Once in Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia, you are only 1/2h away from lash green countryside named Zagorje. Zagorje region is located in northern part of Croatia (map), just north from it’s capital city. Actually, only Medvednica mountain separates Zagreb from Zagorje region.
So, to go to Croatian Zagorje from Zagreb you follow signs for Krapina. Another option is to go around east slopes of Medvednica mountain by following signs for Vrbovec and Krizevci. Both, highways and alternative routes are available.
More like this in Old Zagorje photo gallery region…
Once in Zagorje you are surrounded by rolling hills blanketed with patches of forests, vineyards or fields of grain. Here you’ll discover hospitable people of noble nature. People who have endured history of foreign rulers, numerous invasions, hardship nature had thrown at them and despite, they have preserved their dialect of Croatian language, culture, traditions, cuisine and most importantly, land and water that surrounds them.
Roads throughout Zagorje countryside connect scattered towns and villages as well as medieval castles or large nobleman’s manors that often proudly stand tall for many centuries. Today most serve as museums, while others are quietly whispering about their place in history, eider as ruins or partially incorporated into newly build structures of towns and villages.
Some regional museums, like one in Krizevac, display artifacts created by human hand dating back 5000 years. Museum in Krapina on other hand, will introduce you to findings of some of the European Neanderthals (more than 120.000 years old).
– National Geographic Magazine – “Last of the Neanderthals” [+]
Finally, what attract most of us to Zagorje, beside culinary dishes, are mineral thermal water springs, spas with numerous swimming pools – Stubičke toplice, Tuheljske toplice, Krapinske and Varaždinske toplice (you can find links below to some of their web sites).
Culinary dishes in Zagorje region could be labeled as continental central-European with it’s own flavors. Traditional dishes of the region can be found in many local restaurants but also in some of the restaurants in Zagreb.
If opportunity presents itself and you are able to join a local family for a traditional meal, aroma and flavors of dishes will be something you’ll remember long after. That’s the case only if a modern day industry did not infiltrate the way food is grown and prepared.
Some of the dishes you want to try while in Zagroje or elsewhere in Croatia:
- Zagorje štrukli
- Sarma (featured in our recipe)
- Cesnjovke sausages (home made)
More from Zagorje
Croatian Zagorje photo gallery…
Travel notes about Trakoscan…
Near by; Zagreb photo gallery…
Much more from Croatia…