Friday, Good Saturday is reserved for silence and preparations of said meals that have everything from heavy meat to spring vegetables and more. However, the most important part of the Easter celebration is definitely an Easter basket, which contains a variety of foods reserved for blessing and later for Easter celebration, most commonly as a breakfast on Easter itself.

Easter Eggs 

Most things in the basket are definitely Easter eggs (pisanice), or boiled chicken eggs with beautiful handmade designs that differ from family to family. This custom of decorating and gifting eggs was known throughout Europe, especially among Germans, Scandinavians, and Slavs. Even its age is confirmed by archeological grave finds. When it comes to Christianity, the egg is a symbol of the new and eternal life that Jesus made possible for people through the resurrection. In Croatian traditional culture, the custom has remained to this day. In the past, only domestic homemade colors were used for painting eggs and they were obtained from broccoli, onion peel, nettle, various grasses, and many more. Aniline dyes became popular much later. Wax was applied to the egg by a special funnel-shaped pen or pinhead; this technique also made it possible to obtain multicolored ornament. These traditional ways of painting Easter eggs came back - more and more people fall back to old customs because of healthy and more organic ways of painting. On Easter morning, eggs are put to use - children break eggs to determine who has the strongest one.  

Easter_basket_in_Slavonia.jpg

Colored Easter eggs and spring flowers on Easter (photo credit: Private album)

Unleavened bread

As we know a lot of Christian traditions are shared with Jewish customs and unleavened bread is part of that as well. It symbolizes Christ’s body and according to Bible, was present at Christ’s Last dinner. There are a lot of variations of bread throughout Croatia like normal pogača, pinca, however, unleavened bread is a customary Easter bread in Slavonia and represents sacrifice. Its texture is somewhere between hard and soft and has a neutral flavor which fits amazingly well with other Easter basket components.

If you’re interested in making this bread, here is my family’s recipe that’s been used every Easter for decades: 

0,5 kg of smooth flour

1 package of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

4 egg yolks

1 egg

1 tablespoon of pork lard

10 dag of butter

Method:  

Mix with milk so that it is neither soft nor hard. Let it sit for 10 minutes, after that put it in a small bowl with a diameter of 18 cm. Grease the bread really well with lard and put the bread in the oven preheated to 180°C. Bake it for 30 minutes, take it out, coat it with egg yolk and milk mixture using a brush, put it back in the oven, reduce the temperature to 150°C and bake it for 25 minutes more.

There you go! You have a proper Slavonian bread that’s part of every Easter basket.

uskrs_doručak_easter_basket_in_slavonia.jpg

 Easter breakfast with food from Easter basket (photo credit: Private album)

Ham

Fragrant-cooked ham is certainly the main star of the Easter table and what evaluates the quality of its preparation is juiciness. The type of meat is really important but the best is definitely pork meat or rather pork leg which is considered the “real” ham. Other than classic cooked ham that we know and love, there is an alternative - ham wrapped in pastry. Again, its preparation varies from family to family and the quality of the meat is determined by the financial status of the people who prepare it.

If you’re interested in the preparation of cooked Easter ham, check this recipe here.

Radish 

The so-called spring queen of health and a vitamin bomb. Although radish is primarily associated with the Easter table, many people buy this vegetable because of its rich nutritional composition and medicinal properties. Indispensable food of every Slavonian Easter basket.

Green onion 

If it's planted before Spring, green or young onions are definitely an unavoidable vegetable for the Easter basket. Strong, spicy, and its intensive smell with ham bring something really special to every Slavonian household on Easter. Like radish, it is a great ingredient in a variety of Easter salads.

Sweet cakes and pastries

Last but not least, cakes and pastries are a must in every Slavonian Easter basket. From usual pies like cakes like mađarica, chocolate pie, white pie, honey pie, so-called Katherine (Katarina kolač), and coconut-walnut cubes that were and still are a staple for Slavonian desserts through decades, small cakes, pastries, and cookies are getting more and more popular in recent years. Likes of išleri, baskets (košarice), rum balls, linzers, triangles and so many more. Cherry or apricot strudel is also a recent pastry baked and consumed on Easter. Breskvice (peaches) as well - signature Slavonian cake. 

sitni_kolaci_easter_basket_in_slavonia.jpg

Sweet cakes and popular pies in Slavonia (photo credit: Private album)

 

Salt is also part of the blessed Easter basket with candles that will be lit on Easter breakfast and other various items that believers want to bless.

As said in the beginning, Easter is the most important Christian holiday. It celebrates Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection. Throughout the centuries, Croatians managed to save huge parts of their cultural and traditional heritage and it’s not a coincidence that Easter customs are one of the oldest traditional practices in Croatia’s history. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a believer, everyone is welcome to try the contents of a Slavonian Easter basket, take it, and in the end, try to make these delicious meals for themselves. At the end of the day, this is the time, not just for sacrifice, but for sharing and love as well.

Sretan Uskrs!

For more about lifestyle in Croatia, visit our dedicated TCN page.

Page 1 of 8

Search