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Central Croatia

Central Croatia is arguably the most mysterious part of the country, the in-between land that people pass through briefly on their way from Zagreb to the coast.

It is nothing if not varied, with the rolling hills of the north and east contrasting with the karstic uplands to the west. It does boast at least one internationally-celebrated destination, with the lakes and waterfalls of the Plitvice Lakes National Park pictured in media outlets around the world.

Elsewhere, quaint towns like Varaždin and Samobor provide a taste of Central European elegance while fortresses at Veliki Tabor and Ogulin point to a less than pacific past. The birthplace of Josip Broz Tito at Kumrovec and the memorial centre at the World War II murder camp of Jasenovac provide further pointers to the region’s turbulent twentieth century.

Day trips & overnighting

Many of the places in Central Croatia can be treated as day-trips from Zagreb. Those travelling towards the coast should consider breaking their journey in places like Plitvice or Ogulin in order to get the best out of a region that (for foreigners at least) is relatively undiscovered.

Eat Central Croatia & Slavonia





Croatia’s killing fields


Gorge nature trail


Compelling museum of the Neanderthals


Preserved village

Lonjsko polje

Ancient villages & sunken forests

Monument to the People of Moslavina

Avant-garde Partisan memorial

Petrova Gora

Banija & Kordun Uprising Monument

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Wonderland of lakes & waterfalls

Trakošćan Castle

Croatian gothic


Palaces, castles & cemeteries

Veliki Tabor

Classic castle

Text © Jonathan Bousfield

Image by Jonathan Bousfield