Things to do in the Zaprešić area

Southwest of Zagreb, where the rivers Sutla, Sava and Krapina meet, lies a valley whose center is the town of Zaprešić. Comfortably situated between Slovenia and Zagorje, the wider Zaprešić area is surrounded by hillocks and the slopes of surrounding hills. The calm everyday life that we see these days once used to be the ground on which some interesting pieces of history took place. The ideal weekend destination offers various options for relaxation, recreational activities and sightseeing.

The modern town of Zaprešić is relatively new, but it is located in the area permeated with noble past. There are five castles in its nearby area, and we associate Zaprešić with ban Jelačić. Novi dvori, a preserved noble estate from the 17th century, is the main attraction. The exceptionally valuable estate consists of the manor, outbuildings, a chapel and a park-forest. Novi dvori were last owned by the Jelačić family, and their family tomb is on the estate as well. The building that used to be a granary, these days serves as the Matija Skurjeni Museum, with the works of our famous naïve artist. As a modern upgrade, there now stands the Golf Club ban Jelačić with a well-equipped training course. A bit further, there is the Horse club Trajbar Team that is worth visiting even if you are not interested in riding, because on the beautiful, elegant estate, you can enjoy the view, walks, a café and a restaurant, while children hang out with ponies.

The closest manor is the Lužnica Manor, a baroque one-storey house, and a part of the Intangible cultural heritage. Inside the Manor, the Spiritual-Educational Center run by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul is operating, and it is open for public. Next on our list is the elegant Januševec, built in 1830 in Classicism style.The Castle is surrounded by a lovely park. Laduč Castle, located seven kilometers from Zaprešić, was built in the 19th century on the place where an old noble manor used to be. Oršić Castle in Gornja Bistra is a particularly valuable baroque estate, near the park with an avenue, and these days it is used as a children's hospital. And closing our list, there is Jakovlje Castle with its rich history. The version that we see today stems from 1880. Somewhat forlorn and forgotten, it has become the home and the atelier for artists, whose sculptures adorn the nearby park.

If you find yourself longing for nature after the castle tour, you can enjoy still water surfaces and hiking. The artificial Zajarki lake is a heaven for fishermen, and it abounds with carp. Bird song can be a real symphony here, because the riparian zone along the Sava River between Podsused and Zaprešić is a temporary or permanent home to many birds, some of which are rare and protected. On the western slopes of Medvednica, there is a cluster of dolomite cliffs Kameni svati (Stone wedding), named after a folk story of the same name. The hiking trail to Kameni svati starts in the village of Jablanovec, and on the top, you can enjoy the unforgettable view as the reward. In the wider Zaprešić area, there are several biking trails, and if you travel either on two or four wheels, you will get an extraordinary experience on the ferryboat at Medsave–Zaprešić. A simple, old-fashioned vehicle for crossing the river shortens the distance between the Zaprešić and Samobor areas that are divided by the Sava River.

North of Zaprešić, the terrain gets hillier, which makes the paths between small, picturesque municipalities Brdovec, Marija Gorica and Dubravica ideal for mountain biking. Visit the Brdovec Museum that depicts the cultural heritage of its homeland in six collections. Don't be surprised when you see an elephant on the Marija Gorica coat of arms–the locals are proud of ancient elephant petrified remnants findings. The botanical reserve Cret Dubravica is one of the rare habitats of the round-leaved sundew, the only carnivorous plant in Croatia. Due to it being protected, you can observe the abundant flora from a wooden platform. When you wish to treat yourself to homemade food and good company, visit the country house Stara preša in Šenkovec.

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