Due to its exceptional landscape diversity and high biodiversity, on 9th October 2003 the Government of the Republic of Slovenia declared the area as a protected nature area of Goričko Nature Park. In order to manage the park, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia has been established by the Public Institute, which, in the framework of the public nature conservation service, carries out protection, development, professional, control and management tasks in the area of the park.
About Goričko Nature Park
Goričko region is a lanscape with low hills and it is located in the northeastern part of Slovenia. This hilly surface is divided with creeks, which have washed away the sediments and formed wide valleys. The humans buildt settlements in these valleys and also inhabitated ridges and slopes of the hills. One of the most beautiful views of this landscape can be seen from the highest point of Prekmurje, Sotina Hill on 418 m of elevation. From here you can see the whole Ledava valley, Ledava lake, and also other parts of Slovenia like Boč, Donačka gora and Pohorje hills. Goričko is divided in 11 municipalities with 90 settlements and around cca. 17.000 inhabitants. In the centres of these settlements there are usualy firehouses and rising towerbells from different kinds of churches, which are signal that we are located in the region with diverse religions. Goričko is one of the most diverse regions in Slovenia. On Goričko there are united believers of catholic, evangelical, pentecostal, baptist and calvin cristian church. The nationality and ethnicity composition is also quite diverse. On the eastern border with Hungary, with the exeption of village Kobilje village, there is present The Hungarian National Minority. In some villages on Goričko there live also members of the Roma ethnicity group. Each group of people contributes important par to the rich cultural mosaic of Goričko. Goričko is without major central city, this role is done by Murska Sobota in Ravensko region. The bigest settlement on Goričko is Grad, in which the biggest baroque castle in Slovenia is located. This castle is also the headquarters of The Goričko Nature Park Public Institute, which manages the protected area of nature – The Goričko Nature Park. Beacause of constant periferal position throughout the history, the economy of Goričko was always stagnating. Thus, the region was deprived of important traffic roads, the development of industry, major settlements and other infrastructure. The people of Goričko were always mostly farmers and crafstsman. They farmed on the small fields, had some lifestock and almost all had an orchard and a small vineyard. In the valleys and on slopes of the hills there were fields, meadows and pastures, on the southern slopes with the higher angles there were orchards and vineyards. On the terrain where farming was not possible, there remained forest. Near the meandring streams there were mostly wetlands and wet meadows. The people of Goričko created many different, small habitats and rich landscape diversity, which of course contributed to the high level of biodiversity. With this way, man and nature on Goričko lived with hand in hand. The same case is present today. Former rurality today depicts opportunity and advantage. Remotenes of the region enabled preservation of rich natural and cultural environment. The combination of nature creativity and humble, working people of Goričko is still the most valuable feature of Goričko region. Goričko was protected as Nature park in year 2003 and is included in European network of protected areas Natura 2000. The Goričko Nature Park today covers 462 km2.
