Introduction

Pancake-flat, river-rich Slavonia is the agricultural heartbeat of Croatia. Chequer-boards of green crops and yellow rapeseed roll out for miles beside the roadside and you may well spot an eagle or two hanging out near the fields if you keep your eyes peeled as you drive through. The small but vibrant city of Osijek makes for the most obvious base. From here, head out boating on the wetlands of Kopački Rit or hit the wineries of the Baranja region.

The impact of the war hit hardest in southeast Slavonia, where historic Vukovar is slowly attracting more visitors thanks to its two museums and wine-fans are discovering Ilok's cellars, on the Serbian border.

Bordered by three major rivers (Sava, Drava and Danube), this region holds strong connections with Hungary, Serbia and Germany. Slavonia’s key appeal lies in this culturally intriguing mix that makes it closer to central Europe than coastal Croatia.

Highlights

  • Kopački Rit Nature Park Exploring this birdwatcher's paradise, and one of Europe’s largest wetlands, by boat.
  • Osijek Strolling the central city's streets, trimmed with fine architecture, before feasting on Slavonian specialities in the fortress quarter.
  • Vučedol Culture Museum Marvelling at the fascinating displays about this ancient civilisation.
  • Northern Baranja Exploring the region's wine roads and historic cellars.
  • Castle Eltz Learning about Croatia's vast heritage and Vukovar's sad 20th-century history at this beautifully curated museum.
  • Ilok Sampling fine local wines then taking in the views over Serbia from the hilltop old town walls.
  • Ɖakovo Cathedral of St Peter Soaking up fresco-frippery inside this grand church.
  • Batina Monument Viewing the Danube from the imposing war memorial.

When to Go

Apr & May Spring in Slavonia is a delight, with mild temperatures and almost no mosquitoes.

Jun–Sep Catch any number of festivals, from urban music to sculpture.

Oct–Mar The short days are an ideal time to savour paprika-rich Slavonian stews and game.