Pearls of the Zagreb surrounding area

Zagorje is ideal for a long weekend vacation. Anyone who wants to visit Zagorje can stay in one of the eleven hotels, seven hostels, two camps, fifteen agritourisms or two hundred facilities in private accommodation, which will be a base for touring all the attractions and sights that Zagorje offers.

Hrvatsko zagorje (Croatian Zagorje)

Zagorje is ideal for a long weekend vacation. Anyone who wants to visit Zagorje can stay in one of the eleven hotels, seven hostels, two camps, fifteen agritourisms or two hundred facilities in private accommodation, which will be a base for touring all the attractions and sights that Zagorje offers.

The museums of Hrvatsko Zagorje, i.e. the museums which are part thereof, are the most common destination for visitors. The Krapina Neanderthal Museum, dedicated to Neanderthals and the world's richest site of prehistoric human activity, also evokes the evolution since the beginning of the world to modern man. This interactive multimedia museum in Krapina is certainly attractive to all generations.

From the hill above Desinić, Veliki Tabor castle will catch your eye with its grandeur, carefully preserving the memory of the forbidden love between Count Frederick of Celje and Veronika of Desenice.

If you visit the largest Croatian open-air museum, the Old Village Museum (Staro selo) in Kumrovec, you will find out how the people of Zagorje lived in the late 19th and early 20th century, what their wedding ceremonies were like, what they ate, what trades they engaged in, etc. Oršić Castle in Gornja Stubica also has a museum dedicated to the ordinary man's greatest struggle for justice – peasant revolts that reached their peak in this area under the leadership of Matija Gubec.

In the Antun Augustinčić Gallery and the Antun Augustinčić Studio in Klanjec you can find little-known facts about the famous sculptor whose works can be found on the squares of New York and Geneva, as well as numerous other places around the world. 

When the tour of Zagorje wears you down, you will find refreshment in one of the hundreds of Zagorje restaurants, bars and pizzerias. It is definitely recommended to try traditional Zagorje specialties, such as turkey with mlinci, Zagorje soup, Zagorski štrukli, Stubička pisanica (Pork tenderloin Stubica) or some of the modern dishes inspired by seasonal ingredients such as pumpkin and bacon risotto with salty cheese of Zagorje or the Taste of Zagorje cake with pumpkin oil, poppy seeds, chocolate and pumpkin oil ice cream.

Make sure to leave some room for tasting Zagorje wines, which have won gold medals at world-renowned competitions thanks to their quality and superior taste.

Samobor and Samobor Hills

Samobor and its surroundings are an ideal destination for those who love urban areas, but also for nature lovers. If you want to enjoy both, we suggest a two-day trip.

Dedicate the first day to the town of Samobor. Start your sightseeing on the main town square, King Tomislav Square, and be sure to try the custard slice (kremšnita) there. Then head to the Old Town for a beautiful view of the surroundings. Samobor is known for nurturing the tradition of crafts, so you should explore the possibilities it offers. Be sure to try gvirc, an old mead drink, and bermet, an aperitif made from red wine, fruit and herbs, or the Miner's rake (rudarska greblica) in nearby Rude. Spend the night in one of the wonderful rural holiday homes, and dedicate the next day to exploring nature.

On the way to Žumberak, stop in Stojdraga to visit the Žumberak Uskok Museum and the Church of St. George. After that, head to the eco-center Budinjak, which is the beginning of the circular educational trail Staza kneževa (Trail of Princes), which requires a light two-hour walk. If you prefer cycling, you can also rent an electric bicycle.

If you continue your drive, you will reach the town of Sošice, which is an ideal place if you want to climb to the highest peak of Zagreb County, Sveta Gera (1178 m). The valley of the river Slapnica stands out for its beauty, a protected landscape with attractions such as the Vranjački waterfall, the Brisalo waterfall, the Zidane pećine cave and Dragan's mill (Draganov mlin). 