Municipalities of Goričko
On the area of the Park there are 11 municipalities: Cankova, Dobrovnik, Gornji Petrovci, Grad, Hodoš, Kobilje, Kuzma, Moravske Toplice, Puconci, Rogašovci and Šalovci. The Municipality of Cankova The area of the Municipality of Cankova is on south mostly plain and hilly on the north. On the west is bordered with 22 km long border with the Austria. The border is creek Kučnica, a more than thousand year old border between Hungary and Austria in the history countries. Most of the people live on small farms and works in Murska Sobota or in Austria. Village Cankova is the centre of the municipality, in the middle of the village there is park, where is also a statue of dr. Avgust Pavel, first translator of slovenian literature to hungarian language. More informations... The Municipality of Dobrovnik The area of municipality od Dobrovnik was inhabitet long time ago. Proof of that is the found old stone chisel and mounds near Dobrovnik village. Dobrovnik is after Lendava the second largest bilingual settlement in Pomurje region. Three quarters of population represents members of the Hungarian National Minority. In municipality there are several natural features which enables the development of tourism and using of thermal water. Perhaps the most known location is the Bukovnica lake with sorounding area. More informations… The Municipality of Gornji Petrovci Many of the people in this municipality are farmers. Despite smallnes, municipality offers quite a few important historical and artistic monuments and tourist locations. Village Ženavlje was become known after the stratospheric baloon landed back in 18. august 1934. In the baloon were belgian scientists Max Cosyns and Nere Van Elst. In the Križevci village there is the oldest tree in Goričko - a 700 years old chestnut tree. More information… The Municipality of Grad Village Grad is currently the most popoulus setllement on Goričko, first mentioned as Lyndwa, than as Gornja Lendava (Upper Lendava), from the year 1952 as Grad (Castle) – after middle age castle which stands on a hill from basaltic tuff. In the middle ages here was the administrative center of Goričko and Ravensko region. The biggest touristic sites are castle and Vulkanija. In the Municipality of Grad there is several more nature and culturalhistoric sites to discover. More informations… The Municipality of Hodoš Based on the number of residents is the Municipality of Hodoš the smallest municipality in Slovenia The area is interestig from ethnological view. Here we can find ethnological protected farms and typical panonnian water springs. Hodoš village was first mentioned in year 1331. In the past it was also important local centre. More informations … The Municipality of Kobilje The Municipality of Kobilje is located by the Kobilje creek and in between the old forests and vineyards. Found objects indicate that people were living here probaly already in the stone age. The heritage of the past is perfectly combined with the urbanistic environment in Kobilje village. In the middle of the village there are two checker trees, the oldest of its kind in Slovenia. On sorounding hills there are many vineyards, on the hill of Saint Martin there is also a 200 years old service tree. More informations ... The Municipality of Kuzma The Municipality of Kuzma is positioned on the border triangle between Slovenia, Austria and Hungary. On the site of the border triangle the statue is positioned. The statue is three-sided. Each side is covered with coat of arms of one of the country. To the border triangle leads nature theme trail, which is equipped with many interpretation tools. To the site leads also path from the Austria and one from the Hungary. In the municipality there are also many of other interesting sites. More informations… The Municipality of Moravske Toplice The Municipality of Moravske Toplice has a long border with the Hungary on the east. In the municipality there also lives a strong communty of National Hungarian Minority. These have important role in having good relationships with the Hungary. The municipality is relatively large in area but sparcely populated - especially in the northern part. The strategy of development lies in the connecton with small villages, ecological farming and soft tourism. In the municipality are aware of benefits of untouched nature and thermal spring water that is present beneath the area. In the village of Moravske Toplice there is complex of spa resorts, hotels and other tourist infrastructure. More informations … The Municipality of Puconci In the Municipality of Puconci lies on the metting point of plain and hilly part of Prekmurje region. The plain one is marked with agriculture and lifestock breeding, the other one is marked with viticulture and fruit growing. The speciality of this municipality is the harmony of many religious groups such as evangelical, catholic and pentecostal evangelical churc. There are many cultural and touristic associations in the municipality. More informations … The Municipality of Rogašovci The Municipality of Rogašovci is positioned at the nortwestern park of Goričko region. It borders on Austria, where also the highest point of Prekmurje can be found. The Sotina hill is 418 m high and on it is also panoramic tower. In the area there are also several others panoramic view points like Serdica Hill and Fikšinci ridge. Important park of cultural history represents beekeeping. Important sites are also the Rupniks mosaic in the Church of Saint Helena in Pertoča, the spring of mineral water in Nuskova, the quarry of schists in Sotina and others. More informations … The Municipality of Šalovci The Municipality is located in the northeastern part of Slovenia. In this municipality there are the only growing places of garland flower. The village Šalovci were in the end of the 19. century one of the biggest settlements in Goričko. Today the number of residents is halfed due to the depopulation. The village is shaped along the main road in the valley of Velika Krka creek. More informations …