Thursday, 14 October 2021

Croatian PM Plenković: Nobody Will Pin Sanader on Me!

ZAGREB, 14 October, 2021 - Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) president Andrej Plenković said on Thursday he did not intend to apologise for someone else's sins from a time when he was not a member of the ruling party.

"There was one leader, Ivo Sanader, who ran the HDZ, who, it was found in legal proceedings, abused his office, which resulted in the responsibility of the legal person, the HDZ. The one responsible for that should answer for it," he told the press when asked about yesterday's Supreme Court ruling against the HDZ and its former president Sanader.

"I, as president of the party, democratically elected twice... don't intend to utter sentences of apology for the sins of someone else from a time when I was not even a member of the party. No way."

Plenković then commented on criticisms from the opposition, "which has been hysterical since yesterday," notably from the Social Democratic Party and its president Peđa Grbin, saying he would not be lectured "by a tyrant, a despot, a non-democrat" who expelled 18 MPs from the party "because they have different views on something."

"The SDP is showing totalitarian manners in the 21st century," Plenković said. I'm being lectured by a man who is hugging (Stjepan) Kovač... while he is lying that he is being threatened, who hired an officer to lie?"

He also commented on criticisms from the Bridge party, saying they "almost had an orgasm at the Freedom Festival and screech against vaccination," as well as from the We Can! party, saying they were spreading hate against the HDZ and installing people in the Zagreb Holding company "in a way that was... ridiculous."

"We are the NBA for them and they are a local league. No way," said Plenković.

"I understand those who have 12 or 13% (in approval ratings). Now is the time to strike at the HDZ. But people see the difference. What we are doing today and what was from 2004 to 2009 is not the same and is not related at all. There is no chance that the current leadership will assume responsibility for something which the court ruled was due to the personal responsibility of practically one person."

Expects authorities to find out who radicalised youth who attacked gov't building

Plenković also commented on last year's attack on the government building during which a police officer was wounded.

"I expect the police and DORH (State Attorney's Office) to do everything so that we find out who radicalised the young man who committed a terorist act, from whom he got the gun, who taught him to use that weapon. That doesn't happen spontaneously, that someone aged 22, unprovoked, should commit such an act and almost kill a Croatian policeman."

Plenković said his statement was not pressure but a call on DORH and the police, an expectation from the authorities because, he said, the chapter was not closed and additional steps forward were necessary.

"I believe it was a terrorist attack. He didn't shoot at a bar, a restaurant, but at the building of the Croatian government. He shot at a number of police officers, he shot at windows, at the Legislation Office where lawyers sit," he added.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Croatian Government Limits Petrol to HRK 11.10, Diesel to HRK 11.00

ZAGREB, 14 October, 2021 - The Croatian government passed a decree on Thursday limiting the retail price of petrol to HRK 11.10 (€1.48) per litre and the price of diesel to HRK 11.00 (€1.46) per litre for the next 30 days.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that the aim of this move was to protect consumers.

"Considering the present economic situation, the unpredictability of petroleum prices on the global market and the impact of fuel prices on total economic activity and citizens' living standards, and in order to ensure further economic recovery, the government has decided to make use of the option to stabilise petrol and diesel prices over the next 30 days based on the Petroleum and Petroleum Products Market Act," the prime minister said at a cabinet meeting.

He added that the government would be closely monitoring the situation and trends on global markets and take further steps as necessary.

Fuel prices increased considerably in Croatia on Tuesday. According to the website cijenegoriva.info, the price of Eurosuper 95 rose by HRK 0.26 on average compared to last week, the price of diesel rose by HRK 0.40, and the price of autogas went up by HRK 0.13.

Eurosuper 95 now costs HRK 11.35 per litre at INA petrol stations, HRK 11.36 at Lukoil, HRK 11.39 at Tifon and HRK 11.40 at Petrol. Eurosuper 100 is sold at HRK 11.99 per litre.

Eurodiesel costs HRK 11.40 per litre at Crodux, HRK 11.42 at INA and HRK 11.43 at Lukoil, while the prices of autogas range from HRK 5.62 to 5.89.

