© Zoran Jelača / CNTB


The bucolic Zagorje region provides rural escapades right on Zagreb's doorstep. The landscape of itsy villages squirreled between verdantly forested hills, vineyards and cornfields, and medieval castles was made for easygoing road trips and presents a relaxed foil to the bustling Mediterranean south. A trip here is blissfully crowd-free, although less so on summer weekends when day-tripping families from the capital debunk en masse to storm the area.

The Zagorje region begins north of Mt Medvednica (1035m), near Zagreb, and extends west to the Slovenian border, and as far north as Varaždin, a showcase of baroque architecture. Whether you want to feast on hearty cuisine at rustic restaurants, get a taste of village life or tour ancient castles, with Zagorje you’re in for an offbeat treat.