Actively protecting heritage through sustainable tourism

 Within the Zeleno Želimo project, the Varaždin Tourist Board has created new connections in order to advance the town's overall tourist offerings.

Amenities related to gourmet food, protecting tradition, handicrafts, and recreation have drawn new tourists to the old town centre, which is a cultural good and which offers tourists experiences they cannot usually have during brief sightseeing tours. Twenty new tourist programmes have been developed within the framework of this project, one of which is the Bogdaj - Dobar Dan two-day excursion, which was implemented and tested in June. The design of this excursion involved representatives of the tourist industry, media outlets, social media influencers, and representatives of both partners and local government. Participants got to experience the following cross-border tourist offerings on the first day: Bukovniško lake; the Ocean of Orchids; a mill in Ižakovci; the Lušt ranch; Banovci spa; the Marianum Institute and Duo Crafts Centre in Veržej. The second day of the excursion began in the Kultnatura presentation space at Varaždin's open-air market. Participants were told about Varaždin's history and cultural heritage, local artists, and traditional food. A clay workshop was held at Pičuljan atelier, and participants viewed a wealth of artistic forms of expression and artwork made from metal at Darwin's courtyard and Prikratki courtyard. Formally trained painter, collector, and restorer Professor Živko Skuhala presented a museum of old-timer cars and old machines. A tasting of local specialties was held in the centre of town at Strauss restaurant, and the excursion ended at Zlatne Gorice wine cellar with a workshop on how to make Varaždin style klipić rolls, a presentation of wines, and a tasting of local specialties. For more on the project and the tourist programme it has developed, visit www.kultnatura.eu. The project began on 1 September 2019 and will last until 29 February 2020. The final project conference and presentation of the project results will be held on 14 February 2020. The Zeleno Želimo project has been approved for financing within the INTERREG Slovenia - Croatia project.

THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT TIED WITH CULTURAL AND TOURIST FACILITIES

Within the framework of this project to connect 'green' tourist offerings in the hinterland with registered natural and cultural heritage, tourist programmes have been created to promote amenities in the Mura river basin and Varaždin County, which are tied into a crossborder tourist product under the Kultnatura brand. The project consists of four different micro-products – nature and movement, gourmet food, crafts and handicrafts, and wine.

Ludbreg has been known since ancient times as a crossroads, a town of wonders and legends, a town with a fifth element – wine. Ludbreg's micro-product thus focuses on wine. Within the project, a two-day excursion was created that starts at Trsek wine cellar, which was renovated as a part of the Zeleno želimo project. The first day of the programme includes: a tasting of wines and home-made savoury štrukli; a tour of Bakina Hiža, a heritage house decorated with antique furniture, paintings, mirrors, tools, dishes, and a loom; a tour of the centre of the world at Sveto Trojstvo square in Ludbreg (which, legend has it, is where the cardinal directions were created, on the perimeter of which large metropolises were placed in different parts of the world, but at the same distance from this point); a visit to the Ludbreg Wine Route (Arabela restaurant, Stručić winery, Makar wine cellar) and a unique lookout point – a monument to St. Vincent, patron saint of Ludbreg's winemakers and the highest monument to this saint in the world. The second day starts with a tour of the Havaić family farm, which offers a wide selection of honeys and apitherapy; this is followed by a tour of the Požgaj farm stay in Veliki Bukovec and a visit to Grofovska klet – the Crnko family winery. After arriving in Varaždin, there is a tour of the town streets, squares, and courtyards, including a visit to the Traditional Crafts Square and the Kultnatura shop, where visitors can browse and buy souvenirs and products from local family farms.

The Zeleno Želimo project has been approved within the Interreg V-A Slovenia-Croatia 2014-2020 project.  

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