IDEAS FOR AN ACTIVE GETAWAY

ACTIVELY EXPLORE THE SURROUNDINGS OF PODSREDA CASTLE

The most beautiful hiking, walking, and cycling trails around the castle

Kozjansko is crisscrossed with hiking and cycling trails that invite to active experiences. A rich selection of thematically interesting and diverse trails will thrill every hiking or cycling enthusiast and lover of fun gatherings in beautiful nature, who believes that life is better when at least partly spent in hiking boots or on a bike.

Castle Trail Podsreda

One of the most beautiful options for a nature walk in Kozjansko Park is provided by the interactive Castle Trail Podsreda.

The 2.5 km long trail allows exploring the exceptional biodiversity and rich cultural heritage as well as other attractions of the surroundings. The trail is not demanding and is suitable for all generations, including families with children.

You can take a walk along the castle trail in all seasons. Even on hot summer days, the shade of mighty beech trees will provide pleasant freshness for most of the way.

The Life Naturaviva project is responsible for the maintenance and marking of the Castle Trail Podsreda since October 2019.

  • Trail length: 2.5 km
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Footwear: lightweight hiking shoes
  • Lowest elevation: 245 m (Podsreda square)
  • Highest elevation: 475 m (Podsreda Castle)

The Wind Harp at Vetrnik

In addition to markers and a newly arranged natural plateau with a love bench and a telescope, the hiking trail to Vetrnik now also invites with the sound of wind captured among the strings of the wind harp placed on the hilltop.
The harp symbolizes hands embracing the Kozjansko apple, crafted by musician and sound researcher Primož Oberžan. Its sound will gently caress hikers, accompanying the beauty of nature with delicate tones drawn from the strings by the wind.

A Walk Through the Bistrica Gorge

An undemanding footpath, suitable even for families, leads through the approximately three-kilometer-long Bistrica River gorge from the hamlet of Zagaj. The slopes of the gorge, considered the most preserved and picturesque river gorge in eastern Slovenia, are steep, rocky, and wooded.
After a few kilometers, the gorge becomes so narrow that it is impassable, but up to that point, a straight gravel road leads us, along which we can also take the trip with a stroller.
  • Difficulty: Walk
  • Equipment: Standard hiking gear
  • Altitude: 222 m (Starting altitude: 204 m, Elevation gain: 18 m)
  • Duration: Approximately 30 minutes of moderate walking on a gentle gravel path, part of which runs along the Bistrica River
  • Season: All seasons
  • Descent: Return to the starting point along the same path
  • Height: 386 m (Starting elevation: 241 m, Elevation difference: 145 m)
  • Time: The circular route will take us approximately one hour to walk.

Circular Route through Gruska Valley

Gruska Valley is the largest, oldest, and most significant geomorphological surface natural value of national importance in Kozjanski Park and is a beautiful example of an isolated karst phenomenon.
At the bottom of Gruska, we find a rich plant and animal life, which we get to know by following the beautifully maintained circular path equipped with informative directional signs.
  • Difficulty: Easy marked trail
  • Equipment: Standard hiking gear
  • Altitude: 349 m – maximum altitude, 283 m – minimum altitude (Starting elevation: 330 m, Elevation difference: 67 m)
  • Times: Starting point – Gruska Cave 25 minutes
  • Gruska Cave from the eponymous bus station – for GPS track, gallery CLICK HERE
  • Season: All seasons

Circular Route along Dragon's Back over Bredič

For all hiking enthusiasts and lovers of untouched nature and beautiful views, the "Path along the Dragon's Back" over Bredič is an excellent choice.

The trail is circular and leads from Kozje, over Bredič, and back along Bistri Graben to Kozje. Its endearing name hints at the ancient legend of the Kozje dragon, and with a little imagination, hikers feel as though they are ascending along the serrated ridge of a giant dragon during the walk.

On this circular path, you will also visit the ruins of Kozje Castle. The trail is well marked, and along the way, you'll enjoy beautiful views of nearby peaks such as Rudnica, Boč, and Donačka Gora, with Uršlja Gora and Peca or the Kamnik-Savinja Alps visible in the background. Bredič, in addition to its rich plant life, is home to numerous birds, butterflies, beetles, mammals, lizards, and reptiles.

