Which are the best day tours from Zagreb that we recommend for 2021? Being an agent in a travel agency that offers private tours from Zagreb we often get THE question: What to visit in Zagreb vicinity for just one day? Another situation is: We have booked a week in Zagreb, we explored the city, what can we do next? Our clients, we have to say, sometimes aren’t even aware of the excellent geographical position that Zagreb has. So many destinations that you can visit within a day, and for the majority of them you don’t even have to cross any borders.
Best day tours from Zagreb ranked by their popularity
Here are our choices of 5 day tours from Zagreb listed by their popularity amongst our clients in the last few years:
1. Plitvice Lakes national park day tour from Zagreb
Plitvice Lakes waterfalls and lakes, national park, UNESCO heritage – Plitvice lakes day tour
Plitvice lakes national park is a place that absolutely all the visitors of Croatia know even before coming to our little country. The images of this natural phenomena and UNESCO listed heritage have gone around the world and brought visitors. That’s exactly why Day tour to Plitvice Lakes national park is the first one on our list. The tour includes a visit to the national park, visit to Rastoke millers village, lunch or local food tasting and a coffee break at a scenic location.
Before you come to the park you can have a small intro in the magic you can expect. By visiting Rastoke miller’s village, a little village 30 minutes before the park, you can see in a smaller scale the power of water and the uniqueness of this area. The oldest mill dates back to the 17th century and the other in the 19th.
Plitvice Lakes was proclaimed a national park in 1949, making them the first national park in Croatia. The process of tufa formation, which results in the building of the tufa, or travertine, barriers and resulted in the creation of 16 lakes connected with stunning waterfalls.
You can book the Plitvice Lakes day tour from Zagreb anytime because the park is open all year round. It’s hard to decide weather the park is more beautiful with spring flowers blossoms, the green and turquoise colors of summer, the autumn palette of brown, yellow and red or the white calmness of winter…
2. Istria day tour from Zagreb
Amphitheater Arena in Pula – Istria day tour
Istria – the land of olive oil, excellent wines and truffles. This list is an understatement, but it’s very difficult to describe Istria and even harder to suggest what to do and see. The inland of Istria and the shores are so very different. Istria day tour from Zagreb covers 3 cities on our Istria tour and we try to explain along the way what to expect and adjust the tour to the client’s interests.
The Istrian people know tourist and they have the best way of presenting their richness to the visitors. On each step you can find fairs dedicated to protected original local products – truffles, olive oil, smoked ham, cheese, wines…
The Istrian inland is a hilly green bonanza – the green hills with old medieval cities are a real sight. It doesn’t matter if you look from the valley up towards the city or if you look down from the city – the sight is equally enchanting. The cities we usually visit are Hum or Motovun.
The cities on the shore on the other hand is all about tourism and the Roman heritage. Poreč, Rovinj and Pula are cities that we usually visit on this tour.
Poreč and it’s UNESCO listed Euphrasian basilica is a must see for all architecture, culture and history lovers. The basilica is full of mosaics, some even dating back to the 4th century. Rovinj is the city that most of our clients prefer and the city of Pula surprises many. No one expects a monument like the Arena in such a small city. When we park the car right next to the best-preserved amphitheater in the world people just feel overwhelmed.
3. Slovenia day tour from Zagreb
Triple bridge in Ljubljana – Slovenia day tour
As we mentioned at the beginning, the great geographical position that Zagreb has, gives you the opportunity to explore not only Croatia, but also the neighboring countries. Slovenia is one of them and you definitely shouldn’t miss it and that’s why Slovenia day tour from Zagreb has the 3rd place on our list. Slovenia is often referred to as the green star of Europe – one reason is that over 60% of the Slovenian territory is covered with forests.
Since our clients usually have only one day for Slovenia we try to cover as much as we can on our tour and that’s why we are one of the rare ones that offers 3 destinations covered in one day: Postojna cave, Bled lake and Ljubljana, the capital. When our clients asked, it was hard even for us to choose between the listed attractions so we decided to cover it all.
Postojna cave is the Queen of the Underworld as people call it. And it’s true. It is a paradise that drops of water formed throughout millions of years.
Lake Bled is a must see. No other reason is needed. This gorgeous Alpine lake will take your breath away. But not just the lake, the Bled island and the fortress too. We give all options to our clients but we tell them not to miss the view from the Bled fortress and do not miss to try Bled cream cake.
Ljubljana is the last stop before returning to Zagreb. The city of dragons as they call it is full of legends and stories. A few hours in the city gives you enough time to explore the cities famous center with the Dragon bridge, triple bridge, the Town hall and even to take a ride in the funicular all the way up to the Old city.
4. Varaždin & Trakošćan castle day tour from Zagreb
Trakošćan castle and the park with a Lake surrounding it
We would call Castle Trakošćan and Varaždin day tour the most romantic tour from Zagreb and it includes a visit to Trakošćan castle and the city of Varaždin. The both destinations are romantic and magical, hidden behind the Ivanščica mountain in Zagorje.
The castle Trakošćan is a beautiful castle with romantic features. Although it was once a defensive fortress, the history gave the castle a romantic look, where it is a fairytale castle surrounded with lakes and enchanting forests. Inside the castle is fully furnished with the original furniture.
On the way from the castle to the city of Varaždin there are other cool things to see and visit. One of them is the Gaveznica – Kameni vrh in Lepoglava, a fossil volcano formed around 22 million years ago. The volcano is called ‘fossil’ because it became covered in younger sediments soon after its creation. It reached the surface again in the Pliocene (around 2 million years ago).
Lepoglava lace, the UNESCO listed heritage, is another thing you shouldn’t miss on this route. The marvelous lace – beauty and enchantment, which is believed to have been introduced in Croatia by the Pauline Order.
Varaždin city, once the capital of Croatia, in the 2014 New York Times listed it in the 52 places to visit.
One does not have to walk around the center for long to be struck by the architecture and the prevalence of Baroque palaces, each with their own individual style, beauty and history. If you have a chance visit it in the time of Špancirfest, the most famous festival.
5. Zagorje region day tour from Zagreb
Zagorje rolling hills with wineries and castles
One of our clients that lived in Zagreb for several months and took a tour with us couldn’t understand that he lived in Zagreb and had no idea that just 45 minutes from Zagreb existed this undiscovered gem, a fairytale full of castles and history.
Kumrovec – birthplace of Josip Broz Tito, the former Yugoslav president. The village is a museum in situ which means that all the houses that make it are in their original place. Each house tells its story about the customs and the way of life in the countryside.
Veliki Tabor castle – the best-preserved medieval castle in this part of Croatia stands proudly on the hilltop. The view from the castle is stunning but we have a secret. We will take you on a spot from which you will see the castle from above and it will seem like a real fairytale at hand – the slogan which describes the location best.
The third place is Krapina Neanderthal museum – the museum of evolution and Neanderthal findings. It is the largest site in Europe. The museum is linked to the actual site of the findings. The city has a long history and it’s, like the other cities in this area, full of history and legends.
These historical sites are surrounded with gorges nature, excellent food and even better wines. Do not miss this one.