Things to do in the Samobor area
Between the eastern slopes of Žumberak Hill and the Sava River, there is an area of rich heritage and nature in whose center lies the town of Samobor. A true urban pearl, with the preserved old city center and numerous cultural notabilities, is a lure for visitors not only due to its charm, but also due to its astonishing green surroundings. Mountains and hills, vineyards, forests, streams, picturesque villages, old fortresses, caves, irresistible homemade food and fine drinks–you can find all that in the area near Zagreb that may be geographically small, but is laden with things to see.
The excursion starts in the heart of Samobor, on the King Tomislav Square, where you will be amazed by the pleasant atmosphere of the small town and historical buildings. Then treat yourself to a cup of coffee in the Livadić café, and to Samobor kremšnita cake in the pastry shop U prolazu. Continue with your gastronomical exploration around the corner in the wine cellar of the Filipec family, that has been producing autochthonous local delicacies for generations. The delicacies you will find are muštarda, a spicy spread variety made from the seeds of a mustard plant, and bermet, a bitter-sweet wine-based aperitif. Follow the Gradna stream (make an obligatory pit-stop at the wooden bridge), and you will get to the park in which the Samobor Museum is located. The building used to be the home of the composer Ferdo Livadić and the meeting point of cultural crème de la crème. You are a short walk away from the ruins of Old town Samobor that towers above the nearby town. The medieval fortress that was built in the 13th century is now a monument to the glorious history and noblemen who used to rule it. Continue onto the forest trail Anindol, that will return you back to the center of Samobor, and on the way, you will see the baroque Chapel of St. Anne, the patron saint of the town.
All the flavors that the local cuisine has to offer are best met in the old, family-owned restaurant Gaberk 1929, and the combination of good food and an excursion for the whole family awaits you at the Ethno Farm Mirnovec, a big rural estate located in the middle of the town. Find out why gourmands flock to the Kod špilje Inn, in the nearby village of Otruševec. It is located next to Grgos cave, a subterranean beauty and a huge local attraction. A little bit farther, in Rude, you can visit the adjusted part of St. Barbara Mine, one of oldest European copper and iron mines. This small village is the home of the first protected gastronomical item of Zagreb County–a thin savory pie called rudarska greblica, that once used to be a humble meal of the local miners. If your appetite is a bit bigger, the excursion site Divlje vode and the country house Kršlinov mlin have got you covered as they serve fresh trout from the mountain stream of Bregana.
Outside Samobor, get some fresh air and unforgettable sights along the way to Samobor Hills, a protected nature park together with Žumberak. There are many marked trails that will please both beginners and more ambitious hikers. Even though none of the peaks reach more than 1000 meters, the peaks Oštrc, Japetić and Okić are the key locations of Croatian mountaineering. The fist excursion under the name of Croatian Mountaineering Association was organized in 1875, and Oštrc was the goal. Dragojla Jarnević’s ascent on the steep side of Okić in 1843 was our first noted alpine venture. Along the way, some mountaineering lodge or an excursion site will always be there for you to rest in good company and replenish your energy with homemade food. One of such places is the excursion site Gogo in Slani dol, that produces the autochthonous herbal liqueur Pušlek. You can make your excursion educational by visiting Eco Center Budinjak and the educational trail Staza kneževa, a prehistoric site with old grave mounds, or maybe Ethno House Pod Okićem, a country house where time stopped more than a century ago. Of course, you can also go to adventures in nature on two wheels, because several marked biking trails start from Samobor and Sveta Nedelja. There are mountain biking trails, but also trails that require a less challenging pace.
Don’t forget to visit the tranquil town of Sveta Nedelja set between Samobor and Zagreb. Other than walking along hillocks, you can visit the lakes Rakitje, Orešje, Kerestinec and Strmec. You can choose whether you will do some fishing, recreational activities or just relax in the preserved nature, accompanied by many birds that happily gather here. Next to the Kerestinec lake, the forlorn Erdődy Castle, the place where many historical curiosities happened, is bound to catch your eye. The return to the 21st century offers a touristic visit of the worldly-known electronic car factory Rimac Automobili, that sends its innovations from the facility in Sveta Nedelja to the whole world.