Northwest of Zagreb, Krapinsko-Zagorska county contains some of Croatia's most beautiful rural scenery. Often called simply the "Zagorje", this land of green rolling hills, thermal spas and medieval castles deserves to be more touristed than it is. Even when the fog settles in, which is frequently, it only seems to add to the region's aura of mystery.
The Sutla river is the county's northern and western border while the Lonja river is the eastern border. The slopes of Medvednica mountain form the county's southern border and contains the medieval fortress of Medvedgrad, now a shrine to those who fell in the 'Homeland War' of the early 1990s.. Marija Bistrica on Medvednica mountain is Croatia's most famous pilgrimmage site.
The administrative centre of the county is Krapina, known for the remains of Neanderthals once discovered there. A Neanderthal park makes an interesting visit although the town is otherwise without great interest
Perhaps the best reason for visiting this region is the abundance of thermal spas. Near Krapina is Krapinske Toplice, a thermal spa with four outdoor thermal pools that's a great favourite with the locals. Then there is Stubicke Toplice, a major destination for Zagreb residents in need of de-stressing. This spa is slated to undergo major renovation which should propel it to the luxury category pretty soon.The best spa is the Terme Tuhelj, a more luxurious spa-hotel with all manner of wellness programs. Read more.
The county is also home to one of Croatia's most impressive castles, Veliki Tabor, strikingly perched on top of a hill. Various other castles are nestled in the hills and valleys but none are open to the public.
Also in the region is Kumrovec, the birthplace of Marshal Tito and now an 'ethnographic village' that recreates life in the early 20th century.
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