The rise in fuel prices is due to the rise in petroleum prices on global markets and the high US dollar exchange rate.

(€1 = HRK 7.510550)

Thursday, 14 October 2021

CIHT Conference to Gather International Health Tourism Experts in Crikvenica

October 14, 2021 - The region's most influential health tourism conference, the Crikvenica International Health Tourism Conference (CIHT Conference), will be held on November 4 and 5, 2021, for the ninth year in a row at the Hotel Katarina in Selce.

The organizers are the Crikvenica Tourist Board and the Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster. This year in a hybrid edition, the conference is traditionally held in English and will bring together world-renowned experts in the fields of health, tourism, marketing, and education, to review the latest trends in health tourism, exchange experiences, and find new ways to communicate in these pandemic times, reports T.portal.

"Although this year COVID-19 fills newspaper columns and front pages of portals, in our environment, the need for health services and health tourism, in general, does not cease, and Kvarner and Crikvenica have much to offer everyone who needs recovery, rich sea air, and mild climate. Business conditions and promotions fully take on solutions and views on the settings and development of a diverse tourist offer, especially health tourism. Distinguished speakers will share their knowledge and experience," said Dr. Vladimir Mozetič, president of the Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster, which will be attended by, among others, Dr. Mario Škugor, endocrinologist and director of education of the prestigious American Clinic Cleveland, Velimir Šonje, economic analyst, and many others.

Over the years, CIHT has hosted excellent experts from all over the world who, with the amount of knowledge and experience, make a valuable asset in further progress and promotion of health and health tourism in the region. This year's ninth CIHT conference continues to contribute to applying current theoretical knowledge and trends in practice, emphasizing the strategic importance of the development of health tourism in Croatia with an efficient connection to foreign and domestic markets. Along with top lecturers, the conference's priority is the best possible quality of content that abounds in interesting, educational, innovative, and current topics and workshops.

The director of the Crikvenica Tourist Board, Marijana Biondić, and the leader of the CIHT conference pointed out that she is incredibly proud of another edition of the conference, which will be the best so far:

"This tourist year has confirmed the position and importance of Kvarner as a favorite EU destination. Safe, reliable, with an increasingly high-quality offer of accommodation and experiences, the Crikvenica Riviera is in full swing, and health tourism has the opportunity to lead this trend."

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Tastes of Croatian Tradition Days Return in November, 110 Restaurants Participating

October 14, 2021 - Tastes of Croatian Tradition returns for its second edition next month after the pandemic brought the culinary event to a halt last year. 

Representatives of ten counties attended the council for "Tastes of Croatian Tradition," hosted by the Brod-Posavina County Tourist Board and held at Salaš Savus in Bukovlje near Slavonski Brod. After a one-year break due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was agreed at the session that the Taste of Croatian Tradition Days will be held from November 15 to 28, 2021.

As expected, in this second edition of the event, about 110 catering establishments bearing the Tastes of Croatian Tradition standard from 13 Croatian counties will be included. During the fourteen-day duration of the event, they will offer guests two menus consisting of at least three courses of local traditional dishes. Furthermore, restaurants will design the offer of their choice in one of four price groups: from 75, 95, 125, or 195 kuna.

The second Tastes of Croatian Tradition Days will be presented at a press conference in Zagreb in early November when the first national Tastes of Croatian Tradition labels prepared in digital and printed editions will be presented.

The Tastes of Croatian Tradition standard was received by another catering facility in the Brod-Posavina County area, which met the high criteria to be awarded the prestigious standard. Namely, Ružica Vidaković, director of the Brod-Posavina County Tourist Office, awarded the label to Kuća Piva restaurant in the town of Slavonski Brod, and it was received by the owner of the facility, Željko Špalat.

This standard is held by fourteen restaurants today in the Brod-Posavina County area. In 13 Croatian counties, the Tastes of Croatian Tradition standard is carried by almost 130 restaurants that offer at least six traditional dishes (of which two main dishes with side dishes are required) and at least six labels of local drinks, of which four are wines.

