Spread out between Zagreb and the Slovene border, the Zagorje is an area of chocolate-box enchantment: miniature wooded hills are crowned with the castles they seem designed for, and streams tumble through lush vineyards. At the top of almost every vineyard is a klet, a small, steep-roofed structure traditionally used for storing wine (nowadays they’re more often put to use as weekend cottages). Although the area is covered with a dense patchwork of villages, human beings seem outnumbered by the chickens, geese and turkeys that scavenge between the cornfields and vegetable plots. The museum village of Kumrovec, the Neanderthal Museum at Krapina and the castles at Veliki Tabor and Trakošćan are the main targets for visitors, although there are any number of Baroque churches and rural villages awaiting those who wish to explore further.
Most towns in the Zagorje have direct bus links with Zagreb, but you’ll need your own transport if you want to explore the region in depth.