Hiking in and around Zagreb

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If you’re a fan of the great outdoors and you enjoy a good walk in the hills, the closest hiking spot is of course Mount Medvednica, which is crisscrossed by about 70 hiking trails of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty.

The most popular destinations are hiking lodges. Over the weekends, these are buzzing with walkers eager for the tasty and warming food at astonishingly reasonable prices. Apart from about ten hiking lodges on Medvednica, other popular hiking trails end at interesting spots such as the Veternica Cavethe Zrinski Mine, and the fortifications at Susedgrad and Zelingrad .

Horvatovih 500 stuba” is another spot worth visiting. Translated as “Horvat’s 500 steps”, these really are 500 steps hewn into the rock by the hand of one Vladimir Horvat (1891-1962), a journalist, publicist, photographer and nature lover who wished to make this part of the mountain accessible for everyone to enjoy. At the bottom of the steps is a valley with a stream where the public-spirited Mr Horvat built benches and a shelter that you can still use today.

Then there’s Kraljičin zdenac, a pleasant spot where you can rest by a natural spring (the “Queen’s Well” mentioned in local legends). There’s the Gorsko zrcalo (“Mountain Mirror”) cliff, used as a climbing wall, and Šumarske jaslice (“The Forester’s Nativity”), where you can see life-size figures from the Nativity carved in wood.  

Then of course there’s also Sljeme, the highest peak on Medvednica, with its TV tower (it has a café with a terrace offering a fantastic view over the city), plus there’s hotel Tomislavov Dom with its spa and a handful of rustic restaurants nearby.  

You can buy a map showing mainly the easier routes together with landmarks for 20kn at the Medvednica Nature Park headquarters and at weekends at the Bliznec info point 100m before the headquarters. Also, if you’re a Croatian speaker be sure to visit the blog www.medvednica.info, where you’ll find loads of information, maps, photos and ideas for places to visit.

Another mecca for hikers just 30km from Zagreb is Samoborsko gorje, part of the serrated Žumberak upland region close to the border with Slovenia. Like Medvednica, this is a protected nature park and is full of points of interest. There are eight hiking lodges, a number of villages (some of which are abandoned), and there are locals who offer home cooking and refreshments too.

The most likely areas for hiking here are Plešivica, Okić, Oštrc (probably easier to climb than pronounce) and Japetić. The field below the Japetić peak (879m) is a favourite take-off point for paragliders and competitions are regularly held there.

Japetić and Okić, Photo by Višnja Arambašić

The cliff-faces of Okić (halfway between Samobor and Jastrebarsko) have numerous climbing routes, including one named Dragojlina staza after Dragojla Jarnević (1813-1875), a poet and teacher famous for writing on women’s rights. Not only was she the first woman to climb Okić, she used the toughest approach, with no climbing equipment and barefoot!

You can approach these peaks from any number of directions depending on the length and difficulty level you prefer. Maps are for sale in the tourist information office in Samobor and in the Nature Park centre in Slani Dol.

Hiking maps and guides are also for sale in the Croatian Mountaineering Association in Zagreb. You can hike alone or in groups with locals, or you can hire a guide. Simply select your mountain or hill in Croatia, call the Association of Mountain Guides and a qualified mountain guide will lead you wherever your heart desires. If you’d like to join up with local hikers, you can contact one of the hiking associations. These are volunteer organisations and you may not have the luck to reach an English-speaker, so enlist the help of a Croatian-speaking friend if necessary. On the hikes themselves though there are bound to be people who will be glad to speak English with you. Some of the associations in Zagreb are Zagreb Matica (www.zagreb-matica.hr), Grafičar (www.pdgraficar.hr) and Željezničar (www.hpdzeljeznicar.hr).

Source: IYP Croatia

The best walks and hikes in City of Zagreb by Kamoot

Want to go hiking in City of Zagreb to explore more of this corner of Croatia? In this guide, we’ve reviewed our full collection of hikes and walking routes in City of Zagreb to bring you the best hiking routes in the region. To see which of our walks in City of Zagreb is the right one for you, browse real tips and photos uploaded by other hikers—and see what they had to say about each walk.

Planinarsko sklonište Njivice – Planinarski dom Puntijarka loop from PodsljemeIntermediate03:34 7.16 km
Picnic house – Odmorište / Resting area loop from Gračansko DoljeIntermediate04:42 11.9 km
Planinarsko sklonište Njivice – Planinarski dom Puntijarka loop from Gračansko DoljeIntermediate04:48 11.6 km
Planinarski dom Grafičar – Staza for Kraljicin Zdenac loop from ŠestineIntermediate04:12 10.5 km
Brdo loop from SrednjaciIntermediate02:29 9.84 km
Planinarski dom Grafičar – Sljeme loop from ŠestineExpert05:53 15.0 km
Staza for Kraljicin Zdenac – Medvedgrad loop from ŠestineIntermediate02:53 7.80 km
Planinarski dom Puntijarka – Picnic house loop from Gračansko DoljeExpert05:38 13.7 km
Brdo loop from Vrbani IIIntermediate02:16 8.95 km
Staza for Kraljicin Zdenac – Sljeme loop from ŠestineExpert05:54 14.7 km

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.

  1. Japetić

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.

  1. Oštrc

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.

  1. Okić

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.

  1. Slapnica

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.

  1. Plešivica

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Source: aroundzagreb.hr