Best Zagreb Tours to Explore the City and Its Surroundings
Taking one of Zagreb tours is the good opportunity to get to know the region in the vicinity of Zagreb city area that extends from the Slovenian border to Varazdin town on the north.
This green and hilly region known as Hrvatsko Zagorje o Zagreb’s Zagorje covered with pastoral villages, medieval castles and thermal springs, makes a good day break from summer heat and overloaded beaten places along the Adriatic coast.
It could be a good escape from the summer heat and occasion to taste the Austrian influenced food and to admire the baroque architecture that contracts the Roman and Venetian influence along the coast.
This northern Croatia’s region is not visited by tourist like other districts but when visiting Zagreb capital I highly recommend some of the highlights, definitely worth visiting. On Zagorje map and Varazdin you can find all most attractive highlights.
Zagreb Tours Offers
Krapina Town Zagreb Tours
Krapina town is located in the hilly Hrvatsko Zagorje region of Croatia, approximately in the middle between Zagreb and Varazdin, only 55 km away from Zagreb.
It was mentioned for the first time in 1193 and in the middle of the 14th century it was a free royal trading place, and by the end of the 15th century it was the seat of the Croatian ban (lord, master or ruler).
But, this town is known by something more important. It has become famous for the remains of prehistorical Neanderthal Man, found by Dragutin Gorjanovic Kramberger in 1899, in the cave on the Husnjakovo hill.
Today, in front of the cave there are reconstruction of prehistoric men and animals in natural size. The Museum of Early Man in Krapina is worth visiting to discover the interesting story about the life and culture of the Neanderthal man in this region, accompanied with numerous multimedia and other content.
Zagreb Tours to Kumrovec
Kumrovec is about 60 km northwest of Zagreb, and about 6 km from the town of Klanjec. This small town, best known for being the birth place of President Josp Broz Tito.
The main attraction in the village is a recreation of a 19th century Croatian village. This open air museum in the Zagorje region consists of a number of restored 19th and early 20th Century buildings made from earth and wood and furnished according to theme.
There is a blacksmith hut, potter’s studio, toy-maker’s hut, vintner’s hut, candle maker’s shop, and others complete with all the accessories that each worker would need for his job.
The museum offers demonstrations of the various occupations, which are held on weekends during the summer months. The setting here is beautiful with a small river running through the village.
The entire settlement is an open-air ethnographic museum. Its centerpiece is an authentic re-creation of the interior and exterior of Tito’s childhood home done by the Zagreb Museum of Arts and Crafts.
You can walk from building to building, including village’s memorabilia room, where documents and photographs from Tito’s time are on display.
Day trip to Marshall Tito’s birth place is one of the best Zagreb tours you can take visiting the green and hilly region of Hrvatsko Zagorje.
Zagreb tours to discover the land of castles
This region is well-known by more than fifty castles, some of them with their own park. Considering the number of castles this area is the richest regions in Croatia. For your day Zagreb tours here are some information of most visited:
Veliki Tabor castle
The 15th century fortified castle Veliki Tabor is the best-preserved monuments of medieval fortification architecture in Croatia.
It is located on a beautiful hill near the little northern Croatian village Desinic, only 70 km from Zagreb, on the road to famous Tuheljske Toplice (Spa). There are few stories about the castle’s history.
One legend says that the castle was situated on the top of an island of what was once the Pannonian Sea, and the other legend narrates that castle was built on remains of a Roman fortress from 2nd century.
Actually, this pentagonal tower which was proclaimed as a historical monument of utmost importance by UNESCO, was built during 12th century. The castle has twelve different roofing, a big well in the central court that is 31 meters deep and a wine cellar equipped with a big wine-press.
But the most interesting feature of this castle is definitely the scull of Veronika Desinic, a young and beautiful village girl who was killed and built in the walls of the castle during 15th century because she had a love affair with one noble man whose father didn’t approve their relationship. There is a legend that one can hear Veronika’s screams around the castle during the night.
Today the castle has been reconstructed after two years of work starting from outside walls ,portico, gallery and the five-cornered tower.
Located on the north of Krapina town, Trakoscan castle dating from the Middle Ages (late 13th century), is the one of the most beautiful and the most romantic Croatia castles in Zagorje region.
It was a small fortress serving as an observation post overlooking the road from Ptuj towards the Bednja valley. The first known owners of the castle were the Celjski family, who also ruled over the entire Zagorje principality, as well as Medjumurje, Varazdin and large estates in the present-day Slovenia.
A visit of this castle is one of the most popular Zagreb tours that include also a visit to Varazdin, a city of baroque, young people, music, flowers and bicycles.
Marusevac castle near Varazdin
This castle is located in the village of the same name, in the county of Varazdin. The name’s origin goes back into remote times when, according to legend, Marusa, a Chech lady, settled here and established residence. Several centuries later the locality became known as Marusevec. The castle is situated 15 km from the city of Varazdin.
Marusevac castle was mentioned for the first time in 1547, as the property of the Vragovic family. Throughout centuries, the castle had numerous owners. The Count Schlippenbach added new wing to the castle and gave it today’s shape.
The park around the castle is the only remnant of the huge English garden as it was before the World War II. It is the worldwide cultural heritage monument. Today, it is owned by the Pongratz family.
Hlebine ‘The Cradle of Naive Art’ in Croatia
There aren’t organized Zagreb tours to this small village near Koprivnica, the central town of the Croatian region Podravina, spread along the Drava river, but this map can help you visit on your own this village where Croatian Naive Art was born.
The first mentioned in the year 1330, the village of Hlebine didn’t become famous for another 600 years, until Croatian peasant art was born there.
In Croatia the concept of the Naive assumes the work of artists who arrived from amateurism, people who are more or less self-taught, painters and sculptors who did not obtain their education by systematic training at art schools and academies, which did not, however, prevent them from creating their own style, achieving their own level of art.
This concept will be much clearer, if you visit Croatian Museum of Naive Art in Zagreb, St. Cirila and Metoda 3 street, in Upper Town (Gornji grad).
The most famous naive artists are, Ivan Generalic (1914-1992) the first master of the Hlebine School, and the first among the naive painters of Croatia to create a personal style and art of a high level.
Others are Vranjo Mraz, Mirko Virius, Ivan Vecenaj, Mijo Kovacic, Ivan Rabuzin, Josip Generalic, Emerik Fejes and many others.
Zagorje bathing and wellness centers
After you take part of one of Zagreb tours to visit Zagorje castles, baroque Varazdin, birthplace of Tito, prehistoric men museum in Krapina, it’s a time to experience nature and enjoy wellness relaxation or an active vacation.
Krapinske toplice (Spa) – Aquae Vivae Hotel, 246 beds, indoor swimming-pool with thermal water, 2 outdoor pools and sports grounds; hospital for rheumatic diseases with 650 beds for adults and 110 for children, four indoor swimming-pools with thermal water and equipment for various forms of therapy.
Hrvatsko Zagorje is known for a centuries-old tradition of thermal, healing and bathing tourism. See the map below of some of the most popular thermal spas: Stubicke spa,
Tuheljske spa, Varazdin spa and Krapinske spa.
Maybe you would like to visit!