Worth A Trip: Exploring Prekmurje's Rural Heartland

A day spent pottering around Prekmurje's teensy villages is the best way to explore this region's proud local heritage. From the last working floating mills on the Mura River to a state-of-the-art winery, this rural, lesser-travelled district throws up plenty of surprises.

Martjanci The Parish Church of St Martin here contains 14th-century frescoes painted on the sanctuary's vaulted ceiling and walls.

Filovci This village is famed for its črna keramika (black pottery). Keramika Bojnec, 200m southwest of the main road, invites visitors to watch artisans at work at the ancient kiln in the skanzen (open-air museum displaying village architecture) over the road.

Bogojina Stop here to visit the Parish Church of the Ascension, which was redesigned by Jože Plečnik around 1926. The interior is an odd mixture of black marble, brass, wood and terracotta; the oak-beamed ceiling is fitted with Prekmurje ceramic plates and jugs, as is the altar.

Mačkovci Marof, one of Prekmurje's leading wineries, is based here. Travellers can tour the cellar before getting stuck into tasting. The label is known for its deeply fruity modra frankinja, but also does a lovely chardonnay.

Floating mills, which date back to Roman times, were very popular on rivers that changed their course abruptly or swelled rapidly after rainfall, as they allowed millers to move to the best possible spots for milling. In Slovenia, floating mills were largely built on the Mura River; up until WWII there were dozens of these wooden mills in operation. Today, there are only two left.

Babič Mill In business since 1925, this working mill is still grinding grain for clients. It's not set up for visitors, but it's usually OK to take photos (sometimes there's a €1 charge).

Island of Love Mill This mill at Ižakovci, southwest of Beltinci, was purpose-built in the mid-1990s to preserve the region's mill heritage. You can tour the small museum here and take a ride across the Mura River on the kumpi (traditional ferry worked by pulley).