The trail is maintained and organized, slightly more demanding in certain places, but it offers an unforgettable and unique hiking experience that will take approximately four hours.

  • Difficulty: Easy marked trail
  • Equipment: Standard hiking gear
  • Elevation difference: 418 m
  • Starting point: Kozje, 276 m. Exit the Ljubljana-Maribor motorway at the Celje or Dramlje exit, then proceed through Šentjur, Šmarje pri Jelšah to Podčetrtek or Prelasko, where you reach Buče in Kozje. WGS84: N 46.07297°, E 15.55478°
  • Time: Starting point-Bredič 2 h, descent 2 h, total 4 h
  • Season: All seasons
  • Maps: Posavje Hills, Cartography, 1:75,000; Kozje, Cartography, 1:35,000

Walk to the Lourdes Cave

Just a few minutes along the well-maintained and fairly gentle walking path, it leads us from the picturesque village center of Zagorje pri Lesičnem to Lourdes Cave, which is located 250 m from the church of St. Mary. Under the 19 m high sandstone overhang, there is a small altar, where there is also a spring of healing water.
Lourdes Cave is a point on the Marian Pilgrimage Route, which connects places in Slovenia, Croatia, and Austria. Pilgrims who went on pilgrimage to Our Lady Help of Christians in Zagorje also visited Lourdes Cave, believing that this spring is very beneficial and healing for the eyes. Here, a magnificent view of the natural beauty opens up to us, and the spring offers us a sip of fresh cold water.
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The Trail of Four Bohor Waterfalls

Not far from our castle, beneath the neighboring Bohor mountains, four waterfalls have formed on rocky barriers along small streams. They are connected by the marked hiking trail of the Four Bohor Waterfalls, revealing to you the wonderful world of waterfalls and suitable for a full-day trip. The trail is not difficult, but it is essential to allow enough time (4 to 5 hours) if you wish to visit all four waterfalls and the cottage on Bohor. The trail is well secured with guardrails at more dangerous points.

Footpath from Kozje to Vetrnik

Vetrnik (708 m) is a panoramic peak on the eastern edge of Bohor in Kozjansko Park. It is located high above the Bistrica Valley and, together with the surrounding hills, is part of the protected area of the Kozjansko Regional Park and the Natura 2000 area of Bohor.

There is also a forest footpath leading to the top of Vetrnik hill, which starts in Kozje (near the parish church of the Assumption of Mary in the Kozje square), and at the top, it joins the Nature Trail Travnik and the Zasavje Mountain Trail. The path is marked with directional arrows, and when it joins the Nature Trail Travnik, it is also marked with explanatory boards.

At the viewpoint of Vetrnik, where besides the beautiful views of the nature of Kozjansko Park, we are greeted by the Love Bench and a telescope, we find a real gem - a dry meadow, where in late spring and summer, we can count more than 50 plant species per m2. Here, the Nature Trail Travnik takes us into the life of dry meadows, which are the most diverse agricultural landscape and one of the most endangered habitats.

The ascent to Vetrnik is among the more popular and sought-after hiking destinations, also because of the wind harp.

  • Trail length: Starting point-Vetrnik (50 min), descent (40 min), total 1.30 hours (season: all seasons)
  • Difficulty: Easy marked trail
  • Equipment: Standard hiking gear
  • Elevation gain: 433 m
  • Starting point: Kozje, WGS84: N 46.07297°, E 15.55478°
  • Guides: Franci Zidar with collaborators: Guide to the educational path Vetrnik, Kozjansko Park, 2003; Marjan Pergar: Posavje Hills. PZS, 2004

Nature Trail Travnik

The highest, pre-Alpine areas of Kozjansko Park - Vetrnik, Oslica, Bohor, offer one of the most beautiful and richest habitats - mountain dry grasslands with extremely rich biodiversity.
The meadows are most beautiful due to the colorful flowers from May to August, while in October we can admire the diversity of meadow mushrooms. However, we experience them best by walking along the Nature Trail Travnik, which runs around the top of Vetrnik in the village of Vetrnik.
  • Trail length: 1.4 km, circular (viewing time: 1 hour)
  • Marking: 10 content points equipped with informational and directional signs
  • Elevation difference: 615 m above sea level – lowest point, 708 m above sea level – highest point
  • Difficulty: suitable for visitors with average physical abilities
  • GPS coordinates of the starting point: x=542 660, y=101 757
  • Access by car: from Kozje via Bistri graben to Vetrnik or from Podsreda and Gorjan to Vetrnik
  • Guide and brochure: CLICK HERE – Educational Path Vetrnik
  • Guidance: Kozjansko Park, Podsreda 45, Podsreda, tel. 03 800 7100.

