The weekend is near and you are probably wondering where to go. The answer could be: Pomurje. Often overlooked beak of the chicken that is Slovenia on the map. It is a true gem for all lovers of good food and is full of warm, hospitable people.
In this article we will show you a few local treats in Pomurje, take you cycling to burn some calories and we will not miss one of the most known sights in Pomurje.
We spent two days here and slept in the heart of Pomurje, in Murska Sobota. Best time to visit is from early spring to late autumn, if you want to catch the mentioned festivals stick to the provided dates.
Coming to Pomurje from the west, take the exit Sv. Jurij ob Ščavnici and follow the hilly terrain to Gornja Radgona. It is right on the border with Austria. In the centre of it is Dom Penine (House of sparkling wine). The Golden and Silver sparkling wine is very famous in Slovenia, because it is probably used for the first toast at New Year for a big part of Slovenia. Here you can rent e-bikes which are a great tool for exploring the surrounding wine hills. We would recommend a tour to Kapela and to its Wine fountain where you can taste 6 different samples for 8€. Along with great views you can enjoy cold cuts, cheese plates, and Prleška gibanica. Then head downhill to Radenci, one of the most famous thermal resorts in Slovenia and then continue back to Gornja Radgona. There you can return the bikes and try their sparkling wines. We tried the rose sparkling wine and the golden brut. Needless to say, both were excellent.
Next stop is castle Grad which means castle Castle. It is the biggest in Slovenia with 365 rooms. You can even spend a night here and feel what it is like to sleep in a castle. The castle houses many different exhibitions, from crafts, herbs, clothes, art. You can walk around alone, hire a guide or an audio guide.
By this time you will probably be a bit hungry. We were thinking whether to share this gem with you or not, but here it comes. Good deeds attract good things so: head to Stanjevci in Goričko to property Mala Rosa. The owners moved from Ljubljana to the countryside and created a piece of paradise here. It is a renovated old farmhouse, with a few tables and a lovely barn. Everything they serve is made on the property, from drinks (juices, teas, lemonades) to food (vegetables, pies, fruits…). The focus is on vegetarian options. We had potato soup with pear, pumpkin pie and home salad. They are most known for their pies (salty and sweet) which are made following the recipes of the owner‘s grandma. Make sure you book in advance because they can only make a certain amount of them every day so it is better to book that you don’t miss out.
With our tummies full we headed to Murska Sobota and spent the night in the newly opened Hotel Belmur. The hotel has 10 rooms all beautifully furnished with old architectural elements. Some rooms have giant balconies. A perfect spot in the heart of Murska Sobota. Because we were the only guests for the night the breakfast was tailored to our needs: no meat, no eggs, but tons of great vegetables, fruits, jams, bread and amazing coffee.
After our amazing breakfast we walked through the center of Murska Sobota. During our visit Festival of Prekmurska Gibanica and ham was taking place. We didn’t try the ham, but we tried Gibanica (beware, there is a difference between Prleška and Prekmurska gibanica). The stalls offered a lot more: rejtaši, dödoli, pereci… If you want to bring Prekmurje cuisine to your home check out this book: Traditional prekmurian cookbook (author M. Fišer). There was also a competition being held for the best gibanica. For the year 2021 the winner was Expano. So that you will know where to head for the best. 😉
We found out that there was another festival at the same time, so we headed to Lendava. Of course we stopped at the observation tower Vinarium. We tried some local pereci and langaš.
Then we went to the center of Lendava. It was Lendava Wine harvest festival. Sadly, we missed the parade, but were able to see an attempt of cooking the biggest bograč (for the Guiness Book of Records). It is a stew with at least 3 different types of meat, potatoes, peppers, onions… They used 400kg of onions, 4kg of garlic, 680kg of meat (beef, pork, and venison), 400kg of potatoes, 22kg of spices and 12l of wine. And yes, they succeeded, they set the record.
From Lendava we moved to the only tropical garden in this part of Slovenia, to Ocean Orchids. They are known for their orchids, but we were more interested in the tropical garden. The entrance is 5 € (if you buy something you get 2,5€ discount with the ticket). We were most fascinated by the giant monstera plants, but I still prefer the real tropical garden.
Then we headed to Bukovniško jezero (Bukovnik lake) which is famous for its energy spots. Parking is 2,5€ with a small campsite and the walk on the shores of the lake is really nice and soothing. Again, we couldn’t “escape” great food. At Brunarica Prekmurskih dobrt we tried “dödoli”. Highly recommended if you are looking for genuine local food – it is made of potatoes, flour and sour cream.
We had one more stop: Medene zgodbe in Fokovci (Honey stories in Fokovci). Here we turned into beekeepers and Ms Mojca told and showed us everything about bees. She presented all of her products and you can see that she puts her heart into it. We even got to go inside a beehive. She showed us the room where you can book apitherapy. She also organizes workshops for schools for different groups where she shows the benefits of bee products.
Equipped with bee products it was time to head home. Full of impressions. We live so nearby, we have visited so often, but we find something new every time. Something that always stays the same is the incredible hospitality of everyone involved. It is not a landscape of breathtaking views, or turquoise rivers (although Mura definitely has its charms), but it is a place of exquisite food, wine and warm locals.
Summary: 2 days of Pomurje
Gornja Radgona – Dom Penine
Rent an e-bike to Vinska Fontana Kapela (Wine fountain Kapela)
Ride back to Dom Penine and drive to Grad
Visit castle Grad
Drive to Stanjevci
Dinner at Mala Rosa
Drive to Murska Sobota
Overnight stay in Hotel Belmur
Walk through Murska Sobota and try Prekmurska Gibanica
Tower Vinarium in Lendava
Sightseeing in Lendava (for info what to do click here)
Drive to Dobrovnik
Visit tropical garden Ocean Orchids
Drive to Lake Bukovnik and visit the energy-healing spots
Late lunch in Brunarica Prekmurskih dobrot
Drive to Fokovci
Visit Medene zgodbe (Honey stories). Ms Mojca and her bee products
I would like to thank Visit Pomurje for the invitation, mostly for all the insider tips that enabled to us to meet these warm people.