Source: HRTurizam

You can read more about the project HERE.

For more on lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Thursday, 14 October 2021

23rd Restaurant Week in Croatia Delights Foodies from October 15 to 24

October 14, 2021 - The 23rd Restaurant Week in Croatia returns on Friday, October. 15, where participating restaurants around the country offer 3-course menus for promotional prices! 

Restaurant Week returns to Croatia for its 23rd edition on October 15, 2021. The special event is a chance for foodies around the country to enjoy three-course menus at various participating restaurants for 100/125 kuna, during both lunch dinner. The 23rd edition of this event will be held from October 15 to 24. 

So, what is Restaurant Week anyway?

Restaurant Week is the idea of Željka Marjanović and Ozren Drobnjak, who wanted to find a way to promote Croatia’s culinary scene in cooperation with its catering establishments. Restaurants participating in the campaign meet the needs of guests through a special promotional offer. The concept is modeled on capital cities around the world and is adapted to the Croatian market. During the event, participating restaurants offer various three-course menus at promotional prices. It is held twice a year, usually in late February and late September, but in this case, in October.

For example, the Croatian capital has 17 participating restaurants this time around (though they had about 30 last October), while Split welcomes the same number of participating restaurants this year. 

Split Riva institution Brasserie on 7 is a loyal Restaurant Week member and won't miss out this autumn, either. Visitors can enjoy a 3-course menu of their choice, including: 

Starters

Beef Carpaccio - sliced ribeye, lentils, truffles & parmesan

Beetroot and cherry salad - roasted beetroot, red onion, radish, ricotta mousse, cherry & pistachio vinaigrette

Sweet and ginger soup - sour cream with vanilla and pepper & walnuts

Mains

Pork Belly - Slow roast pork, red cabbage, pickled beets & jus
Bouillabaisse from Lubin - sea bass, squid, mussels, potatoes, red pepper & bouillabaisse soup
Cassoulet - duck drumstick confit, bacon, sausage & bean ragout

Dessert

Blanc-noir - digestive biscuits, white & dark hazelnut cream

B7 cheesecake - digestive biscuits, cream cheese & crumble
Vegan tart - oatmeal, walnut & chocolate ganache

Many new restaurants are participating in the event for the first time this year, like the Central Hotel restaurant in Split's Pjaca. 

Here, guests can choose from 3 different set menus:

Menu I

Starter: Cream of shrimp, broccoli, and chili soup

Main: Swordfish fillet in caper and tomato sauce, flavored polenta

Dessert: Semifreddo of figs in zabajone sauce

Menu II

Starter: Cold roast beef on arugula

Main: Dalmatian pasticada, homemade gnocchi

Dessert: Chocolate terrine in forest fruit sauce

Menu III

Starter: Cheese dumplings, fresh salad, aurora sauce

Main: Tagliatelle with homemade broccoli and pine nut pesto

Dessert: Carrot cake

All menus all around Croatia can be explored on the official Restaurant Week website.

For more on lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Thursday, 14 October 2021

COVID-19 Testing and Treatment Has So Far Costed HRK 2.1 bn, Health Minister Says

ZAGREB, 14 Oct 2021 - Health Minister Vili Beroš said in Parliament on Thursday that HRK 2.31 billion had been paid from contributions for compulsory health insurance for COVID-19 testing and treatment in the period from the start of the coronavirus pandemic to the end of August 2021.

HRK 2.31 billion was paid by the Croatian Health Insurance Institute, Beroš said while presenting a quarterly report on measures taken to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Commenting on concern about the nation's state of health, the minister said that contacts between citizens and their general practitioners had dropped by only 1.9% and that the number of phone contacts and e-mail messages had increased while prevention measures, notably for cancer patients, were largely proceeding normally considering the circumstances.

As for the number of ordered COVID-19 vaccines, he explained that it refers not just to this year but also to 2022 and 2023.

