Why to choose the region of Central Croatia ?
Although it is not perceived as a typical tourist region, central Croatia is a very interesting area that offers great opportunities for recreation, arts tourism, sight-seeing in interesting towns, castles and natural points of interest. A region of rolling hills with many vineyards, covered in forests and intersected by rivers, with numerous Baroque-period churches, monasteries, castles, forts and museums, it is just now uncovering itself to tourists who will here find attractions year-round. To this should be added thermal springs that have, with improvements and the building of thermal resorts become an ideal place for rest and relaxation as well as health and beauty programs that are entirely in keeping with new trends in tourism. Organised cycling routes, Wine Roads, traditions, old trades and an excellent selection of cuisine on offer are an ideal combination for weekend packages or rest and relaxation.
Lonjsko polje (the Lonja range)
Lonjsko polje deserves special mention, a nature park covering 506 km2 of marshland plains and oak forests. It is a protected habitat for many endangered plant and animal species: storks, herons, white-tailed eagles, otters, beavers and wildcats. The unique Posavac horse is bred in the surrounding villages, with their particular wooden buildings. There are organised outings by bus and boat to Trebež, Čeperlin, Kostrnja, the Krapje ethno-village and world-renowned Čigoč. The folk architecture and churches are certainly worth seeing.
Its charm owes much to the medieval burgs and country palaces (Veliki tabor, Miljana,.). It is a region of fascinating history full of significant events, people and legends. The atmosphere will be rounded off by the rich local cuisine and, of course, the local wines.
The county has an abundance of landmarks of park architecture, created mostly at the start of the 18th century together with the construction or renovation of castles (Maruševec, Križovljangrad, Bajnski dvori, Veliki Bukovec, Vidovec, Jalkovec, Šaulovec, Martijanec, Novi Marof, the Varaždin thermal baths). There is also the Opeka arboretum, valuable in the scientific and educational aspect, and the well-known Varaždin cemetery.
There are 354 registered culture sites in this county (castles, sacral edifices, museums, galleries). The tourist offer is based on cultural heritage (the cities of Varaždin, Lepoglava and Ludbreg), unique attractions (the Vindija Cave , the Opeka arboretum, the park and castle of Trakošćan ) and on major entertainment and other events (like the Varaždin Baroque Evenings).
Varaždin is known as Croatia 's "most-Baroque" place. With its preserved Baroque-period city core, museums, the well-ordered municipal parks and green areas, numerous manifestations (of which the traditional international festival of Baroque-period music, the Varaždin Baroque Evenings, and the Špancirfest street festival, deserve special mention, both take place in September), and arts and sports events, the destination of many tourists and school excursions. The well-known Varaždin cemetery was created at the beginning of the 20th century with the planting of thuja shrubs that are formed by trimming into hedges and arcades modelled after the parks in France 's Versailles . The cemetery is a real monument to horticulture.
This area is also home to some exceptionally valuable museum exhibitions. There is above all the singular and in Europe unique "World of Insects" exhibition at the Entomological department of the Varaždin Municipal Museum . Another noteworthy example in this county is the Trakošćan castle, entirely converted into a museum with the premises preserved in their original appearance from the 15th to 19th centuries.(htz)