Give it a try at some "ordinary" fishing and also get lessons for catching the local type of catfish the traditional way called "bućkanje"

Photo: Šimun Aščić
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Going rural 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, to the 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.

Enjoy a combination or rural delights of the South-eastern and 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…

Trip highlights

  • Discover Ilok and Eastern Slavonia: its rural appeal close to the city centre of Ilok
  • 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

Trip availableMAY-SEP
Duration5 days
Suitable for2-5 people
SupportFully guided
Languagesenfritde
Price per personfrom 805.00 €
Great for
  • Couples
  • Groups of friends
You’ll be accommodated in
  • Rural houses (apartments) / ethno houses
Alka Uroda Bio
Trip designed by Alka Uroda

Passionate tourism consultant and an aficionado of all things exotic.

Activities are taking place in Eastern Croatia

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 would be 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 city with the fortress and the church of St. John of Capistrano plus the Odeschalci castle where the City 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 of Ilok kebab, fish paprika stew while toasting the meal with the best European Traminac wine variety right in the Eco-estate called "Sources of Life", awarded the title as one of the European Destinations of Excellence, located on a protected archaeological site along the Danube river banks, right off of 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 is a 506-sq-km stretch of wetland (polje means ‘field’ in English) 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

DAY 1

Arrival to your Slavonian destination in Ilok

Whether you are arriving in your own car to the Sources of Life estate or you’d like us to arrange a private transfer from one of the major city airports (Zagreb or Osijek) – 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 with natural 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, the city of Ilok and the rich heritage of the city. 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 farm and 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 and Tears of St. Lawrence stargazing experience on a good weather day. Make sure to make a wish at the sight of a shooting star! Dinner prepared by your hosts and overnight stay at the estate.

DAY 2

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 clay 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 specialties. 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.

DAY 3

Soak in the charms of the Lonjsko polje (field) and its wetlands

After breakfast, check out and bid the Zelenika 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. Lonjsko polje sits 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. 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. 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 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 with your Bojanić family hosts to your accommodation. Evening on your own to relax, followed by delicious dinner that will be prepared by your hosts and you will have an overnight stay.

DAY 4

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. Alternatively, if weather and high river water levels do not permit the boat excursion you will visit Krapje as the only protected village in Croatia, and during the right season - a visit to the Krapje Đol ornithological reserve where 10 % of the European stork species is being hatched every year. This will be followed by a visit to the Jasenovac World War II memorial site and museum. Come early evening, delicious dinner will be prepared by your hosts and you will have an overnight stay.

DAY 5

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.

What's included?

  • Private vehicle transfer from the Zagreb international airport with an English speaking driver to Ilok and the Zelenika family farm and estate (“Sources of Life” Farm) on Day 1
  • 2 overnights in a private apartment type Fisherman’s House with locally prepared 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches (one as a traditional fish stew, as a part of a picnic experience on day 2) and 2 dinners included at the local “Izvori života/Sources of Life” Zelenika family farm and estate, tourist tax
  • Local brandy, 3 wine varieties and local pita bread tastings on Day 1
  • Private guided walking tour of Ilok (up to 2 hours) with an English speaking local guide
  • Stargazing experience with a glass of homemade Zelenika family champagne on Day 1
  • Clay workshop and a picnic on the traditional “čikla” boat with a photo-taking opportunity along the Danube on Day 2
  • Private vehicle transfer from Zelenika family farm and estate in Ilok to Lonja and the Ethno Village Stara Lonja with an English speaking driver on Day 3
  • 2 overnights in studio-type units at the old rural house accommodation for up to 5 persons at the Ethno Village Stara Lonja, with 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners included, tourist tax
  • Private guided visit in English with your accommodation hosts (Bojanić brothers) to Čigoč location and the ethnic weaving and embroidery collection of the family Sučić, combined walking tour and private transfers included in English (provided by the hosts), along with a private guided visit in English to the Mužilovačko field and the local Posavina horses, cows and pigs habitats (plus a hallmark 700-year-old oak) on Day 3
  • Private guided “school of bućkanje”/catfishing technique in English with the Bojanić family hosts, in addition to the visits of the locations of where the old Pirates of the Mississippi movie was shot, the Lonjsko polje dam, “beaver trails” on Day 4* (see Remarks), with private transfers in English provided
  • Private guided tour and presentation in English of the old fishing tools collection and knitting of the fishing nets, with private transfers in English provided by the Bojanić family on Day 5
  • Private vehicle transfer from the Ethno Village Stara Lonja in Lonja to the Zagreb international airport with an English speaking driver on Day 5
  • Trip preparation fee
  • VAT

What's not included?

  • International airfare to and from Croatia
  • Meals, drinks, and services (such as spa) other than those specified in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities (tips are always appreciated but not mandatory)
  • Bicycle rental at 7.5 EUR/person for up to 3 hours

Reductions and supplements

  • For 3rd person on additional bed (on request)
  • For children additional bed available (on request)
  • For single room (on request) 

Remarks

  • Day 4 Alternative: if weather and high river water levels do not permit the boat excursion you will visit Krapje as the only protected village in Croatia, and during the right season - a visit to the Krapje Đol ornithological reserve where 10 % of the European stork species is being hatched every year. This will be followed by a visit to the Jasenovac World War II memorial site and museum. 

Ask about availability & get an offer

What happens when you request an offer?

1

We will double-check availability and make reservations for your rooms, restaurants, guides etc.

2

With reservations confirmed, we will prepare the best offer possible in regard to your arrival date & party size

3

You will get the offer via e-mail, along with the payment options. Feel free to request further customisations!

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