Rural Quiet and Relaxation
Continental Croatia is an oasis of tranquility, with gentle hills home to age-old forests, vineyards and the Sava, Drava and Mura rivers sheltering the local towns from the summer heat.
A mere stone’s throw to the north and northeast of capital Zagreb, the region is dotted with romantic medieval towns such as Koprivnica or Varaždin, countryside manors such as Trakošćan Castle and thermal spas perfect for restoring your energies, leaving you revitalised and full of life.
Where to go
Trails of Court Fairies
A long time ago, members of the upper class, prominent gentlemen and the nobility, seeking to satisfy their aesthetic cravings and earthly comforts, took great care to select the right locations for their castles and manor houses. They then surrounded them with gardens, pleasure parks and copses. The fairies will take you through picturesque hills and colourful fields to Novi Dvori and the Lužnice castle in Zaprešić, the imposing Veliki Tabor, near Desinić, the romantic Trakošćan, the proud Zrinski castle in Čakovec, the castle with two towers in Gornja Rijeka and numerous other castles dotted on the hills of this area, which were once the hub of life, work, and cultural and political activities. Step into the past by visiting precious examples of rural architecture in Kumrovec, get to know the world of our primeval ancestors in the Krapina Neanderthal Museum, located right by the archaeological site in Krapina, or enjoy naive art in Hlebine – the cradle of this form of art. Let the court fairies tell you the history and take you for a romantic journey to the long-gone days of the splendour and glory of the nobility.
Kalnik is situated at the borderline between Zagorje, Prigorje and Podravina, some 80 km from Zagreb. Here visitors are welcomed by picturesque forest life, an educational trail and the remains of two old fortresses.
The abundant waters brought by the River Sava down from the Alps and the Dinaric Mountains flood the meadows and forests of the Lonjsko Polje, creating excellent conditions for birds and for the spawning of fish.
This forest-covered mountain rising above Zagreb offers kilometres of hiking trails and the Sljeme skiing centre. Among its attractions are its caves: the most interesting being Veternica, with its passes, waterfalls and karstic features.
In addition to the famous Daruvar spa, the town has managed to maintain its image as a green town. It is decorated by flower filled parks and centuries old trees, and has inherited and preserved its values and beauty.
The unique Krapina Neanderthal Museum opened in 2010 and is located near one of Europe’s most important paleontological sites. The museum features exhibitions about the Neanderthals and about the history of the Earth, from its origins to modern times.
This well-preserved medieval fortress is an interesting memorial to turbulent times, and is also attractive due to its appearance and location on the banks of the Kupa and Sava rivers, surrounded by wide meadows.
The old Roman town of Andautonia was located in the present village of Ščitarjevo between Zagreb and Velika Gorica, formerly a commercial, economic and cultural center on the Roman national road...
This interesting open-air museum contains well-preserved village homes dating to the turn of the twentieth century and features exhibits on the traditional way of life in the River Sutla area at the time, including themes such as Zagorje weddings, hemp, cloth, pottery and bread.
It is located in the municipality Desinić in the Croatian Zagorje. There is a famous legend linked to Veliki Tabor about Veronika Desinićka and Fridrih Celjski, whose love story ended tragically.
Begin with the area known as Hrvatsko zagorje, a wonderful undulating landscape crisscrossed by hills and rivers and within it the town of Krapina, the famous archaeological site of Homo Krapiniensis. Located in an area that has always been known for its thermal springs, spas like Tuhelj Spa (Tuheljske toplice) and Stubica Spa (Stubičke toplice), Krapina was made famous by Prof. Dragutin Gorjanović-Kramberger in 1899 when he discovered the remains of a diluvial man in the area of the Hušnjakovo hill, known by scientists as Homo sapiens neanderthalensis. In Hrvatsko zagorje, which boasts the largest concentration of castles and manor houses after the valley of the River Loire in France, discover picturesque towns and beautiful Baroque castles.
Marija Bistrica is your destination if you are interested in religious tourism or seeking spiritual reinvigoration. It is the greatest Marianic sanctuary in Croatia and has been a place of pilgrimage for over 300 years. More than 800,000 of the faithful have visited Marija Bistrica, including Pope John Paul II in 1998.
The town of Varaždin, the most Baroque of all towns in Croatia, is a true green place. Its finely maintained parks and its famous monument of garden architecture - the town cemetery, characteristic for its Thujas shaped into screens and arcades modelled on Versailles - offer a wonderful backdrop to the sounds of music for which Varaždin is famous. The city is also known for arts, crafts and trade, as well as for two prominent festivals which take place in September: The Varaždin Baroque Evenings and the Špancirfest, a wonderfully entertaining and varied festival of street strollers.
Located not far from Varaždin is Ludbreg, a eucharistic place of pilgrimage of the Sacred Blood of Christ. It is the only such place of pilgrimage in Croatia and one of only a few in the world that have been recognised by a written document from the Pope approving public veneration of Holy Relics. This occurred following the miraculous appearance of the Sacred Blood of Christ in the chapel of Bethany Castle in 1512. Lepoglava is a small town whose history has been most deeply marked by the Pauline Order, which built the church and a monastery. It is also the origin of the famous lace that earned the Gold Medal at the 1937 World Exhibition in Paris.