Žumberak and Samobor Hills Nature Park
West of Zagreb is Žumberak Nature Park and Samobor Highlands. Their distinctive nature stems from the number of karstic phenomena atypical of the areas adjoining the Pannonia Plain: deep canyons, small, sparkling rivers bursting with numerous waterfalls and broad, flowering meadows. The special feature of Žumberak is its people, who live on the higher parts of the mountains, in villages clinging to the steep slopes. The majority of the populations are descendants of the famous Croatian guardians of the sea - Uskoks from the town of Senj, located on the shores of Kvarner. As some of the people are Greek Catholics, the villages of Žumberak are dotted with numerous small, picturesque churches, including the highest peak of Mount Žumberak the 1202 metre high Sveta Gera. The foothills of Žumberak Samobor Hills are gentler, particularly the vineyards on the slopes of Plešivica. Grape vines blend nicely with the landscape, as do the numerous forts scattered across the surrounding hills, like the old town of Samobor.