Sveta Nedelja

Sveta Nedelja is a true paradise for the lovers of outdoor activities. The town and its surroundings offer sports and recreational facilities – from fishing to cycling and hiking trails and canoeing. But for a start, visit some of the indispensable spots there –see the Erdödy Castle in Kerestinec, the Church of the Holy Trinity, but also the Rimac factory, owned by the world-renowned innovator Mate Rimac. After that, head to one of the four lakes in Sveta Nedelja, which are also great for walking or cycling.

Turopolje

Turopolje is a smaller Croatian region, but you will not be disappointed if you decide to make a visit. This area is rich in cultural and historical monuments and national heritage, with a breathtakingly preserved nature. The town of Velika Gorica is in the heart of Turopolje, surrounded by beautiful forests and the rivers Odra, Kupa and Sava. Velika Gorica and the whole of Turopolje from Posavina to Vukomeričke gorice is ideal for cycling due to the large network of hiking and cycling trails, so put this on your list of ideal locations if you seek a slightly more active vacation.

This area also has wooden chapels, which are unique in the world. The wooden chapels of Turopolje and Pokuplje were built by masters of construction and carpentry associations in Turopolje, usually made of oak. Only 11 of them have been preserved today, and the most representative example is the Chapel of St. Barbara in Velika Mlaka. Various art forms are present in wooden chapels – sculpture, painting, folk embroidery and carving.

Zelina

You can also visit Zelina, the beauty of Prigorje. You have probably heard of the Zelina manors (zelinske kurije), whose names are mostly associated with their owners – wealthier families of the time. There are dozens of manors in the vicinity of Zelina, the most famous of which are the manors Nespeš, Omilje, Domjanić, Lentulaj-Dolenc and the castle of St. Helena.

Apart from the rich historical heritage, the Zelina region is also famous for its wines. The wine road passes through wine-growing settlements, from Donja Zelina towards Nespeš and Gornje Psarjevo and towards Sveti Ivan Zelina. If you have the opportunity, be sure to visit the vineyards of famous winemakers and try their wines as well as local specialties. 

Zaprešić and its surroundings

Zaprešić offers many opportunities for a perfect trip. Modern day Zaprešić is a relatively new town, but with a noble past imbued in its surrounding area. There are as many as five castles in its vicinity, and it is often associated with Count Jelačić. The closest of the castles is Lužnica, a baroque one-story building and a first class category monument. The castle is used by the Spiritual and Educational Center of the Society of Sisters of Charity of the Order of St. Vinko Paulski, but it is open to the public. The main attraction is Novi dvori, a preserved manorial estate from the 17th century. The extremely valuable complex consists of a manor, outbuildings, a chapel and a forest park.

The last master was the Jelačić family, so their family tomb is also on the property. The former granary is now the Matija Skurjeni Museum, holding works by our famous naive painter. The golf club Ban Jelačić with a well-equipped training ground is in the immediate vicinity, as a modern outbuilding. A little further is the equestrian club Trajbar Team, worth a visit even if you are not interested in horseback riding.

On the western slopes of Medvednica, there is a group of dolomite rocks called Kameni svati after a story from folklore. The hiking trail that leads to them goes from the village of Jablanovec, and there is a lookout with a view to remember at the top as a reward for making the climb. There are several cycling routes in the wider Zaprešić area, and whether you are on two or four wheels, you will have an unusual experience on the ferry Medsava–Zaprešić.

Jastrebarsko

Jastrebarsko and its surroundings is an area of beautiful landscape sprinkled with wine-growing hills, nature reserves and cultural and historical monuments. It is a popular excursion site that has been nicknamed the "Croatian Champagne". But let’s start from the beginning.

The city museum keeps the bull, i.e., the charter of King Bela IV of 1257 by which it was proclaimed that Jastrebarsko is a free city. The Erdödy Castle could also be of interest to history lovers. In Jastrebarsko and its surrounding area you can also learn all about the old mills and wine barrels, and in the center of Jaska there is the Barrel Collection of the Golub family, which has received the status of a cultural asset of the Republic of Croatia.

As a continuation of your journey, visit the Plešivica wine road and the local wineries. Wine should be combined with food, and the indigenous local specialty is Plešivica copanjek, a salty cake made of fresh cow's milk cheese and greens.