Long considered the kind of provincial town you race through en route to the Serbian border, Danube-hugging ILOK is fast emerging as one of eastern Croatia’s most compelling destinations. With wine cellars galore grouped around an imposing hilltop castle, it certainly promises enough to keep you occupied for a day or two. The town can also boast a great choice of affordable accommodation, making it a far better base for exploring the region than either Vukovar or Vinkovci. With the bridge to the Serbian side of the Danube only 2km downstream, it is also a good jumping-off point for Novi Sad and Belgrade.

Ilok Fortress

Much of modern Ilok huddles around the fortress (tvrđava), its ruddy walls dominating a ridge overlooking the Danube. It owes its shape to Nikola Iločki (1415–77), the local power baron who turned the town into a major strategic point in Europe’s defences against the Ottoman Turks. Occupied by the Ottomans in 1526, Ilok became a Habsburg possession in 1688 when it was presented to the Pope’s nephew Livio Odescalchi, who built a fine Baroque palace (now the Ilok Museum) inside the walls.

The fortress walls and towers are in a good state of preservation and can be admired by walking through the park that runs around its western and southern side.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Croatia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Sailing in Croatia: a first-timer’s guide

Sailing in Croatia: a first-timer’s guide

Coastlines don’t come much more idyllic than Croatia’s 2000km of ruggedly beautiful Adriatic shore. Along this magnificent stretch are ancient Roman remains…

03 Jul 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
Island-hopping in Croatia: a practical guide

Island-hopping in Croatia: a practical guide

With its mountainous coastal backdrop, scattering of tawny islands and giddyingly translucent waters, the Croatian Adriatic offers one of the most compelling se…

13 Jun 2017 • Jonathan Bousfield insert_drive_file Article
The 10 best summer festivals for escapism in 2017

The 10 best summer festivals for escapism in 2017

Festivals are a different beast in 2017. They used to be associated with drinking warm cider while watching crusty bands in your naffest clothes; now the best e…

07 Jun 2017 • David Hillier insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month