Chestnut Festival, which is locally known as kestenijada or marunada, is a very popular type of food festival in October in Croatia.
Croatia in October is a great ‘gourmet holiday destination’. What better way to soak up the culture than by visiting the myriad number of food festivals. During the month of October, many Croatian towns host festivals that celebrate seasonal foods and autumn recipes. Very popular are chestnut festivals locally known as kestenijada or marunada. We’ve handpicked a few of them for you to visit.
Kestenijada in Hrvatska Kostajnica
One of the most popular ‘chestnut festivals’ in Croatia is definitely the one in Hrvatska Kostajnica, which will be held on the second weekend of October, from 6th to 8th of October, 2017. Kostajnica will host the 20th edition of Kestenijada (Chestnut festival) and, as every year, will prepare an interesting entertainment programme. The town itself, which is named after a Croatian word for chestnut, becomes lively, with thousands of visitors coming from different parts of Croatia, and even from neighbouring countries. The woods in and around Kostajnica also get quite busy, as many choose to go on on a ‘hunt’ for chestnuts. More info here. Check out the photos from last year’s Kestenijada below.
Photo: Turistička Zajednica Grada Hrvatska Kostajnica Facebook
Marunada in Lovran
The people of Lovran, a small town on the east coast of the Istrian peninsula (but part of the Primorje-Gorski County) are, apart from their cherries, also proud of their chestnuts, and they have dedicated three weekends in October to them. The first weekend of October the manifestation is held in the nearby village of Liganj (14 – 15 October), the second weekend in Dobreć (21 – 22 October), and on the last weekend, the Marunada is held in Lovran (27 – 29th October). This year’s Marunada is held for the 44th time, and the main festivities take place on the main square (Brajdice) in Lovran. There you will find a full day programme which includes folklore music, a performance of woodwind instrument orchestras and entertaining music. A bowling tournament, a mountaineering meetup, a sports fishing competition, a meeting of classic car owners and a mountain race from Medveja to Lovranska Draga and Vojak will also be held during the festival.
Zelinska Kestenijada in Sveti Ivan Zelina
A favourite chestnut festival in the Zagreb County to many is the one in Sveti Ivan Zelina, which will be held on Sunday, October 15, 2017. The traditional ‘Zelinska Kestenijada’ will be held in the Kladešćica area at a mountain home in the heart of Zelinska Gora. In addition to collecting and baking these sweet autumn fruits, visitors will be able to enjoy the sports programme, creative workshops, mushroom picking and a wide offer of culinary delicacies and tastings. A hike to the top of Kladešćica will also be organized as well as the annual bicycle race. For more info visit the official website of the Tourist Board Sveti Ivan Zelina, or their Facebook page.
Credit: TB Sveti Ivan Zelina
Kestenijada in Oprtalj
The only kestenijada in the Istrian County, the one in Oprtalj, near Motovun, will be held in October this year for the ninth time. Organized for the first time in 2009, the Oprtalj Kestenijada is held on the third Sunday of October, or more precisely on October 15th. A rich programme has been prepared where, along with roasted chestnuts, chestnuts desserts and chestnut honey, visitors will be able to taste young wine, mushroom and game stew. A fair of antiques will also be organized along with entertainment and children programmes. For more info click here.
Gupčeva Kestenijada in Donja and Gornja Stubica
On the fourth Sunday in the month of October, on 22 October, in the area of Donja and Gornja Stubica, a chestnut festival titled ‘Gupčeva Kestenijada’ will be held for the fifth time. The event is held at Gupčeva lipa in Gornja Stubica.All visitors of this historic location will be able to enjoy the smells and flavours of roasted chestnuts from 11 am all the way through the afternoon. Visitors will also be able to enjoy this year’s young wine as well as pastries made from chestnuts and a full day of rich entertainment programme.