Vaccine effective in 75 to 80% of cases involving new virus variants

Speaking of the correlation between vaccination and mortality, Beroš said that the vaccine was effective against new variants of the virus.

"We have to be grateful to science and the medical profession for producing a vaccine that is effective against new variants in 75 to 80% of cases. This vaccine, just as any other vaccine, does not protect 100%," Beroš said.

Speaking of the June-August period, he said that the epidemic was much less intense, which contributed to the excellent tourism results.

In the period covered by the report, the health system adjusted, reduced the number of COVID wards, and increased the provision of medical services to other patients, continuing to intensively implement testing and monitoring of infected patients as well as vaccination, he said.

1.5 million vaccine doses administered over three months

The minister said that since early June, 249 venues had been set up across the country, mostly in the coastal areas, for rapid antigen testing and issuing of COVID-19 certificates, and that in the June-August period 1.5 million vaccine doses were administered.

"Despite a large number of tourists and domestic residents, we managed to maintain a calm and stable epidemiological situation in the country, securing for ourselves the status of the safest Mediterranean destination," he said, adding that in the three-month period 18,622 cases of infection were recorded.

For the latest news on coronavirus in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Opposition Says Croatia Lacks Clear Strategy to Fight COVID-19

ZAGREB, 14 Oct 2021 - The parliamentary Opposition on Thursday reiterated that Croatia does not have a clear strategy to fight the coronavirus pandemic, expressing dissatisfaction with the way the crisis is being managed and calling for changing it.

"The attitude to COVID-19 has to change drastically. If the current situation continues, we will all end up on sedatives," said Marijan Pavliček of the Croatian Sovereignists ahead of a debate on the government's report on the impact of epidemiological measures taken in the period from June to the end of August.

Pavliček believes that over the past year and a half Croatians have been living in a paranormal system and "are going collectively insane."

The national coronavirus crisis management team has made a number of political instead of epidemiologically justified decisions, people are bombarded with the number of fatalities and new infections on a daily basis, he said.

"Do we have an exit strategy for this crisis and is it time we changed our attitude to COVID-19?" he asked.

Davor Dretar (Homeland Movement) claims that the crisis is being managed irresponsibly and irrationally, mentioning a case of a hospital cleaner from Zabok who was dismissed from work because she did not have a COVID-19 certificate and refused to get tested.

HDZ MP: What would have happened if doctors had cited human rights when there was no vaccine?

HDZ MP Željko Reiner confirmed that many people were refusing to get vaccinated and tested free of charge citing human rights and the alleged harmfulness of the vaccine as well as face masks.

"What would society have done if tens of thousands of doctors and nurses had invoked their human rights, fear from disease and death, while there was still no vaccine, and refused to treat patients?" he asked.

He called on Health Minister Vili Beroš, a neurosurgeon, to say what he would do if his colleagues performing operations refused to wear masks, gloves, caps, in the context of claims that it was not proven that they protected patients.

"How would society and the profession react?" he said.

Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Peđa Grbin said he had a different message for Beroš.

"I believe that you want the situation to get better but what you have been doing is not contributing to it. Because of your inconsistency, the figures are as they are," he told Beroš, recalling that on Wednesday Croatia recorded, after a longer time, more than 2,000 new infections.

"That is horrible but so is the minister's statement that he and the prime minister were surprised by those figures. Why the surprise when it is clear that Croatia lacks a clear strategy to fight the pandemic and increase the vaccination rate," Grbin said, adding that 85% of Portugal's adult population were vaccinated because people were not sent confusing messages.

Marija Selak Raspudić of the Bridge party said that the government's report lacked crucial information such as how many citizens suffer from the post-COVID syndrome, what were the criteria for the procurement of vaccines, why exactly 18 million doses were procured and not more or less, etc.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Croatia Logs 1,851 New Coronavirus Cases, 18 Deaths

ZAGREB, 14 Oct 2021 - Croatia has registered 1,851 new coronavirus cases and 18 COVID-19-related deaths in the last 24 hours, the national coronavirus response team said on Thursday morning.

