Čigoč Stork Village, a place where there are more storks than people
Do you want to visit a place where there are more storks than people? Welcome to Čigoč stork village, the first village in Europe (since 1984) to be awarded this prestigious name!
Čigoč is settled in the center of Croatia, near the industrial city of Sisak and in Lonjsko Polje Nature Park with about 50,600 hectares of land. In the village, there are about 114 people living (and some sources say it is even less than a hundred!) while there are about 200 storks!
Why storks like Čigoč?
If you think like a stork; then Čigoč stork village would be your first choice, we are sure about that.
Why, you may wonder?
As we stated before, the village is settled in Lonjsko Polje Nature Park and in this park, there is so much water and swamp areas which offer a lot of food and space to roam and enjoy life to the fullest. It’s, therefore, no wonder that in 1988 this village had the most successful breeding number in the whole of Europe with the average of 4,3 young storks per one pair of adult storks!
At the moment, there are about 45 active storks nests in Čigoč and all of them belong to white storks. They usually come to Čigoč about March 15 and leave the village around August 15. Birds from this area fly over Turkey and Bosporus and over the Nile plains to come to South Africa. Before they leave Čigoč, however, they gather in the big groups on meadows around the village. Here, they are waiting for the storks from the neighbourhood country Slovenia and when they start their flight to the south, flocks can be a few kilometers longs! Trust us, it is really, really impressive!
The next impressive thing about storks is that their nests can weight up to one tonne! Birds put so many things inside like twigs and other things they find in forests and swamps, but what most people don’t know is that they often steal clothes that’s been drying outside in the village backyards, and put it in their nests! We now know that they especially like colourful clothes! The more vivid, the better!
What else can you see in Čigoč stork village?
This is the place where you can see storks ‘up close and personal’, meaning not from the great distance. You can watch how they communicate by clapping with their beaks, how parents protect their youngsters with their wings or how young storks fight over some delicious meal that they got from their parents. However, people and storks live in harmony in this village, so there are many activities provided by people, too, which you can enjoy during the spring and summer.
Probably the most famous date in Čigoč stork village is the last Saturday each June when people celebrate the so-called, Stork Day. It’s a big celebration every year and it offers many events – cultural, recreative, fun, and gastronomic. This event is so delightful and to prize it, the village got reword ‘Entente Florale’ from The European Association for Flowers and Landscape amongst 5,700 Europeans villages for extraordinary landscape and atmosphere.
But if you visit this village during other days of the year, you will be able to experience a few other things as well. For example, you can see an exhibition of traditional tools and items that were used in village households during the 19th and 20th century. You can also visit traditional carpenter work-house. There is a camping site where you can enjoy all the sounds and smells of this unique place for a couple of days if you like! And last but not least, you can try some delicious traditional meals in a local restaurant or at several traditional households.
So, what are you waiting for?
There are numerous ways you can visit Čigoč stork village – just for a day, to rent a room or go camping. Come, enjoy peace and silence, good cuisine, talk to the storks and friendly people. We all dream about returning to nature. This village is the right place to do it!
Your CTC Team, N.LJ.J.