This magnificent nature park is the biggest natural park in central Croatia, but it is frequently overshadowed by its famous national park sibling, Plitvice and it undeservingly attracts less than 15 tourists a day.
Its 505 km² make Lonjsko polje the largest protected wetland not only in Croatia, but in the entire Danube river basin as well. It’s an important habitat for birds and there are more than 150 species here, including ducks and storks, but other types of indigenous animals live here as well, such as Posavlje horse or Turopolje pig. Čigoč, a village within the park, is the first European village of storks – there are more storks than people here.
There are around 12 inhabited villages in the park, most of them with charming wooden houses made of oak which reflect the connection between man and nature. The houses have two storeys and are adjusted to frequent floods. The village of Krapje has a status of Architectural Heritage Village because both the public institutions, such as the church, library, fire station, and the private houses in this picturesque village are made of wood. One of the most impressive features of these houses is that the outer walls have no traditional means of fastening together, but the planks are joined by interlocking, which also makes the wood structure last longer.
In addition to nature and architecture, tasting fish specialties and the excellent local wine should also be on your itinerary. The park is open for visitors every day, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. from April to October. The ticket price for adults is 40 kn, and 35 kn for children and retirees. Visit the park’s website and watch the video below:
To get to Lonjsko polje, you first have to go to Sisak (click here for buses), which takes about an hour and costs 30-40 kn. Then it takes about 40-60 min to get from Sisak to Lonja, Krapje, or Čigoč (different villages in the park) and there are various buses throughout the day (with no online options, unfortunately, so you have to check at the bus station).