Top walks in the Zagreb area
You know that feeling when the woods and mountains call out to you to join them? Recreation is always best when it combines a pleasant day out with healthy benefits, and the nature of Zagreb’s green ring is gentle enough to make you feel comfortable, while also well preserved and diverse enough to stimulate every walker. Ambitious hikers, serious recreational walkers, weekend goers, active moms and dads, kids, dogs, grandparents – everyone can find a corner of the green hills of Zagreb’s surroundings that is perfect for them. Leafy woods, burbling creeks and mountain streams, romantic waterfalls, hidden caves, picturesque lakes, idyllic villages, unexpected historical ruins, a wealth of flora and fauna… This anti-stress therapy awaits at every step, it’s up to you to choose your path and enjoy it.
The Samobor Gorje mountains is the hilliest part of Zagreb County, and is protected as a nature park. This is a popular excursion area, with the highest peak reaching an elevation of 879 metres. A diverse and wooded landscape awaits, and visit Croatia’s oldest mountain structure – the pyramid viewpoint installed in 1954. Many trails lead to the Žitnica mountain lodge, which is famous for its delicious homestyle meals.
Oštrc, one of the peaks of the Samobor Gorje mountains, is a conical stone ridge with breathtaking views over the landscape. A selection of trails, from easy to difficult, run through this tame area. Find refreshment in the Željezničar mountain lodge at the top, or at the Šoićeva kuća lodge at the bottom – this is the oldest mountain structure in this area.
The rocky peak of Okić is a special place, as the site of the first recorded hiking ascent in Croatian mountaineering history in 1843, performed by a woman no less – the Illyrian Dragojla Jarnević. Its earlier glory is seen in the ruins of the medieval old town, and you can learn more about this from the informative panels along the Okićnica educational trail. Stop in and take a look at the picturesque ethno house at Okić.
The valley of the Slapnica mountain stream is a true gem, and is certainly deserving of its status as a protected significant landscape. Numerous waterfalls and cascades decorate this peaceful area, where in addition to the pristine natural landscape you can see the typical architecture, such as the Draganov mlin watermill, or the preserved, traditional rural estate at the nearby Medven manor house.
The second highest peak of the Samobor Gorje mountains lies at the end of the Jastrebarsko wine-growing region, with hiking trails intertwined with wine roads. At the peak is an iron pyramid and stone surveying post. You may also come across handgliders in flight, as this is an ideal take-off spot for the sport.
- Otruševec educational trail
After the discovery of the Grgos cave, today a protected geomorphological nature monument, this unique, easy walking trail was opened and includes nine interpretation panels that explain the life and traditions of the Otruševec and Samobor areas.
- Budinjak – Trail of knights
Budinjak is one of the most important archaeological sites in Croatia. In combination with the beauty of the Žumberak and Samobor Gorje hills, this is an accessible circular trail that will take you back in time while bringing you closer to nature.
- Sveta Nedelja hills
The hills, woods and meadows interwoven with the peaceful Sveta Nedelja settlements offer a number of pleasant walking trails to suit strollers who are less adventurous but still enjoy nature.
- Šumarica educational trail
The plains of Turopolje might not be a hiking region, but the Vukomerička Gorica hills and surroundings of Velika Gorica abound in forests and forest life. Follow the educational panels along this trail between the settlements Krušak and Kozjača while relaxing and enjoying the fresh air.
- Varoški Lug
Not far from Vrbovec, Varoški Lug is a kingdom of oak and hornbeam trees, and a zoological reserve due to the many animal species that inhabit this landscape. The perfect place to make friends with the forest, this circular trail will not tire, but amaze you.
- Žutica magical forest
The education trail begins near the Pleso forest hut, which is designed to take visitors through the different forest stands. You will pass through the pendulate oak stands, European hornbeam stands, to the flooded forests of narrow-leaf ash. One part also passes along the old riverbed of the Lonja River. The entire Žutica forest is a very dynamic habitat, and visitors can enjoy the wealth of diversity of flora and fauna in the forests along its entire route.