From Podsreda along the Stations of the Cross to Stare Gore

Also enchanting is the picturesque and scenic path from Podsreda past the chapels of the Stations of the Cross to Stare Gore (English: "Old Mountains") above Podsreda with the church of Our Lady of Sorrows, where, at the upper chapel of St. Anne, one is said to feel the flow of positive earthly energies.
How to get to the starting point?
Drive to Bistrica ob Sotli, then continue towards Podsreda. At the intersection before Podsreda, continue towards Kozje. After about 200 meters, park in the parking lot next to the Podsreda Community Center on the right side of the road.
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Circular Route to Kozje Castle or Drachenburg

From Kozje, you can head to Bister Graben past Krof's Mill and from there, take the Path to Kozje Castle or Drachenburg, which is a well-maintained and safe recreational trail. Along the way, you'll encounter the old limestone quarry and part of the Drachenburg castle walls, with stunning views opening up at the top overlooking Kozje Square and the wider surroundings.
The trail is equipped with benches for hikers to sit, rest, and enjoy the pristine nature. Informational, directional, and descriptive signs for plants are also installed along the path. The trail starts at the limestone quarry in Bister Graben and ends at the pond in Kozje, where the Marof spring provides drinking water.
  • Starting point: Kozje (270 m)
  • 07288°N 15.55377°E
  • Walking time: 20 min
  • Difficulty: partially demanding marked trail
  • Elevation difference: 90 m

Hiking Trail Pilštanj and Water Educational Path Lesično

The ancient market town of Pilštanj is today one of the stops on the Emmaus Pilgrimage Route, which connects places in Slovenia and Austria associated with Saint Emma.
In the square, where nature and culture with a rich history join hands, there are numerous attractions that we can explore if we follow the Pilštanj Hiking Trail, which takes us through the ancient market town of Pilštanj and is divided into three sections: Town Trail (length 500 m), Castle Trail (length 600 m), Path to Vino Gora (length 3000 m), and the water educational path Lesično, which connects wells and water sources and acquaints us with the natural and historical heritage of this area.
  • Length of the trail: 4 km (Town Trail – 500m, Castle Trail – 600 m, Path to Vino Gora – 3000 m)
  • Time required for viewing: 2 hours
  • Marking: informative and directional signs. Click for MAP OF THE ROUTE.
  • Elevation difference: 380 m above sea level – lowest point, 519 m above sea level – highest point
  • Difficulty: suitable for visitors with average physical abilities
  • Starting point of the trail: Pilštanj square
  • GPS coordinates of the starting point of the trail: x = 540 918, y = 106 307

Geological Educational Trail Olimje

The Geological Educational Trail runs in the northern part of Kozjanski Park, around the village of Olimje, offering beautiful views of the majority of the protected area. The geological diversity along the trail is suitable for presenting the geological development and structure of Kozjanski, and there are also other natural values and cultural heritage sites worth seeing.
  • Trail Length: 10 km.
  • Time Required for Viewing: 4 to 6 hours, with three possible partial circular routes lasting 1 to 2 hours each.
  • Marking: 21 content points equipped with informative and directional signs.
  • Elevation Difference: 230 m above sea level – lowest point, 420 m above sea level – highest point.
  • Difficulty: Suitable for visitors with average physical abilities.
  • Trail Start: Slake near Olimje, at the abandoned mine shaft, about 1 km from Podčetrtek towards Olimje, turn right (at the Church of the Virgin Mary on Pesek). Click for TRAIL MAP.
  • GPS Coordinates of the Trail Start: x=545 212, y=111 970.
  • Guidebook and Brochure: On the Geological Educational Trail to Rudnica and Virštanj.
  • Guidance: Kozjanski Park, Podsreda 45, Podsreda, tel. 03 800 7100.