Currently, there are 9,620 active cases in the country. These include 871 infected people who are receiving hospital treatment, of whom 122 are placed on ventilators.

Since 25 February 2020, when the first case was confirmed in Croatia, 422,908 people have been registered as having contracted the novel virus, of whom 8,847 have died and 404,441 have recovered, including 1,305 in the last 24 hours. 18,890 people are currently self-isolating.

 A total of 2,944,660 people have been tested for coronavirus to date, including 9,484 in the last 24 hours.

As of 13 October, 3,503,116 doses of vaccines have been administered, with 45.88 percent of the total population, or 55 percent of adults, having been vaccinated. A total of 1,861,783 persons have received at least one dose and 1,744,717 have been fully inoculated (1,641,333 persons have received two doses and 103,384 have received the single-dose Jannsen vaccine), which makes up 51.64 percent of the adult population.

For all you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, make sure to bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 section and select your preferred language.

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Average Monthly Pay in Zagreb at €1,082

ZAGREB, 14 Oct 2021 - The average net pay in legal entities in Zagreb in July 2021 was HRK 8,130 (€1,082), an increase of 5.4% from July 2020, according to data from the city department for strategic planning and development.

The average wage in the capital city was HRK 1,084 higher than the national average, which totaled HRK 7,046.

The highest average monthly net pay in legal entities in Zagreb was paid in oil and natural gas extraction (HRK 13,259) and the lowest in the production of leather and related products (HRK 4,412).

The average monthly gross pay in legal entities in Zagreb in July this year was HRK 11,257, an increase of 3.2% from July 2020.

(€1 = HRK 7.510550)

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

Thursday, 14 October 2021

Discover the Beautiful Drava River in Koprivnica Križevci County

October 14, 2021 – From thrilling watersports and cycling, brilliant wine and food festivals to wonderful weekend escapes, the epic Drava river in Koprivnica Križevci County is an endless source of fun and inspiration.

Of the many rivers that run through Croatia, five of them could truly be classed as European giants – they stretch for around 300 kilometres or longer. They are Sava (945km), Drava (749km), Kupa (297km), Mura (483km) and Danube (2860km).

These rivers help define Croatia. They dictate the agriculture, activities and cuisine of the Croatian regions they pass through. Furthermore, they often create the very borders of the country.

Goran_ŠafarekIMG_1479_DxO.jpg© Goran Šafarek

Running along the length of the country's most northerly border, the Mur river separates Croatia from Slovenia in the west and Hungary in the east. But, near the Nature Preserve of Veliki Pažut and the historic municipality of Legrad, both in Koprivnica Križevci County, the Mur river gives up its task. Here it flows into the Drava river, becoming its biggest tributary. Thereafter, the Drava continues the job of separating Croatia and Hungary.

The Drava River in Koprivnica Križevci County

marcy387u5ythg.JPGA wide expanse of water, the Drava river in Koprivnica Križevci County © Marc Rowlands

By the time the Mur meets the Drava river in Koprivnica Križevci County, the Drava has already travelled more than half of its journey. To get here, it has descended over 1150 metres. Such a long fall has a significant effect on how the river looks and behaves here.

Željko_Car_12.jpgTraditional wooden fishing boat by the Drava river in Koprivnica Križevci County © Željko Car

Gone are the violent drops, gushing waterfalls, narrow channels, big boulders and sharp rocks. By now, it has left all that far behind. Instead, the Drava river in Koprivnica Križevci County is an epic, wide expanse of water. On either side, it is bordered by thick, green forests and fields. Its banks are a fine sand, creating beaches on which fishermen and families happily sit all day. This is how the Drava river is here, the perfect natural place for relaxing and recreation.

DSC_1247.jpgFishermen enjoying summertime on a Drava beach © Mato Zeman

Recreation, relaxation, activities and unmissable sights on the Drava River in Koprivnica Križevci County
Beaches, birdwatching and boats in Legrad and Veliki Pažut

Goran_ŠafarekIMG_1847_DxO.jpgFrom above, part of the Veliki Pažut Special Zoological Reserve at the confluence of the rivers Mur and Drava © Goran Šafarek

Further upstream, people take advantage of the Drava's powerful descent. There, the river is regulated, channelled and harnessed for hydroelectric power. But, where the Drava meets the Mur in Legard, it is wild and unregulated.

