Wine & gastro trip

Back to the rural roots in secluded and beautiful Eastern Croatia

Engulf yourself into the rural feels as to what life used to be and how it is in the secluded locations of the serene Eastern parts of Croatia - Srijem and Lonja & Lonjsko polje. From boat picnics on the blue enchanting Danube river, and clay workshops all the way to the fishing tools and fishing nets crafting and presentation you will find your inspiration in so many ways by immersing yourself in this simple way of life, away from the fuss and buzz of hectic city life.

Trip highlights

  • Discover the rural side of Eastern Slavonia and its appeal as well as traditions
  • Live for a while in secluded and intimate old wooden rural house setting in both Slavonia and in Lonjsko polje
  • Participate in a local tools collection presentation and immersive workshops for both clay item handcrafting and tools manufacturing & use
  • Try out local Slavonian and Posavina authentic dishes, cheese, sparkling wine & wine varieties of these plush regions 

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Enjoy a combination or rural delights of Eastern Croatia, from the delightful Ilok to the wetlands of Lonjsko polje. Understand how the locals used to live and how they live now, also how they worked the land or what tools they used. From clay workshops to the traditional fishing schools savour the best of these secluded and serene areas…

Take a moment to learn a few facts about the place you are about to visit.

Slavonia and Ilok

This is the pancake-flat Eastern region of Croatia, where the Danube kisses the sky and where rivers abound. Slavonia is also the agricultural linchpin of Croatia that has all the natural beauty and the gourmet appeal often overseen by the tourist masses. It is a perfect setting for your rural getaway.

Bordered by three major regional rivers (Sava, Drava, and Danube), this part of the country holds strong historical connections with Hungary, Serbia and Germany. Most of Slavonia’s allure lies in this cultural mix that makes it closer to central Europe in terms of customs, food, wine, and many other ways…

Ilok - it is a place where the days are long enough for you to savour them fully, where time does not fly and where you soak in all this unique natural beauty. Here the blue Danube with its backwaters shows its full strength and the slopes of Fruška gora depict some of the most famous wine roads in the country. Take a walk through the historic center of the town with the fortress and the church of St. John of Capistrano plus the Odeschalci castle where the Ilok Municipal Museum is located.

To fully experience this city do reward your palate with the gourmet specialties handpicked from the Danube gastronomy and far-reaching hospitality.

Try out the traditional specialties like Ilok kebab, fish paprika stew etc. while toasting the meal with the best European Traminac wine variety right in the Eco-estate awarded the title as one of the European Destinations of Excellence, located on a protected archaeological site along the Danube river banks, not far from the center of Ilok. This is where in addition to comfortable accommodation in rural Srijem houses Ribarska kuća (Fisherman’s house) and Kuća kod stare Majke (The House at the Old Mother’s) you will also get to fully unwind and relax on the deck chairs overlooking the Danube, opt to go fishing or cycling along the river, or gaze at a beautiful starry sky. 

Lonjsko polje

Lonjsko Polje (English: Lonja Field) is a 506-sq-km stretch of wetland in the Posavina region, between the Sava River and Moslavačka Gora mountain. Situated along the Lonja River, a Sava tributary after which the park got its name, this huge water retention basin is famous for its diversity in terms of flora and fauna. The local villages pride themselves on their traditional 19th-century wooden architecture, and the area is divided into several villages. Čigoč is primarily famous for being a „stork meeting point “, where these birds nest, and is also dubbed as the „first European stork habitat“.

Čigoč is also home to a small ethnographic collection owned by the Sučić family. The collection was created by preserving family traditional items and it contains approximately 400 different objects related to the people's way of life in this part of Posavina region from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. The collection includes various antique forms of ceramic and wooden vessels, woodworking tools, transport aids, fishing tools, etc. Most noteworthy are the valuable forms of textile handicrafts such as national costumes, bed linen and towels decorated with rich Posavina embroidery. Visitors are given the opportunity to purchase embroidered arts and crafts items because the loom is still in operation. If the old owners are around you can also take a dab at weaving the loom yourself.

The area from Čigoč to the heritage village of Krapje is the most notable and visit worthy, Krapje being known for its well-preserved traditional wooden houses as well as fishing and hunting locations and opportunities. Check out the covered external staircases, porches and pillars, and various farm buildings with their barns, drying sheds, pigsties, and hen houses - a true rural and secluded vacation treat.

Day-by-day itinerary


Arrival to your Slavonian destination in Ilok

Meet us in Zagreb from where you will have a private transfer arranged to Slavonia region, where you are in for a treat. A traditional welcome awaits at the door – the local Srijem area brandy, which is considered the greatest symbol of hospitality in addition to the 3 wine varieties tasting from the estate coupled with local pita bread snacks. In this neck of the woods people use it to toast, forgive, rejoice, or mourn. 

