December 02, 2021 – From winter walks and biking to festive lights, farmer’s markets and the arrival of St. Nicholas, there is a full calendar of Christmas activities and entertainment in Ludbreg
Located just an hour’s drive northeast of the Croatian capital, the town of Ludbreg is easily one of the most attractive day trips you can take from Zagreb. And that’s no more true than during the December holiday season.
Batthyany Castle, Ludbreg, December 2021 © Nikolina Breber
The fields and hills surrounding Ludbreg are still home to traditional farming and winemaking today. In winter, the families of these farms and vineyards bring the best produce to sell into town. Sparkling with Christmas lights and seasonal music events that add to the atmosphere, Ludbreg is a great place to buy a Christmas present.
But the nature that surrounds the city is not only appreciated for its products. Winter and Christmas in Ludbreg are a great time for active events and to stay in shape. Here you can challenge yourself on a cross-country hike or a bike race this season.
There are Christmas events in Ludbreg for everyone. From the youngest family members and their teenage siblings to mom, dad and grandparents too. Here’s a look at the seasonal December calendar for Christmas in Ludbreg.
Feast of St. Nicholas – December 5 – Ligue Ciklokros Ludbreg
After a successful tour in the spring, the 2021 Ciklokros League second round has arrived. This time it is a series of seven Sunday races that cross the beautiful autumn / winter landscapes of northwest Croatia. And, on December 5, it’s the Ludbreg race.
Cyclists will complete successive laps of a 2,000-meter course past the waters, lawns and trees of Otok Mladosti de Ludbreg. The fun trail is a mix of dirt, grass, and gravel path, no challenge and perfect for any type of bmx, mountain bike, or cross country (more fragile traditional racing bikes might not be suitable) not and electric bikes are not allowed). But keep an eye out, the race organizers have placed some obstacles on the course for you to get around them.
The event welcomes competitors of all ages and levels, with a first race starting at 1 p.m. and the second at 1.20 p.m. You can get more information here and apply to participate here, the entrance fee is only 50 kuna.
Saint-Nicolas – December 6 – Arrival of Saint-Nicolas in a horse-drawn carriage
© Matea Maltarić
Many children have to wait until Christmas Eve to receive a visit from Santa Claus. But not the young people of Ludbreg. In Croatia, the celebration of Saint Nicholas is still traditionally observed on 5/6 December. It is often the time to give gifts. Always, it is a moment loved by the young people of Ludbreg.
Of course, Santa Claus usually arrives on a sleigh pulled by reindeer. But, there is simply no guarantee of the snow needed so early in the winter. Thus, in Ludbreg, Saint Nicolas arrives in a horse-drawn carriage. Horses are a popular feature of sporting and social events in Ludbreg, with the town’s summer equestrian games now being ten years old.
© Matea Maltarić
Because it’s his day, Saint Nicholas gets the first ride with the horses. But, after arriving to greet everyone, his carriage and horses will take the young people for a walk around Ludbreg. Children and families can organize a horseback ride or a horse-drawn carriage tour around Ludbreg throughout the year.
Concert by Ivana Galić at Batthyany Castle – December 17
Batthyany Castle, one of the Christmas places in Ludbreg © Siniša Sović
Despite her young age, singer Ivana Galić already has a career as a performer dating back twenty years. She has performed as a member of choirs and ensembles and as a soloist in concerts across Europe. In her native Croatia, she is particularly known for the voice she lends to black musical genres – jazz, soul and gospel. Indeed, she has performed in the UK as a guest of the famous Birmingham Community Gospel Choir. It is to this gospel genre that Ivana Galić and her quartet return during this special Christmas concert.
The venue for the concert is Batthyany Castle. The focal point of Ludbreg’s old town, the castle is today a fully renovated version of the opulent residence fashioned here in the 18th century (although the original castle that stood here is significantly older). What more spectacular setting could you ask for for this special seasonal concert? The concert starts at 6 p.m.
Christmas Advent in Ludbreg – December 19
Christmas at Ludbreg 2021 © Nikolina Breber
Ludbreg is a wonderful town to visit at any time of the year. But, during Advent, Ludbreg is particularly picturesque and romantic. The city is dressed in flickering, seasonal lights, and nowhere is the spirit of the season felt better than on the parade of huts and stalls at the Christmas market.
Christmas in Ludbreg © Visit Ludbreg
This year, the scents and flavors of Christmas will float in the air of Ludbreg on Sunday December 19. Occasionally, people from surrounding family farms will come to town to show off the best of their seasonal produce. Looking for authentic, tasty or traditional gifts? This is the place to come.
The Christmas market will start at 1:00 p.m. and run until 8:00 p.m. In 2021 it takes place in the newly renovated Zanatski trg (Handicraft Square) and on the promenade.
Crazy Hill Trekk 2021 – December 19
© ŠRD BSV Ludbreg
Some will wait until January before trying to shift the extra pounds you gain from eating rich Christmas food. Not in Ludbreg, where people combine a good life with a healthy lifestyle. The cooler winter temperatures are perfect for a little exercise and effort. This is exactly what you will get on the second annual Crazy Hill Trekk.
© ŠRD BSV Ludbreg
This orienteering course will take you through the magical hills and forests that lie on the outskirts of Ludbreg – Vinogradi Ludbreški and Kalničko gorje. As the name suggests, the land around Vinogradi Ludbreški is a pretty landscape filled with rows of neat vines. Just south of Ludbreg, a more rugged topography begins to emerge. The peaks of the Kalnik mountains form a natural border between the historic Croatian regions of Zagorje, Prigorje and Podravina. To the west is Zagreb County, to the south and east is Koprivnica-Križevci County and to the north is Varaždin County and Ludbreg. It is an incredible setting for a winter expedition.
© ŠRD BSV Ludbreg
The trek welcomes participants of all levels and all experiences. For more prepared and experienced hikers, there is the 18-20km route, with a slightly more demanding orientation aspect. For lighter runners and those just looking for fun recreation in a fantastic winter setting, there is an 8-10km trail. The former should take much less than the maximum 6 hours set as a time limit, with an equally generous 4 hours set for the latter.
You can read more about the trek races and register via here.