That Samobor has been one of the capital's top weekend haunts since before the turn of the 20th century without really being on the way to anything else in Croatia testifies to its abundant cultural and natural charms. Close to the Slovenian border, this picturesque medieval town on the eastern slopes of the lushly forested Samoborsko gorje was chartered by the Hungarian-Croatian king Bela IV in 1242. The town and environs are popular with hikers, with trails leading into the hillside right from the center of town. Perched in those hills, just 30 minutes from town on foot, are the ruins of a 13th-century castle, which ennoble the main square from their sublime heights. And what would a visit to Samobor be without a stroll along Gradna, the peaceful stream that runs through town?
After an energetic hike, you may wish to fortify yourself with a glass of locally made bermet, a vermouth-like drink whose secret recipe was apparently brought here by French forces during their occupation from 1809 to 1813.