by Sofia B.
One of the great things about the Croatian capital Zagreb is the chance to enjoy in wonderful nature just minutes from the hustle and bustle of downtown.
Hiking on Medvednica mountain is a popular, all year round, activity which locals love to do. There are many trails which lead up to Sljeme peak and we recently tackled hiking trail 18, known as Bikčevićeva staza, named after prominent Croatian forester Tomislav Bikcevic (1915-1986).
The trail leads to to the Puntijarka mountain lodge and restaurant where you can get a delicious, well-deserved meal after your hike.
The start point we took for this trail was at Bliznec 68 where Restaurant Pilana Bliznec is located. There is parking right in front of the restaurant and also up the road.
The trail starts over the little bridge right behind the restaurant. (You can also start the trail 1.5 km down the road where the main start point it.)
The first part of trail to the rest stop ‘Njivice’ took us around 40 minutes and includes the steepest part of the trail.
After a drink and a few minutes chilling out taking in the surroundings at ‘Njivice’, we embarked on the second leg of the hike.
With it being a Saturday, there were quite a few people on the trail and the second half has a mixture of semi-steep, steep and flat parts. For inexperienced hikers like us, it was great and the trail is definitely one for novice hikers to tackle.
After around 50 minutes of ‘casual’ hiking from the rest stop ‘Njivice’, we finally reached Puntijarka with big appetites.
Puntijarka restaurant offers a wide variety of meals like stuffed peppers, turkey with mlinci, bean stew, soups, chicken, salad, risotto etc at very reasonable prices. They also have great strudels with cheese, apple and cherry.
Puntijarka mountain lodge and restaurant: 957 m above sea level
Trail length: 5.2 km
Trail difficulty: Medium difficulty (3/5)
Recommended time of year for visit: Throughout the year
Recommended equipment: Layered clothes and hiking footwear