Nautre park Žumberak

Less than 10 kilometers southwest of Samobor are the eastern borders of the Žumberak Nature Park Samoborsko Gorje. Today it is one of the least populated areas in Croatia, but despite the difficult life, people have lived there since ancient times. The area of 333 square kilometres of Žumberak and Samobor mountains was declared a nature park in 1999.

It is a beautiful area whose beauty is not in one cave or one lookout, but in a mosaic landscape permeated with meadows, orchards, fields and preserved traditional villages combined with endless forest expanses. Wavy hills dotted with streams and steep mountain ridges will provide an unforgettable experience for every nature lover. The flora here is extremely rich. Up to forty plant species can be found on just one square meter of grassland. There are 38 species of orchids in the park, which many consider the queen of flowers, and as many as 377 species of fungi, including Hygrophorus camarophyllus, which is on the list of globally endangered species. A particularly important locality is the wet habitat - mire along the Jarak stream with as many as 74 plant species, among which it is worth mentioning 6 rare species of orchids and the carnivorous plant – the alpine butterwort. The forests are predominantly beech while on the slopes one can find the downy oak and black hornbeam. The Park is teeming with animals - amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates and small mammals are common. There is also a strictly protected black salamander. There is no lack of birds, of which there are over 110 species, among which we should mention the northern goshawk, waterfowl and mountain wagtail.

Given that 90 percent of the park's surface is karst, it is not surprising that the underground is rich in caves. The deepest cave found is Dolača, 155 meters deep and 1262 meters long, while the longest Provala is 1862 meters. The highest peak of the park is Sveta Gera with 1178 meters above sea level, at the top of which cattle fairs used to be held. Along with the old, fortified towns such as Okić, Tuščak, Lipovac and the Old Town of Žumberak, which testify to the rich history of the area, the history of Croatian mountaineering is written in the park, since in 1875 the first mountaineering ascent to Oštrc and Plešivica was organized.

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