Goran_Šafarekušće_Mure_u_Dravu_Meridijani_2019.jpgIn the mist, the Veliki Pažut Special Zoological Reserve © Goran Šafarek

This is an ever-changing landscape, right on the border of Međimurje. Here, the rivers are left free to roam. Before 1710, nearby Legrad was actually in Međimurje. But, the Drava changed course and gave Legrad to Podravina. These constantly shifting waterways and floodplains create new habitats and restore existing ones. Subsequently, this is an area of immense biodiversity.

Goran_ŠafarekMG_8164_DxO.jpgTwo of the colorful residents in the Veliki Pažut Special Zoological Reserve, captured by © Goran Šafarek

The Veliki Pažut Special Zoological Reserve is 1000 hectares that are specially protected to preserve this biodiversity. Its wetlands and running waters are home to beavers, ducks, coots, waterfowl and reed warblers. In winter, wild geese (spotted goose and hawthorn goose) stay here in large numbers. The deer who wander the surrounding forest are also protected, so long as they stay in Veliki Pažut. You can catch sight of this wildlife and photograph it from the new, specially designated solar-powered boat.

Article_2_solar_boat_in_Legrad_2.jpg

In warmer months, people bring their picnics and barbecues down here to the water's edge. There's a famous beach at the old Legrad-Halasz Csarda resort and nearby a new children's playground.

čigre_na_sprudu_National_Geographic_2015.jpgAnother two residents in the Veliki Pažut Special Zoological Reserve, captured by © Goran Šafarek

You can read more about the visitor offer in Legrad and at the Veliki Pažut Special Zoological Reserve here

Cycling the Drava river routes

podravina-prigorje-bike-ilustracija-005_1.jpgCycling by the Drava River in Koprivnica Križevci County © Podravinaprigorjebike.com

The Drava route is the oldest and most famous bicycle path in Podravina. As its name suggests, it largely follows the course of the Drava river. Although, it veers away from the riverside to take in some of the must-see sights of the county.

podravina-prigorje-bike-ilustracija-001_1.jpg© Podravinaprigorjebike.com

On the 84 kilometre route, you pass through a diverse landscape - fields of golden agriculture, the neat rows of gently descending vineyards and forests that filter the sunlight. From the confluence of the Mura and Drava in Legrad, you drop down past Šoderica lake, before taking in the remarkable village of Hlebine, world-renowned as the centre of an art movement.

podravina-prigorje-bike-ilustracija-015_1.jpg© Podravinaprigorjebike.com

It's not the only historic settlement you meet. The grand city of Koprivnica sits on the route. Its town centre holds several monuments to cycling, so appreciated is the pastime here. Thereafter, traditional rural villages like Podravske Sesvete and Ferdinandovac give a timeless sense of life next to this great river.

Of course, this epic bike path is not the only one in Koprivnica Križevci County (you can see all of the specially designated ones here). Nor is it the only one to pass by the county's special waters.

Goran_ŠafarekD__6321_DxO-1.jpgDeer climbing the banks of the Drava, captured by © Goran Šafarek

At 394 kilometres in length, the D7 bicycle route is incomparable. Starting on the Adriatic sea and ending on Lake Balaton in Hungary, it takes in some of Croatia's greatest water features, including Plitvice Lakes National Park, Lonjsko polje Nature Park and the Drava river in Koprivnica Križevci County. Other highlights it passes in the county are the medieval town of Đurđevac and the village of Gola. From Gola, an alternative bicycle route takes you back along the Drava, then across the river and on to Šoderica lake. The lake is surrounded by new recreational paths perfect for walking, cycling and skating.

