The winter tale: Samobor and Sveta Nedjelja

The allure of the famous old charmer Samobor does not diminish in winter, on the contrary. In its festive attire, the city shines and invites visitors to socialize, while the local forests and mountains are perfect for brightening the mood or enjoying activities in nature. If the story involves the snow, winter magic is guaranteed. Sveta Nedelja, the youngest town in Zagreb County is located in the vicinity. It is a graceful place surrounded by picturesque lakes and hills, whose winter garments captivate with beauty and peace.

In Samobor, it all starts on the central King Tomislav Square, surrounded by luxurious old buildings. At this spot you can choose your path according to your interests and needs. You can go to a nearby pastry shop or cafe for a kremšnita, visit one of the gingerbread-candle artisan shops to see how licitar hearts and gingerbread cookies are made and find out what gvirc is, visit the parish church of St. Anastasia or the Samobor Museum, or learn all about special local muštarda and bermet in the Filipec family cellar. A promenade along the Gradna stream and a short forest ascent lead to the ruins of the Old Town, a historic medieval burg that leans over today's Samobor. A pleasant forest path leads back through the Anindol forest park. On a bright day, you can enjoy the amazing view towards Samobor, Zagreb, Medvednica and the Samobor hill on the Tepec lookout in the vicinity. Skating fans will enjoy the winter outdoor skating rink, traditionally placed by the Youth Center.

Samobor is known for its rich gastronomy, with winter menus filled with seasonal dishes that will warm you up nicely. Restaurant Gabreku 1929 is famous for its Sunday lunches and the full range of forest mushroom dishes, harvested during the autumn in the surrounding area. You will find traditional roasts and game dishes, as well as trout from nearby streams and many other tempting specialties in the restaurant Kod špilje. It is also an opportunity to visit Grgos Cave, a small but captivating natural beauty. The village Rude is the home of rudarska greblica, the first gastronomic product with a protected geographical indication from the Zagreb County. When you decide to try it, you should do so in the bakery Nikl. There is also the St. Barbara's Mine, once one of Europe's oldest copper and iron mines, open for guided tours by appointment.

Next stop is the spacious and beautiful Nature Park Žumberak-Samoborsko gorje, a favorite mountaineering destination with a handful of opportunities for winter walks. Natural beauties, educational trails, historical sites, ethnographic treasures – there is no shortage of engaging materials. Oštrc, Japetić, Okić, Slapnica canyon... are just some of the popular destinations, and the range of trails is such that you can organize an easy family walk, but also a challenging climb for eager adventurers. A special experience is the traditional winter pilgrimage to Sveta Gera, the highest peak of Žumberak. For snowy joys such as sledding, snowballing and building snowmen, there will always be a suitable place under the open sky. If you want to stay closer to the city, the Vugrinščak meadow is a suitable choice.

Sveta Nedelja is a smaller and quieter town, with several interesting cultural sites such as the recognizable parish church of the Holy Trinity and smaller chapels in the area, the old Crkvenjak or Erdődy Castle in Kerestinec. When it snows, the slope below the parish church in the center of the city becomes the most beautiful sledding place in the wider area. If you are more interested in modern attractions than heritage, visit the center of the famous company Rimac Automobili. Visit the plant and see where the young innovator Mate Rimac launched the Concept One, the fastest electric car in the world at the time. You can also learn a thing about the process of making Greyp electric bicycles. The surrounding area of Sveta Nedelja is a paradise if you like sports, hiking by the lakes and fishing. Lakes Rakitje, Orešje, Strmec and Kerestinec, the Sava River and the Sava-Strmec Ornithological Reserve are somewhat quieter and more tranquil during winter, but they are nevertheless captivating oases of untouched nature. For recreation that will activate you on cold days, hiking routes along the hills of Sveta Nedjelja are ideal. Gentle and undemanding trails saunter through peaceful rural landscapes and gentle hills, while the lookout at Kozjak will reward you with an unforgettable view. On the way back to Zagreb, it is worth turning to the Suhina excursion site. Ever since 1909 it offers home-made food prepared in a family atmosphere, with a flare of vintage. A glass of Portugieser, blood sausages, garlic sausages or sausages with cabbage are part of the standard set for making the long winter evenings seem shorter.

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