Mountainous area north-west of Zagreb close to the border with Slovenia. Gorgeous nature park with well marked walking, hiking and cycling trails and offering good opportunities for mountain climbing and paragliding.
Educational walking trails
Žumberak archaeological trail – with a length of 53km takes 7 hours where part is done by car and part by hiking. Along the trail are six archaeological points near the main road from Bregana to Krasic. The starting and end point of the trail is in Grdanjci and Sošice.
Trail of the princes in Budinjak archaeological park has a length of just 4,2 km and can be walked throughout the year, but also with a guide from October to May on appointment. The trail leads on a path filled with history of Budinjak in the countryside shaped by people living in accordance with nature. The trail starts in front of Eco-centre Budinjak and is marked with wooden columns with informational plates about direction and points on the trail. Two different archaeological sites can be seen – one from the Early Iron Age in Budinjak and other from the Roman period in Bratelji – these can be recognized by the informational plates.
The educational trail ‘Where fruit ripen’ is just 2 km in length and can be walked throughout the year, but also with a guide on appointment. A leisurely walk along the slopes pointed south where fruit has been produced for ages. The walk starts in Ozalj or Krasic, located in Lovic Prekriski, a little village above the town of Vivodina. There are beautiful views all around, and of course in early spring when the fruit trees are in flowers is a magnificent time for a visit, but also during summer when fresh fruits are available.
The ‘Path of the Queen of Beech’ has a length of 35 km and takes about 12 hours to walk, you can walk this trail throughout the year. It is divided into smaller parts described below. The route derived its name form an exceptionally straight beech tree that grows near Blazevo Brdo, the route leads to Sošice and Salni dol. Following the path marked with green plates fastened to wooden columns, you can not only enjoy the preserved nature, but also see rare and protected plants in their endangered habitat. It is easy to notice how people contributed to the diversity of countryside through their activities as well as witness increasing abandoning of traditional way of life in this rural area.
- The Sošice – Jazovka Trail is easy to walk, takes about 20 minutes and begins in Sošice towards Jazovka pit along a paved road surrounded by fields. After it passes through the village, it enters to the forest next to deserted pastures until the intersection towards Jazovka.
- Jazovka – Waterfall Sopot – ML Vodice – the trail continues along paved road and after 5 minutes it comes to the village of Sopote. At the crucifix it turns left to Virgin Mary’s Assumption Church and continues through moor to the intersection with branches for “Sopotski slap” or for ML Vodice. The trail towards “Sopotski slap” descends and after 10 minutes it comes to the waterfall and mill. If you move on at the intersection directly towards ML Vodice, in ten minutes you come to the upper part of the waterfall with dolomite rocks. After a 15 minute walk along the creek and over two small bridges, you come to an area full of pioneer vegetation. After a steep ascend through a beech forest you come to the mountaineers’ lodge on Vodice in 45 minutes.
- Mountain Lodge Vodice – Ječmište – an old gravel road from the lodge leads you to Ječmište and in 10 minutes you come to “Rajska vrata” where there is a deserted quarry and belvedere. Continue following the gravel road and in 10 minutes you are on the intersection from where you can continue on a marked mountaineers’ trail or stay on the gravel road and in 15 minutes you will reach the field with numerous karst sink holes and valleys. Both paths join together and lead towards grassland and are surrounded by karst valleys and beautiful belvederes. After 35 minutes, it descends to basin covered with birch forest. After 15 minutes, the trail steeply ascends and in 35 minutes you reach Ječmište.
- Ječmište – Hunters’ lodge “Kuna” Kalje. From Ječmište, the easy trail passes through woodland and grassland habitats that interchange. After 20 minutes it comes out from forest and passes through fields with abysses. When you come to the intersection, another trail detaches to the left towards Hunters lodge “Kuna” Kalje.
- Hunter lodge “Kuna” Kalje – Grič – Gornja Vas. An easy walk of about 1,5 hours starts at the intersection, you head to the right along the gravel road through grassland until the intersection for Grič. The trail passes through the village and winds through beech forest and then through planted spruce forest until the junction with the road to Petričko Selo. The trail continues to the left to water reservoir, where you turn to the right and pass near the pond from where you continue along the marked wood path. When you come out of the wood, you come to birch forest and neglected grassland with a nice view and full of juniper. The trail passes on village road and descends through pastures to the juncture with paved road at the Volunteer Fire Department in Gornja Vas.
- Gornja Vas – Mrzlo Polje. An easy 40 minute walk as the trail descends near old houses built in traditional fashion and continues mildly down along fields and winds through old orchards. After 20 minutes you reach the first houses in Javor and at the crucifixion you come to the paved road follow until it ends. You continue along the gravel road, and then along marked trail through fields and orchards in Glušinje until the next junction with the macadam road. When you come out of the village, you directly head to the church in Mrzlo Polje.
- Mrzlo Polje – Kordići – Šimraki – Koretić mlin. A moderately difficult trail that takes a little over 2 hours. After you leave the village, the trail mildly winds uphill to Prevag and then through beech forest and beautiful pastures. You reach the gravel road at Koretić after 45 minutes. There opens the view on karst field, birch forest and ponds. You turn to the right on the road to Kordić. After the trail leaves the village, it winds through fields and enters the forest with limestone grounds and sink-holes and comes to the intersection in Šimraki where you turn to the left for Koretići.
- Koretići – Jarušje – Dragonoš is a difficult part of the trail that takes about 1,5 hours to walk. From the resort you head to the left and need 15 minutes to the “Scout centre” or you can go to the right and after 5 minutes there is a mark, from where you start uphill towards Jarušje. You move on along the gravel road to Dragonoš.
- Dragonoš – ML St Bernard – Slani Dol. A moderately difficult hike that take a little over 2 hours. Starts at the intersection in Dragonoš where you turn to the left on the trail leading to Mountaineers’ lodge St. Bernard. You need 30 minutes through woodland and grassland eco-systems. The trail moves on through beech forest and partly steep sections and gullies. It continues through marked trail through woodlands, meadows, belvederes and rest-points. You come to the plate which marks the border of the Nature Park. Signposts lead you through fields and village to Eco-center Slani Dol where you can get additional information and visit exhibition.
Before you set off to a day-trip, inform yourselves about weather conditions, have a more detailed look at the map, choose the trail that suits your physical condition and take suitable clothes and footwear, take enough water and food with you and enjoy the trip!
At the Eko Centar in Slani Dol you can get more information about the 4 cycling trails in the park and the possibilities for paragliding and rock climbing.
Entrance to the park is free!
Eko centar Slani Dol
Slani Dol 1, Samobor 10430