Fishing on the Drava river in Koprivnica Križevci County

Željko_Car_2.jpgIn autumn. Fishing on the Drava is enjoyed all year. © Željko Car

Boasting a massive 831,43 hectares of fishing waters, Koprivnica Križevci County is a fisherman's paradise. Carp, catfish, common bream, trout and pike are among the most commonly encountered here. These waters include not only the Drava and the Mura rivers but also more than 20 designated fishing lakes. They're managed by ZŠRK Koprivnica (here), who can also issue permits to any visitors drawn to fish in the spectacular county waters.

0000180000.jpgPeaceful seclusion on the Drava © Mato Zeman

Camping by the Drava and Šoderica lake

Soderica54.jpgOn a summer day, Šoderica lake © Marc Rowlands

Often, the best way to connect with nature is to get up close and stay awhile. Camping by the Drava is great for relaxing and enjoying the surroundings. The Aqua Terra campsite (here) at Šoderica lake is just a couple of hundred metres from the river. There, you're only a few steps from the recreational lake, which is fed underground by the Drava itself.

117035465_2693303857613533_5173964214743674320_n_1.jpgSummer fun on the beach at Šoderica lake © Aqua Terra

You're not alone on the lakeshore. Since before the 1960s, this has been a favourite place to come. Weekend houses sit back from the shoreline promenade. In warmer months, children's voices carry across the water while they're swimming in Šoderica. In the evenings, young adults congregate at popular bars on the edge of the lake. Music concerts, sports tournaments fill the lake's social calendar.

Marcy1.JPGCyclists take a break from the sun at Šoderica lake © Marc Rowlands

The camp itself is spread across 20,000 square meters and includes an activities park - with rope bridges through the treetops - and a beach bar. You can find out more about the events and activities on Šoderica lake here.

Hunting in the forests of the Drava

dia_0090_levels.jpgThe river in winter © Mato Zeman

The forests that thickly line the banks of the Drava are filled with wildlife. Roe deer, red deer, boar, rabbits and pheasants are just some of the inhabitants. The region's hunters play a vital role in maintaining the habitat of these animals and in keeping track of population numbers. Visitors from several European countries are regularly welcomed to join their activities. Koprivnica-Križevci County Hunting Association can be contacted via local tourist board offices. Alternatively, there are private hunting grounds run by tourism experts KTC (here), who also offer hunting lodge accommodation (here).

DSC_8738.jpgRaft on the Drava © Mato Zeman

Wild swimming in Koprivnica Križevci County

DSC_0332.jpgJumping into the Drava © Mato Zeman

In summer and early autumn, the Drava warms before reaching the county. In some stretches, where the water is deep enough, yet protected from the always strong currents, you can swim in the river. Children jump from rope swings, then plunge into the cooling waters. The river feeds two lakes which are also popular places for summer swimming; Šoderica near Legrad and Đelekovec and the Čingi lingi lake, which lies between the villages of Repaš and Molve.

Goran_ŠafarekČingi_Lingi_DJI_0062_1.jpgFrom above, Čingi lingi lake © Goran Šafarek

Rafting, kayaking, canoeing and boat trips on the Drava river

Željko_Car_1.jpgThis giant river is full and wide, even in summer © Željko Car

Many of Croatia's rivers are too dry in summer to support activities. Not the Drava. This giant flows thick and fast even during peak summertime. A great way to enjoy the natural surroundings is from atop the water itself. A whole new perspective of the riverside banks and forests opens up from a canoe or kayak. Gliding silently through the landscape allows it to unfold. For a more thrilling experience, take to the Drava by motorboat or wild rafting.

Željko_Car_10.jpgCanoeing through an epic landscape © Željko Car

You can go rafting with Rafting Club Koprivnica (here) or with Etno Kuce Karlovcan (here). Karlovcan also offer motorboat excursions and accommodate larger parties on river tours. You can find out more from the Tourist Board of Dravski Peski (link below). 