You will be accommodated in the Fisherman's House and will be given a small introductory tour to get to know the property by going to the spring for a sip of fresh water or go for a light walk after being served local Srijem gourmet specialties for a typical Srijem lunch display. After a walk around the property a tour of Ilok ensues, accompanied by an expert local guide who will introduce you to the beauties of the medieval protected cultural and historical complex, and the rich heritage of the town. 

There are the remains of the Basilica of St. Peter dating to the 13th century, the Church of St. John of Capistrano from the 14th century with fortress walls built by the duke Nikola Iločki in the 15th century. The noble Odescalchi family left a castle in Ilok and old wine cellars beneath the castle (going back to the era between the 15th and 17th century).

Traditional dinner will follow upon your return to the estate, served on the terrace by the Danube. After dinner, the hosts will serve sparkling wine produced on their estate from organic grapes. You will then observe the starry night skyline with your binoculars. In Ilok the sky is still pollution-free, which allows for a full Milky Way stargazing experience on a good weather day. Make sure to make a wish at the sight of a shooting star!  


Enjoying the sights, feels and sounds of nature on the Danube River banks

You can start the day with fragrant organic teas from the estate, coffee and scrumptious Srijem breakfast with local ham, omelette, local cheeses, sour cream, homegrown vegetables or autochthonous pastry dishes and pies. To really experience the local rural tradition, cultural heritage, and nature you will have a try at creating your own works in clay at an organized and supervised 2-hour workshop at the estate itself. 

From “ćerpiči” (i.e. adobe structures) used in this region to the clay arts and crafts and items that can be used in daily life, allow yourself to become Michelangelo for the day… Light lunch will be served to you before you embark on another adventure. In the afternoon hours your hosts will take you for a ride on a smaller boat (or as the locals call it the Danube “čikla”or traditional “bajta”) on the Danube, paired later with a delicious picnic dinner (the famous fish stew of the region) with local gastro specialities. 

There will be plenty of photo opportunities along the way on your boat tour. Enjoy the Srijem evening, relaxing by the fire or chatting away with your hosts followed by an overnight stay at the estate.


Soak in the charms of the Lonjsko polje and its wetlands

After breakfast, check out and bid the family that hosted you in Ilok goodbye. Your private car or minivan and a chauffeur will take you to the second destination of your Croatian stay – Lonjsko polje. 

You will arrive and check in at the ethno village Stara Lonja situated in the village of Lonja and enjoy the intact nature, silence of oak woods, clean air, croaking of frogs and birds chirping. Enjoy and soak in your surroundings without the rushed signs of civilization, along with the noise and anxiety that come in the package. After lunch that includes traditional Posavina dishes your hosts will take you for a tour of the local villages, including Čigoč and the ethnic collection of the family Sučić from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. 

If the old owners are around you can also take a dab at weaving the loom yourself as they show you the technique. Afterwards you will experience a visit to the Mužilovačko field, where one can observe the indigenous Posavina horses, cows and pigs as they throttle freely in nature. Not to forget, you will witness the old, 700-year-old oak and its magnificent woods and fairy-tale surroundings. Evening drive back to your accommodation. Evening on your own to relax, followed by delicious dinner that will be prepared by your hosts and overnight stay. 


Lonjsko polje magic and its traditional ways of life

Following earlier breakfast your hosts will take you for what is called “the school of bućkanje”, i.e. 3-4-hour fishing trip and lessons for catching the local type of catfish the traditional way. “Bućkanje” is a 500-years old catfish fishing technique and gives you a direct passageway into the old ways of life in this area. 

The trip on a smaller motor-boat will also see you experience first-hand the “beaver trails”, observe the common house martin type of bird along the way and hear the stories of and visit the locations of where the old Pirates of the Mississippi movie was shot, without forgetting to take a peek at the location of the dam in Lonjsko polje as well. 

On the way back the hosts-cum-private guides will point out the importance of this ecosystem for its most famous long-legged inhabitants - the storks and many other local bird species. Traditional style-lunch will be served after the “bućkanje” experience. Come early evening, delicious dinner will be prepared by your hosts and you will have an overnight stay. 


A Farewell to the Sava River / Posavina region

Just after breakfast and before checking out, you will be engulfed in yet another typical rural experience - a presentation of the old fishing tools collection and knitting of the fishing nets, taking this last opportunity to soak in the Posavina sun rays before departure and saying goodbye to the storks as well as numerous other bird species for which this part is renowned.

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