The dreamy countryside along the Mura River in eastern Slovenia is a land of wide fields and rounded hills, storks and wind-rattles, floating mills, healing waters and energy points, picturesque winegrowing hills, original traditions and dialects, and most of all, a land of hospitable people, who live in Slovenia’s largest agricultural region.
The most tourists are attracted to this part of Slovenia by its thermal health resorts: the Radenci Health Resort
with its more than 120-year-long tradition and famous mineral drinking water, Terme 3000
in Moravske Toplice with its many water attractions, the Lendava Thermal Spa
near the hills of Lendavske gorice, and the Banovci Health Resort
, which boasts Europe’s first nudist campground beside a thermal spring. New destinations are also linked to the quest for well being with the discovery of numerous energy points at Ivanov izvir, the Ščavnica River, Vidov izvir, and Bukovniško jezero lake.
If visitors come to Pomurje for the first time to enjoy the healing waters, they discover many reasons to return. In Gornja Radgona
, known for its fairs and famous for excellent wines, wonderful wine cellars where among other wines the delicious “Zlata Radgonska Penina” sparkling wine is aged are open for visitors. In Ljutomer
, the center of the Prlekija region, trotting horses are raised below the sunny winegrowing hills, frequent harness races are held, and many ancient handicrafts are preserved and practiced. In nearby Veržej, the floating Babičev mill
on the Mura River is still operational, and nearby, an old-fashioned ferry
still carries passengers across the river. A castle with an art gallery and museum invites tourists to visit Lendava
, the city of two languages, and the hills of Lendavske gorice
above the city are especially attractive. In Novi Tomaž
, there are protected old vineyard cottages.Murska Sobota
, the largest city in Pomurje, boasts the Renaissance Sobota Castle
in the shelter of two-century-old oak trees. The castle houses the Regional Museum. Nearby Rakičan Manor
offers a wine cellar and an equestrian center. Among the sacral monuments of Pomurje, the church in Bogojina restored by the architect Jože Plečnik
and the Romanesque rotunda
in nearby Selo, which belongs among the oldest buildings in Slovenia, are a special treat. Ancient handicrafts still survive in this region, and in Filovci
, potters still bake their clay works in the special Prekmurje way.
Driving north from Murska Sobota, we find ourselves among the rounded hills of the Goričko region, famous for its storks. The largest town here is Grad
, named simply after its castle (“grad” in Slovene), one of the largest in Slovenia. Along with the interesting theory that the castle once supposedly had as many as 365 rooms, there are also interesting energy points among the exotic trees in the castle garden.
The towns and villages along the Mura River and its tributaries are linked by excellent bicycling, hiking, and walking trails and by several wine roads. Day-trip and tourist farms and numerous ethnographic events enable visitors to experience the unique traditions of northeastern Slovenia, and in the local “gostilnas,” visitors can taste not only excellent wines but also the characteristic culinary specialties of the region.