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Tourist Attractions and Events

An active and diverse natural environment, rich cultural and historical heritage and a favourable climate in addition to a multitude of roads with lower levels of traffic suitable for bike rides offer numerous comparative advantages for the development of cyclotourism within Varaždin County. Of these valuable natural and cultural-historical heritage it is important to mention:

  • The Old Town Promenade within the historic city core in the Baroque City of Varaždin;
  • Aquacity – Continental Croatia’s beach;
  • The River Drava offers recreational rafting services, kayaking and bike rental;
  • The Educational Trail in Drava Forest Park in Varaždin;
  • The monument to park architecture and cultural wellness – Varaždin Cemetery;
  • A monument to park architecture – Opeka Arboretum;
  • Thermal springs of medicinal waters in Varaždinske Toplice;
  • Trakošćan Castle and Forest Park – a landscaped park where the lake, meadows and trees make a harmonious horticultural unit; Educational Path ‘Put vila’ (Path of the Fairies)
  • Batthyany Castle in Ludbreg;
  • The Island of Youth in Ludbreg is a natural good and the Lovia Architectural Park is a cultural good;
  • Wine Routes and Wine Cellars throughout the County;
  • Bednja River – the longest River that flows in its entirety through Croatia – springs at Gornja Višnjica, 5 km from Trakošćan;
  • Hiking and cycling trials along the Drava River;
  • Zelendvor – a forest park with a Hunter’s Recreational Lodge;
  • Gaveznica – Kameni vrh – a geological natural monument with a fossilised volcano and agate sites;
  • Ivanščica – the highest mountain in North-western Croatia – hosts downhill race in several categories in which competitors compete for the Croatian Cup and fight for the title of Croatian Champion;

  • Vražji stolček (‘the Devil’s Chair’) rock lies between Margečan and Gačice and resembles a chair, which has linked it to a number of ghost stories, and offers a beautiful view of the Bednja River Valley;
  • Čevo Hill – due to its special shape and dominant position above the Bednja River Valley – is one of the most favourite destinations for mountaineers and cyclists;
  • At the foot of Ivanščica, near Prigorec, is a winter excursion site, the Jarki Ski Resort and Friščić Mill which, for more than fifty years, has turned grains into flour;
  • Ravna gora – the northernmost mountain of Croatian Zagorje – has two mountaineering huts: Filićev dom offers a range of food and drinks and is open all year round, and Pusti Duh is operated by the Lepoglava Sports Association and can open up when required;
  • Belski dol Spring – a source of clean and healthy drinking water which the nearby residents and visitors from farther places visit and take water home, is located in a wooded canyon and is easily accessible from the road. Beside the source is a chapel and a way of the cross that serve as a resting point to pilgrims heading to the Marija Bistrica Shrine, and the Castles of Bela I and Bela II;
  • Kalnik is a very popular destination for climbers and suitable for paragliding and mountain biking. The route is marked as a BOK Route (BOK – biciklom oko Kalnika (Cycling around Kalnik)). Throughout the year there is also a catering facility offering food and drinks;
  • Grebengrad is appealing to amateur cyclists and also offers private accommodation;
  • Geological-palaeontological Natural Monument – Vindija Cave;
  • The Lužec Excursion Site in Novi Marof is where bicycle lovers have made the Lužec XC Biking Route alone, which also needs to be integrated into the web and marked in accordance with standards; Lužec is a Natural Park abundant with drinkable water springs, lakes and man-made promenades;
  • In Podrute there is the Pokojec Rock, which is approximately thirty-metres high and prepared for those interested in challenging sport climbing
  • In Topličica there is the ‘Topličica’ picnic and bathing site that offers two large pools with slides, a children’s amusement park, tennis courts, table tennis and a catering facility providing a range of drinks and food. In the immediate vicinity there are also several fisheries for fish farming; and
  • The ‘Rauš’ Carting Track is located by the Novi Marof motorway exit, in Možđenec. It is primarily intended for supermoto motorcycles and karting but it is also suitable for driving sports motorcycles. Along the route there is a restaurant that offers refreshment with drinks and food. Every weekend various competitions and events are held here.

Aside from the natural and cultural-historical attractions, Varaždin County abounds with social and cultural events, such as:

Additionally Varaždin participates in the event called Kajkavijana – a cycling marathon that marked its 10th anniversary last year and starts in Varaždin at the stroke of midnight and passes through three countries. Kajkavijana has been recognised as a Varaždin sporting brand and beside, offering competitions in several categories, (Great Kajkavijana, Little Kajkavijana, My First Kaj Marathon and the Tour de KAJ), each year it offers new content, such as children’s contests while fans and spectators enjoy the entertaining musical programme. It is expected that the same tradition will continue over the forthcoming years.

Along with Varaždin a special interest in cyclotourism is also represented by the Town of Ivanec because of the exceptional relief features (Ivanščica Mountain) and, with a wide variety of cultural and natural heritage, it represents a potential future tourist attraction. Moreover, there are several proposals for cycling routes to cover the following area: Ivanec, Prigorec, Sv. Duh, Ivanečka Željeznica, Margečan, Salinovec and Punikve. There are three cycling routes in the Lepoglava area waiting to be recorded as official routes of Varaždin County so that co-financing from national and EU funds can be applied for.

In rural areas within Varaždin County there are also numerous country farms, excursion sites and tasting rooms that offer autochthonous cuisine – traditional food and drinks from this region which, owing to its attractive location, provides a unique tourist experience for visitors. Within the County there are dozen country farms that provide tourism services including stay and accommodation or excursions in a rural environment which are predominantly oriented to providing meals (restaurants). In addition to individual/one-off services, manufacturers have organised a honey road (the Sweet Path) that combine the offer of six honey-makers and the traditional food route (Traditional Food Route) which presents offerings of nine indigenous producers from the County (cabbages, pumpkin oil, honey, cheese, fruit liqueurs/brandies and traditional food), while about twenty households (wine cellars/tasting rooms) focused on wine tourism services have organised four wine routes(the Toplice Wine Road, the Klampotic Wine Road in Cestica, the Jalžabet Wine Road and the Ludbreg Wine Road).

The aforementioned facilities have led to Varaždin County being ranked as one of the most attractive parts of Continental Croatia.