Food and drink from the Drava river and its fields

Fishyev1234.JPGFrying fish at Fišijada Ferdinandovac © Marc Rowlands

At the annual outdoor cook-off Fišijada Ferdinandovac, you could well imagine being further down the Drava in the region of Slavonia. The fried fish and the deep red, paprika-rich fish stews here are classics of Slavonia. And they're favourites here too. The carp and catfish are pulled from the same river, the paprika a long embraced influence from Hungary on the other side.

IMG_2251REJIG_1.jpgMaking gulash in competition at Rokovo in Kozarevac © Marc Rowlands

But, you'd be wrong to think that Podravina cuisine is an exact match of Slavonia's. Koprivnica-Križevci County has its own distinct recipes, ingredients and flavours. Wild mushrooms, plucked from the forests and fields by the Drava, can be found alongside barley in a classic local soup. It's delicious.

AnyConv.com__IMG_2044fgvbnmjnhg.jpgThe all-organic vines of Vinarija Šipek in Kloštar Podravski, Koprivnica-Križevci County © Marc Rowlands

Koprivnica-Križevci County also has exemplary wines. You'll find superb whites like Riesling, Chardonnay, Grasevina, Sauvignon blanc and more here. They thrive in sandy soil. It has been deposited in the fields here over millennia by the Drava. Vinarija Šipek in Kloštar Podravski (here) run an all-organic winery with excellent wines and heritage grapes. Vinarija Kostanjevec in Lukovec (here) are decorated internationally. In 2020, their Premium Riesling won Silver at the Decanter World Wine Awards. But, there are many more great winemakers all across the county.

fishandfootball.JPGFood preparation and football from ŠNK Bušpan at Rokovo in Kozarevac © Marc Rowlands

In this part of Podravina, celebrating the fine local food and drink is a regular part of the culture. Every village has at least one notable event. Often held outdoors, they are great social occasions and a good excuse to visit a neighbouring place. More often than not, a sports match, music concert or a funfair runs in tandem. If you want to try the river fish dishes of Podravina, restaurant Ribička hiža near Đurđevac (here) serves these specialities year-round.

cheese.JPGSelection of award-winning cheeses, fresh from the farm shop at Family Farm Imbrišić (here) in Kozarevac, Kloštar Podravski © Marc Rowlands

Staying by the Drava river

218857084_129845805966818_2553627362942924296_n_1.jpgFrom above, Dravski raj on the Drava River in Koprivnica Križevci County © Toni Fereža/FT STUDIO

You can find great traditional accommodation across all of Koprivnica-Križevci County. And, if you want to stay right next to the Drava, there are some super options.

accomm.JPGOrnamental gardens at Dravski raj © Marc Rowlands

Dravski raj (here) is a delightful renovated farm complex that backs onto the Drava. Inside traditional buildings, you'll find modern bedrooms, a games room, hot tub and free bicycles for exploring the surrounding nature. You can draw your own water from the well to drink – or just take it from the tap, of course.

accomm234566.jpgPerfect for events and relaxing, the sprawling grounds of Etno kuce Karlovcan © Marc Rowlands

Etno kuce Karlovcan (here) is a large plot containing artefacts of regional agriculture and life from the last few hundred years. Longstanding stakeholders in tourism on the Drava, they offer food, accommodation, boat rides, rafting and horse riding too.

58462828_636129590147500_5910088862897537024_n.jpgFrom the water, Country House Ivančan © Domagoj Krznarić

Art centar Ješkovo have robinson accommodation near Ješkovo. Also, Country House Ivančan (here) is perfect for a riverside getaway. The family enterprise is also famed for the food they prepare.

This article was produced with the co-operation of Koprivnica-Križevci County Tourist Board. Both the author and Total Croatia News would like to sincerely thank Željko Car, Mato Zeman and Goran Šafarek for the kind permission to use their photography here.

If you would like more information about any of the mentioned events, activities or county cycle routes, you can contact Koprivnica-Križevci County's tourist boards on these links.

Koprivnica town tourist board here 
Križevci tourist board here 
Đurđevac tourist board here 
Central Podravina tourist board here 
Tourist board of Dravski Peski here 
Kalnik tourist board here 

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