Located just 25km west of Croatia’s capital Zagreb, Samobor is a cute little town that despite its size attracts many tourists all year around with its beautiful surroundings and rich tradition. Thanks to its connection with Zagreb, Samobor is a historical town but all the same modern, well developed and financially stable place that has preserved its identity, culture, natural beauty and heritage during the years. Many famous artists, both painters, and sculptors, but composers as well, came to Samobor to create their pieces and often came back after once falling in love with it. The town has a reputation of an important gourmet destination and its carnival is well known.
What to visit
As a typical medieval town, Samobor is full of sacral architecture. The chapel of St Mary is the oldest building in the town and is an internal part of Franciscan Church of Mary’s Assumption. On the other hand, there’s the church of St Anastasia, built in the 17th century and one of the few early baroque constructions in Croatia. The church of St Michael is the third one worth seeing and was built around 1500.
Other than sacral architecture, there are a number of 19th-century buildings and romantic bridges all over the town. If you want to learn more about Samobor’s history, definitely visit the Samobor Museum. Another beautiful place is the Liberation Park that was dedicated to Croatian soldiers who died in the Croatian Independence War. Take a walk on the Anindol Promenade on the slopes of Tepec hill and feed your eyes and soul with its well-preserved nature. On the Tepec hill, there are the ruins of the Samobor castle, built in the 13th century, where you can admire the remains of a massive castle entrance and the walls. Samobor-s first tourist facilities date back to 1810 and it is one of the earliest tourist resorts in the region.
If you happen to visit the town in February, you may witness the large carnival that is organized every year and see the burning of the fasnik (a big ragged doll blamed for all the misfortunes during the previous year). Another big event that attracts many people in Samobor is the Salami Festival that takes place in March and April.
Sport and Recreation
Samobor is surrounded by thick forest, so you can enjoy long walks and explore its numerous hiking trails. For adrenaline junkies, there’s the possibility to do some rock-climbing, as well as learn how to horseback ride in the little villages outside the town. If you are visiting Samobor during the spring or summer, take a walk to nearby hills of Samobor from where you can enjoy an amazing view of the town of Samobor and Zagreb. Samobor also has a tennis court and a swimming pool and during the winter you can perfect your skiing or snowboarding skills.
The most popular and widely appreciated local specialty is samoborske kremsnite ( a type of cake) that are definitely one of the town’s main symbols. Other sweet delicacies are rudarska greblica (the miner’s cake), honey and gingerbread biscuits and fasnik krafna ( a type of doughnut eaten during the carnival time). If you think the local food is all about sweet stuff and nothing else, you are terribly wrong. On the restaurant’s menus, you can find traditional meals like Samobor cutlet, trout, mushroom soup made from fresh local mushrooms, Samobor salami, cesnofka, and the meal that has been associated with the town for centuries now – bermet and mustarda.
There is a lot to see and do outside of the town as well as in it. Just next to the Slovenian border there’s the stunning Zumberak Nature Park with its amazing nature and hiking trails. Archaeological Park at Budinjak has been almost perfectly preserved to this day and at its hill-fort, you can see the remains of a settlement inhabited during the late Iron Age. If this is not enough, go see Jagetic, Gradna Stream or take a stroll down the educational trail called Path of the Princes.
Samobor is known for its crystal factories that still to this day manually grind the crystal. Choose something nice among the vast collection of dishes, glasses, bowls and much more. All this at very reasonable prices.