Whilst there have been record tourist numbers this summer on the Croatian coast, other parts of the country away from the Adriatic Sea have also seen records fall this year. One of those is the stunning region of Hrvatsko Zagorje in the country’s north.
In the first 7 months of 2017, there have been more tourists than ever before in the same period of any year. Tourist arrivals were up 17%, whilst overnight stays were up 21% in Hrvatsko Zagorje from the same period last year.
With small green hills surrounded by streams, rivers, forests, and vineyards, it is not hard to see why the area, which is around a 40-minute drive from the capital Zagreb, is starting to draw in a bigger number of tourists.
Zagorje offers a long list of sightseeing and activities, but this year the most popular have been the area’s thermal pools and museums.
Tuhelj thermal pools have this year seen a 20% increase in overnight stays and revenue, with 40% growth in tourists from Austria and Germany.
Another favourite attraction is the Neanderthal Museum on Hušnjak Hill in Krapina, which is one of the most important Neanderthal sites in the world. This year more than 50,000 people have visited the museum in the first 5 months of the year.
There are of course plenty more to see in Zagorje, including a number of gorgeous castles like Trakošćan, which is settled on a hill above a lake and surrounded by a large forest and again large numbers of tourists have visited this year.
There are also Baroque castles Bežanec and Miljana, Mihanović, Sveti Križ Začretje, Stubički Golubovec and the medieval castle Veliki Tabor, known for the love story between a nobleman and a peasant girl to see.
Then there is the food. You can take a tour around the restaurants or small farms and households and try some of the best traditional dishes from the area. The gastronomy of Zagorje is known for its aroma, scents and rich taste.
Turkey with mlinci, cheese or pumpkin pie, such as Zlijevka or Štrukli – cheese filled pastry, delicious and rich soups with bacon and meat dishes are a few delights you can find.
The Euro Peace Walk, which saw participants from all over the world walk 500 kilometeres through 6 countries, has just passed through Croatia and Hrvatsko Zagorje. Croatia is more than just the coastline, and more and more tourists are starting to recognise that.