We love visiting the Balkans in winter, and there are many great winter festivals you can attend to make a winter trip here even more lovely! One festival you should make sure to add to your Balkan itinerary is the celebration for St. Vincent’s Day in Strigova, Croatia.
We spoke with Ivana Kelner Tkalčec from The Tourist Board of Štrigova to help you get everything you need to plan the perfect visit to the Celebration for St. Vincent’s day on Međimurje Wine Road.
Can’t read now? Pin for later!
How to Celebrate St. Vincent’s Day on Međimurje Wine Road in Strigova
Here’s everything you need to know to plan your trip!
What are the dates and times for the 2020 Celebrations for St. Vincent’s Day on Međimurje Wine Road?
The festival is on January 18th, 2020 and begins at 8:30 am.
Where is the festival located?
What kind of entertainment will there be for adults?
Each year hundreds of participants come from all over Croatia and neighboring Slovenia and Austria for a walk over hills and vineyards. That always becomes a day to remember. Nature, people, customs and traditions of the past become one, united.
It is an old saying that on St. Vincent’s day, January 22nd, tenants go into their vineyards just to cut off two or three twigs with three buds. Then they put them in a glass, place it into the window and storage during fall and winter. When vine buds break out, tenants will see how fruitful of a year it will be.
Our St. Vincent’s ceremony always occurs in a vineyard, outdoors. We decorate vines with sausages, we play and dance to call for good fruits. We don’t forget our wine cellars in which a droplet of God’s drink is served together with traditional dishes.
We start in the center of Štrigova and go on the trail on which we will visit winemakers of Međimurje wine road and they will offer us their best wine.
On the trail, we visit four of the winemakers and every year it is a different trail and different winemakers which we are visiting. A good mood will be taken care of by the tamburitza band “Podrumari”.
What kind of entertainment will there be for children?
Older children can also join because it is a hiking trail which is not difficult. Snacks include tea and bakery products.
What kind of goods will be for sale?
What kind of food and drinks will be available?
Wine, mulled wine, and tea on the trail and food at the end of the trail are included in the ticket price, but all sorts of bakery products which you can eat on the trail are for free.
Is there a ticket price to get into the events?
Yes, tickets need to be purchased to attend. They cost 7 Euros (about $8 USD) and can be purchased in the center of Strigova on the day of the festival. Bring cash to pay for your ticket and any extras you want to purchase during the day.
Are there any other special festivities in Strigova this December or January that travelers might want to attend?
While here, Štrigova is a small and beautiful destination full of cultural and natural heritage. It is the birthplace of St. Jerome, so you can also visit the church of St. Jerome. You can enjoy New Year’s Eve on Mađerka’s hill.
How can travelers learn more?
We have our own recommendations and resources for visiting Croatia below. I want to thank Ivana from The Tourist Board of Štrigova for helping to answer our questions about this spectacular event! For more detailed information about the market, check out The Tourist Board of Štrigova’s website.
Where to stay in Strigova, Croatia
We are in the process of creating comprehensive guides on where to stay in various Croatian cities, but for now, we recommend checking out Booking.com as early as possible since this is a popular time to visit Strigova. If you’ll also be spending time in Dubrovnik, check out The Best Hotels & Accommodations in Dubrovnik Old Town.
What to Pack for Croatia in Winter
We have a full Croatia packing list here with winter sections for men and women, but here’s the quick version!
A Guidebook – While travel blogs are great, we also definitely see the benefit of having a good paper guidebook in hand to refer to in your on-the-ground travel. We recommend the Lonely Planet Croatia book.
Winter accessories: Bring a winter scarf like this one (women’s) or this cashmere scarf (men’s) to help block out the wind. We recommend women’s gloves like these which are compatible with your smartphone (for a men’s version, check these). You also lose a lot of heat from the top of your head and ears, so a fleece-lined knit hat (women’s) that you wear tight, like a beanie, is a fantastic choice. Pick a colorful one for cute photos! Here’s a men’s version as well.
An ultra-light down jacket: You can wear this on its own or pair it with a warmer jacket for colder days. This rolls up and packs easily in your day bag so it’s good to bring along – I have one similar to this (women’s) but there’s a men’s version as well. If you want to be warm, I recommend a winter jacket like this North Face parka which I’ve owned for years and years.
Winter boots: It can be snowy and icy throughout Croatia even at times in the south, as it can snow in northern Croatia and get below freezing. For snowy days and super cold weather when you still want to be comfortable, I love these knee-high waterproof Blondo boots and have owned them for over a decade. For men, I suggest a waterproof boot with good traction, like these Timberlands.
Motion sickness pills: Great for bus rides if you’ll be visiting any mountains – I buy these non-drowsy ones. You can also try these natural motion sickness bands which use acupressure to reduce nausea – they work pretty well.
More Croatia Travel Resources
Headed to Croatia? We have some great travel resources to help you with your trip. First read our guide to planning a trip to Croatia, which covers visas, budgets, vaccines, and much more. We also have a Croatia packing list with a detailed section for all seasons.
If you’re still putting together your itinerary, here’s a great list of places to visit in Croatia, our Croatia national parks guide, and the Croatian waterfalls guide to help you choose. We also have a guide to the best day trips from Spit if you’re to be visiting Split as well.
Next, check out our Balkan currency guide which explains how money works in Croatia and local tipping customs.
Of course, if you’re coming to Croatia you’ll have lots of opportunities to shop! Read our guide to shopping in Croatia so you know which souvenirs are truly local gems.
If this will be one of your first trips in the Balkans, check out our massive list of things to know before traveling the Balkans as well as our Balkan bus, road trip, and itinerary guides.
Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!
I’m sure you’re aware that travel insurance is a good idea for traveling in Croatia (or really, any part of the world)! We have both been paying customers of World Nomads for the last three years. We love the peace of mind it gives us in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, or trip cancellation or disruption.
While the Balkans are perfectly safe to travel around, there’s always a risk inherent in everyday travel – especially during the winter! – so it’s better to play it safe.
Pin this Guide to Visiting Strigova for the St. Vincent Day Celebrations Your Trip!
Stephanie has been living in and traveling around the Balkans for the past three years. She’s written for National Geographic Online, appeared on CNN Arabic and in the New York Times, and ridden more Balkan buses than is good for a person.