Main Tourist sites

 

On foot or by bike. Whichever option you choose you cannot choose wrong. Haloze and Zagorje were made for wandering on their slopes, hills and valleys slowly and on foot or slightly faster and with more effort by pedalling a bike. Many tourist farms and wine shops are located along those routes. Some of them offer tasting and enjoyment of homemade specialties, from bread and meat from tünka to wine, cheese and much, much more.


The Haloze mountain trail from Borl to Donačka gora is highly suitable for hiking and takes roughly three days of walking, and then there is the mountain trail on Ravna gora and the Vinica-Cestica hiking & cycling route passing through vineyards in the area of Cestica and Vinica to the Arboretum Opeka in Marčan. The Haloze-Zagorje transversal has existed for three decades and has been reconstructed and revived in recent years.


The Haloze-Zagorje Tourist Zone has some ethnographic collections, which travellers can view and learn about the life and work of the local people and their past.



Ethnographic museum in Velika Varnica

The Ethnographic Society has collected and exhibited the most typical items, which have until recently served or are still serving the people in their daily tasks and activities.

Garb in Pobrežje and its surroundings in the second half of the 19th century

Members of the Folklore Society from Pobrežje used memories and testimonies of their parents and grandparents and preserved photographs to learn about, recognise and decipher all characteristics and peculiarities of the everyday and festive attire of their area.


From grains to bread

The ethnographic collection at the Korpič farm presents one of such farms in Haloze. It has preserved all tools from the special log for thrashing cereals and the quern to all vessels used for baking bread and the accessories for putting bread in and out the red-hot earthen oven. The collection also features earthenware for baking in the baker's oven and a number of farming tools for daily chores.


Carnival masks

Many carnival (as well as other extremely interesting and ancient) customs and naturally a whole range of carnival characters and masks were preserved in Haloze. One of the most interesting ones is Korant, which slightly differs from that of Kurent from the nearby Ptuj Field. The Korant's attire (from the hat with cow's horns and the majestic fur coat to ježevka – a wooden club covered in hedgehog skin – and bells) has always inspired fear and respect. The collection also presents other carnival characters: ploughmen, the devil, undine, the hag carrying the old man, etc.


Wine production and bread baking

The marl hills of eastern Haloze are perfect for vineyards. It is no coincidence that a Viticulture Cooperative was established in Sv. Barbara (currently Cirkulane) in Haloze in 1938 to help restore vineyards, market must and wine, educate winegrowers and much more. Milan Voglar moved one of the preserved typical cimprane Haloze houses from Mali Okič to Pristava and today it presents the bulk of what was once used in cultivating vineyards and producing wine. It is no coincidence that the house still has objects for bread baking as a crust of bread and a glass of homemade wine were often the main or even the only meal for the Haloze poor.


Exhibition of Lepoglava lace in Lepoglava

The Lepoglava lace – beautiful and magical – was first made by Pavlins in Lepoglava centuries ago.

It is a gentle lace made from flax and cotton threads on a round solid base with an even number of wooden beetles known as dedek and bateki. The lace is made from a drawn template and the threads are intertwined so that the outlines of individual motifs are highlighted in relief. Motifs are mostly from the animal and plant world.


Photograph collection of frescos "Artistic Message of Ivan Ranger" in Lepoglava


Ethnographic museum in Gornja Voća

Voća is truly beautiful… pure water… forests… and a collection of big wooden and stone sculptures made during the traditional sculpturing colonies taking place annually with the topics of "The Neanderthal and Wine". The sculptures are unique and placed in the museum as well as in the entire Voća area so that a part of the collection is situated outdoors.

 

           The Haloze – Zagorje Tourist Zone boasts some other interesting sights – the well-known mountains Ravna in Donačka gora, the Opeka arboretum and Špilja Vindija cave.

 

 Ravna gora

The stretched back of Ravna gora reaches 660 metres above the sea level and hosts two mountain refuges (Filićev dom and Pusti duh) where hikers can eat, drink and stay the night. Ravna gora is famous for its paragliding centre and a number of mountain trails. The Church of the Three Wise Men is located near the highest peak. The peak offers a unique view of Trakoščan and the entire Tourist Zone…

 
Donačka gora

This mountain of 883 meters ends the Karavanke mountain chain instilling fear and respect in the people below since the ancient times with its exceptional location and domination over the entire surrounding hills and mountains. In reality, it is hospitable to travellers climbing over its northern slope through 27 hectares of protected virgin beech forests to the top. A mountain refuge is located at a clearing representing a good starting point for climbing to the top.

 
Arboretum Opeka in Marčan

It is the most beautiful arboretum among the three arboretums in Croatia and one of the richest in Central Europe by the beauty and diversity of its plants. You can find it in Marčan near Vinica only 15 km from Varaždin. Around 14,000 tress and bushes and at least 200 different plant species grow in the park. Many of them were brought from Japan, China, Tibet, the Caucasus, North America and a number of European countries. Count Marko Bombelles was the most famous owner of Opeka. The Opeka castle is situated in the park. Glitter, romance and love resided here… and the spirit of old times can still be felt in Opeka.

 
Špilja Vindija cave near Donja Voća

The Špilja Vindija cave in Donja Voća, 30 km from Varaždin, is the oldest and world famous site. Vindija is one of the largest sites and one of the most cherished by experts in this part of Europe. The findings range from the Palaeolithic and Neolithic to the early Middle Ages. Remainders of bones from the cave enable following the development from the Neanderthal to the modern man. Remains of late Neanderthals and their tools have been found here. Experts believe that late Neanderthals and highly developed humans met exactly in this area.