The extraordinary hospitality of the locals and the mysterious flat landscape is simply enchanting.
Excellent traditional dishes and numerous thermal springs attract tourists. It is a land of lazy rivers, mysterious moors, fishponds, and rich in-game. It is a place where hunters and fishermen can still find species that have become rare elsewhere in Europe.
The center of The Mura Region is Murska Sobota, sitting away from the Mura river in the middle of the Ravensko Plain, the largest plain in Slovenia. A medieval settlement was there already in the 11th century. Murska Sobota was given a town charter in 1479 by the Hungarian king Matija Korvin. Murska Sobota gained some importance only in the first half of the 20th century and became an important regional center after WW II.
From the west hills over the Ravensko Plain flows the small Lendava River, joined on the plain by numerous streams flowing from Goričko. Beltinci, Tumišče, Dobrovnik, and other smaller villages with typical small Pannonian-style houses line the roads. Despite the vast plain and fertile soil farms are usually small and their fields scattered.
The Mura river enters Slovenia at Ceršak, only a few kilometers from the Šentilj border crossing. The state border with Austria runs on the Mura almost as far as Radenci.
Gornja Radgona sits on the southern bank of the Mura. It received a town charter in 1265. Although in the middle Ages it was built as a unified settlement it got split in two by the border on the Mura after WWI. The Slovene part of the town is a former suburb with a medieval castle.
The Apače Plain stretches among the Mura, the Slovenske Gorice, and Gomja Radgona. On a rock in the westernmost part of the plain is the mighty Cmurek Castle which used to control the crossing over the river. There is a bridge here today and the Trate border crossing near Austrian Mureck ( Cmurek ). The castle is one of the oldest and most famous, but unfortunately, it shares the fate of Hrastovec and a number of other castles in Slovenia.
From the road linking Gornja Radgona and Lenart a side road branches off at Ihova and leads through the Ščavnica valley to Negova. There you’ll find an 11th-century castle that is sadly falling apart.
Thermal springs in Radenci were discovered in 1833, but the tourism did not develop until 1871 when they began to use them for medical purposes. The thermal water is considered one of the best in Europe and today, springs are surrounded by a modem holiday village.
The area whose center is Murska Sobota used to be called Okroglina. In the middle of the large town park is the Sobota Manor with a beautiful Baroque portal. Portal adorned with two Atlases was made by a master who followed Magyar patterns and is among the most beautiful in Slovenia. The restored Manor houses a museum collection.
Lake Negova, with a surface of 5 hectares, is hidden among the murmuring forests of the Slovenske gorice. The lake and the nearby village of Negova are becoming more and more popular among tourists.
Origins of Gornja Radgona are closely connected with the 12th-century castle on Grajski grič. Since the town is surrounded by orchards and vineyards, it has traded in wine forever. On Šlebingerjev breg grows the largest vine in Slovenia, over 100 cm in circumference.
Ljutomer developed on the edge of the Mura Plain, at the foot of Slovenske Gorice. Around the original defense tower, a castle was built first and then the settlement. It received its market rights in 1625 but it did not acquire the status of a town until 1927.
On the Mura Plain, by the Mura, sits Veržej which received its market rights in the 14th century. Serbian Uskoks, who escaped from the Turks, had a castle in Veržej. Floating mills on this part of the Mura give the river a unique charm, as well as the thermal spas on the plain which lead to tourists the development of the area.
Lendava sits at the foot of the Lendavske gorice and Dolgovaške gorice. The Romans have built there a military camp and called it Halicanum. For long centuries this part of Slovenia has been under Hungarian thumb.
A border crossing with Hungary is at Dolga vas near Lendava and only a few kilometers south is Mursko središče in Croatia. On this narrow strip of land, we find some typical Pannonian villages. The easternmost Slovenian village is Pince.
The Ledava River follows almost a straight line over the Dubrovniško dolinsko and Lendavsko dolinsko plains and crosses the state border in the easternmost part of Slovenia, at the triple border of Slovenia, Hungary, and Croatia. A narrow strip of land between the Mura and the Ledava, uninhabited and mostly marshy, cuts among the two neighboring countries.
Almost half of Prekmurje (the Transmuraland) is Goričko, low, gently sloping hills with equally high oblong and rounded ridges. Sometimes round peaks rise above them, and in some other parts, they change into wide passes. The area borders Austria and Hungary. One-third of Goričko is covered by mostly pine forests, but there is also a lot of beech, oak, and alder trees to be found. This is an orchard land since the soil is not suitable for the vine.
The Ledava river flowing from Austria flows into a big dam, Ledavsko jezero.
On the ridge between the Grački potok and Radovski potok brooks sits the village of Grad ( castle ) which got its name from a mighty medieval castle. The castle is first mentioned in writing in 1214. Today it is neglected and parts of it are destroyed. In the castle chapel is a museum room with rare remains of a once rich inventory.
Although the hills of Goričko are low, they are not suitable for growing vine. Maybe that is the main reason behind strongly developed fruit growing. Diligent hands of the locals work the fertile land.
Lake Ledava is slowly sinking into the dark of the night, but its shores are noisy as if you were in the fiercest battle. During the hunting season for low game, it is not exactly safe to walk through thick reeds along the shore since the lake attracts fisherman and hunters from everywhere.
The Mura used to be full of floating mills. One of the few that still stands and works is near Veržej. The water wheel is placed on two floating pontoons and connected with a belt to the real mill on the shore.
The castle was for centuries the administrative center of Goričko. Its irregular ground plan is perfectly matched with the configuration of the ground. Today it is overgrown with the lush greenery of the castle park.