Goričko Nature Park Information Center
Grad 191, 9264 Grad
Tel: ++386 2 551 88 60,
++386 31 354 149
Fax: ++386 551 88 69
e-mail: park.goricko@siol.net

The name Goričko comes from the word "gorice", which is what the local people call the hills which were formed long ago on the bottom of the Pannonian Sea and rose later on. People inhabited the softly shaped sandy terrain in pre-historical times and remained here. Even though the great European cities are close by, "progress" avoided Goričko and thus it has preserved the characteristic appearance of Central Europe from before the Second World War.

What not so long ago was called backwardness turned out to be an advantage. Vineyards, orchards, meadows and fields overgrown with various cultivated crops are scattered like a mosaic and are harmoniously interwoven with and complement the settlements, villages and individual farms. Together they form a unique appearance and also a unique people. Since the soil was not very fertile, the modesty and wisdom of prudent exploitation of soil, sun and rainfall were required. Humans and nature have lived here in symbiosis for centuries, and together they form a varied cultural landscape. There is still enough space for numerous animals and plants, and according to tradition, almost every farmer has at least a small vineyard where he produces "his own" wine. Even in the Middle Ages they were already famous for their fruits and orchards with tall-trunk trees, with several hundred kinds of fruits which still grow today. In some places the old rustic architecture is still preserved as well as some crafts which have otherwise already disappeared. This harmonious picture invites one to take a walk among the "gorice", along streams and across meadows, along ridges and through forests, or go for a drive over the slightly sloping hillsides. The interested visitor will be welcomed by old mills, old thatched-roofed farms, numerous Protestant and Catholic churches as well as the largest castle in Slovenia, which has as many rooms as there are days in a year.

The highest peak around here only reaches 418 meters above sea level and yet it offers a view over the Austrian Southburgenland - Nature park Raab and the Slovene Porabje in Hungary and National park Őrség - the area of the trilateral nature park, which has always been a meeting point of cultures and nations. And as anyone who comes "up here" will find out, the traditional Goričko dishes and noble Goričko wines will take care of anyone's needs for refreshment and enjoyment.

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