Exploring Zagreb County: Nomading in Samobor and Tihocaj, Zumberak Nature Park

Total Croatia News

Updated on:

Photo credits Zagreb County Tourist Board
Photo credits Zagreb County Tourist Board

After a stimulating and intense week of keynote speeches, panel discussions, networking and socialising, the final day of Zagreb Digital Nomad Week on Sunday took participants out of the city to explore Zagreb County. 

The day, organised by the Zagreb County Tourist Board, is a continuation of the successful partnership with the Zagreb City Tourist Board on the Around Zagreb project, an attempt to showcase the natural, cultural and adventure options available in the county a short distance from the city.  


The intense heat necessitated a shorter day, but where better to start than historic Samobor, a delightfully charming old town a short drive west of Zagreb. And for all its historic charms, it was the natural ones that were the biggest initial attraction – the cooling air and spectacular nature along the river were a delight. 


The main attraction and centre of life, however, is the delightful main square of Samobor, which is an excellent event venue. The Samobor Jazz Festival is currently taking place for a month. 


And if there is one thing you must try when in Samobor, it is the famous Kremsnita, a deliciously light dessert for which the town is rightly famous. The visiting digital nomads needed no second invitiation. 

To learn more about Samobor, check out the Total Croatia guide, Samobor in a Page


The main attraction of the day, however, was a little higher up – the Green Hills eco-village in Tihocaj in Zumberak Nature Park. Tihocaj is home to, among other things, the first free-range wagju cows in Croatia. A village which has not seen cows for 40 years now has 7 black Japanese residents.


This unusual story is thanks to Nikola Bozic, the pioneering owner of one of Croatia’s premier meat restaurants – Djurina Hiza in Varazdinske Topilce – who bought the cows in appalling conditions and brought them to the natural paradise of Zumberak Nature Park, leaving them free to roam in 20,000 m2 of pristine nature. You can learn more about their journey from Medjimurje to their new home in this TCN feature story on that journey – it was quite a day. Medjimurje to Zumberak: Transporting Croatia’s 1st Free-Range Wagyu Cows.

Tihocaj has obviously been relaxing for Dougal the bull and his three female companions, for each has given birth to a calf within the first year. 


The only resident of Tihocaj today is Mare Gvozdanovic, who is 95. Mare has lived in Tihocaj for 50 years, and when she arrived, there were 150 people in the area, with plenty of children. The very remote spot is a divine spot, but far from local amenities. Mare lost her husband 4 years ago and now busies herself in the village, looking after her vegetable and talking to her Japanese four-legged neighbours, while enjoy the spectacular views and clean air. 


She will not be alone for long, for Tihocaj is home to one of the most interesting projects I have some across in Croatia. Local boy and serial entrepreneur, Davorin Stetner, our co-host – along with Ivana Alilovic, Director of the Zagreb County Tourist Board (seen with TCN above), has been buying the land and property in and around the village, while also creating an eco-farm. 


But this is no ordinary eco-farm, for it comes with its own helipad, high-speed Internet and (soon) swimming pool. The properties are being refurbished authentically, a wine cellar built, and there are no neighbours for miles. 


Perfect conditions, perhaps, for digital nomads wanting to work remotely in total peace, but connected to the world on their terms. There were plenty of murmurs of appreciation from the visiting nomads. 


Stetner organised a wine tasting and barbecue for his guest, with music in the background. Private parties in total isolation.There have already been several helicopter visits and VIP guests. Tihocaj is very much a work in progress, but it is scheduled to open for bookings next year. 


As excellent day to end a truly excellent week. The engagement from all the stakeholders was outstanding, and Zagreb truly shone. I was very pleasantly surprised at just how much the visiting digital nomads enjoyed the city. How digital nomad friendly is Zagreb? It seems from following the participants of Zagreb Digital Nomad Week 2021 that the answer is VERY!

Dean Kuchel of Digital Nomad World put it very well when asked what Zagreb is missing in this video interview

“The only thing missing in Zagreb is more digital nomads.”

To learn more about the charms of Zagreb County, click here.

More on Zagreb Digital Nomad Week.

For more news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, visit the dedicated TCN section


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment