Sosice Visitor Center, the latest addition to Zumberak Nature Park near Zagreb


Photos: Zumberak Nature Park Facebook Page

May 30, 2022 – Good things are happening in Zumberak Nature Park, with the Sosice Visitor Center the latest addition to this idyllic day trip from Zagreb.

It wasn’t until I moved to Zagreb that I realized how the city offered a wealth of sightseeing options. Zagreb County offers a fantastic mix of nature, adventure tourism, heritage and gastronomy, with several excellent day trips for those wishing to explore. The Around Zagreb has enjoyed great success over the past two years, linking the city to tourism in its green surroundings.

One area I enjoyed getting to know a little better is Zumberak Nature Park, yet another slice of Croatian natural goodness, a short drive from Zagreb. With more than 300 km of cycle paths, 350 km of hiking trails, a protected cultural landscape, more than 20% of the total flora of Croatia, more than 34 archaeological sites and several traditional villages at more than 800 meters above sea level , there is a lot to explore in this little-visited region.


Long-time TCN followers may remember my first visit to Zumberak a few years ago, transporting the first free-range wagyu cows to the Tihocaj eco-village high in the Zumberak hills. The four black Japanese cows were the first cows in the village for 40 years and they certainly enjoyed their immense freedom and natural environment. You can read more about this project here.


The arrival of the cows (now 9 in number) is perhaps symbolic of the rebirth of Zaumberak, which is experiencing something of a renaissance, after a slow and gradual decline. The village of Tihocaj, for example, has just one inhabitant compared to around 40 more than 50 years ago – a 96-year-old lady whose house and vegetable patch are next to the field with the cows (pictured above with visitors from last year’s Zagreb Digital Nomads Week in Tihocaj).


However, a local entrepreneur is busy breathing life into the village by renovating many houses and turning it into an eco-friendly farm. It’s an investment that is reflected elsewhere in Zumberak, with the latest 30 million kuna investment officially opened a few weeks ago – the Sosice Visitor Center.


The centre, which was officially opened on April 11, breathes a little more life into the park by offering facilities that were previously unavailable. Among the various offers, Sosice Visitor Center has a café and a restaurant, as well as accommodation with 28 beds for hikers and cyclists who wish to spend the night in the park. The interactive information center, outdoor stage and amphitheater, as well as the outdoor children’s play area.


The objective of the project is to improve and enrich the Park’s offer with multimedia tools, as well as to allow the establishment of a nature school for children and voluntary activities. The Park’s offer has been expanded with the purchase of rental electric bicycles, and new educational panels and educational trails have been set up throughout the Park.


The total investment of 30 million was largely co-financed by EU funds from the Competitiveness and Cohesion Operational Program while the rest was co-financed by the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund with 4 million HRK and Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development through Joint Parks Fund with HRK 2.3 million.


“This is the largest investment ever made in the Zumberak region. Going forward, we expect several thousand students to visit us each year, who will introduce us to the values ​​and history of this region through educational programs, as well as several thousand volunteers and around 10,000 visitors,” said Zumberak Nature Park Director Kristijan Brkic.


On behalf of the county, the opening ceremony of the visitor center was attended by Deputy Warden Damir Tomljenovic and County Assembly President Martina Glasnovic.

“Over the past 20 years, the number of people in this area has halved from 1,200 to around 600, so we hope this valuable investment will succeed in revitalizing this area,” Tomljenovic said, adding that the county had invested in road paving. in Zumberak.

You can find out more about Sosice’s new visitor center at the site dedicated to the project.

And once you’ve explored the wondrous nature of Zumberak, head to nearby Samobor for culinary delights – Samobor, a culinary day trip from Zagreb with much more than Kremsnita.


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