Hike to the Tower of Health and Joy on Rudnica

The Tower on Rudnica, also known as the Tower of Health and Joy, is a 35.23 m high metal observation tower on Silovec, which, at 622 m, is the highest peak of Mali Rudnica. You can reach the tower on foot, by bike, or by car, as it is located at an excellent location at the intersection of hiking trails leading to the surrounding peaks and ending (or starting) in Podčetrtek.
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For more information about maintained walking paths and ideas for strolling around the castle surroundings, visit the Kozjansko Park website.

EXPLORING THE VICINITY OF THE CASTLE BY BICYCLE

Cycling Exploration of Kozjansko Regional Park

Exploring the surroundings of the castle by bike is an excellent idea for discovering the natural and cultural attractions of Kozjanski Park. The area offers well-maintained cycling paths and marked routes that lead through picturesque landscapes, allowing for stops at local gastronomic providers.
Cycling in natural environments outside settlements and designated paths is not permitted, but cycling tours along forest trails and roads offer a rich experience of the region's nature and culture.
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RENTING E-BIKES AT THE CASTLE AND IDEAS FOR CYCLING ROUTES

At Podsreda Castle, we offer the opportunity to rent electric bikes.

The bikes available include mountain bikes (for both men and women) and city or trekking bikes (for both men and women).

The rental fee for a bike is €20.00 per day.

The rental fee for guests of the Rooms and Apartments at Podsreda Castle is €15.00/day.

HORSEBACK ADVENTURES IN THE KOZJANSKO HILLS

The Kozjansko hills, green meadows, and fresh air – treasures that adorn the surroundings of Podsreda Castle. And there’s no better way to experience them than in the saddle, accompanied by the joyful sounds of horses’ hooves.

At Rubin’s Stable, you have the opportunity to fully experience all the beauties of the landscape on the backs of horses and ponies.

The stable offers a diverse range of activities suitable for all ages and experience levels: pony riding, guided trail rides, pony carriage rides, pony-themed birthday parties.

And best of all, Rubin’s Stable is just a few minutes’ drive from Podsreda Castle. By arrangement, you can go horseback riding or carriage driving and then visit the stunning Podsreda Castle.

Don’t miss the opportunity to spend time in nature, explore the Kozjansko hills on horseback, and create unforgettable memories with your loved ones.

ADDITIONAL SPORTS AND LEISURE ACTIVITIES

Within the Kozje Sports Park, there’s an outdoor fitness area set up, providing a safe, functional, and attractive venue for sports enthusiasts who prefer outdoor workouts. Adjacent to this, you’ll find the “Be fit, be smart” playground equipped with street workout amenities and a children’s climbing wall.

Located near the Kozjanski Dvor Inn in Kozje, there’s an opportunity for fishing in their pond, which hosts various fish species including carp, grass carp, pike, and more.

During the summer months, in the heart of Kozje along the Bistrica River, a dam is constructed, creating a delightful natural swimming spot suitable even for our furry friends. This offers a refreshing option for relaxation and immersing oneself in natural waters.

Nestled amidst the scenic landscape along the Sotla River in the village of Olimje, lies the Amon Olimje Golf Course boasting nine holes. Here, you can indulge in the game of golf, soaking up a harmonious blend of serene outdoor living and finely tuned bodily movements.

KOZJANSKO, LAND OF EXPERIENCES

"Discover, Experience, Fall in Love"

Where nature, history, and culture intertwine in a harmonious symphony of diverse experiences. In the heart of the Kozjansko region, you will discover a true treasure trove of experiences – from romantic moments and adventures for families, to culinary discoveries and unique adventures in nature. We invite you to explore and discover everything that this magical landscape has to offer with us!

INTERACTIVE MAP OF THE SURROUNDING AREA

For further orientation, visit the Visit Podčetrtek website (Tourist Information Center Podčetrtek, Bistrica ob Sotli, and Kozje), where they have prepared an interactive map of the castle's surroundings.

MORE IDEAS AND TIPS

FOR MORE IDEAS AND TIPS

follow the links below to useful websites:

KOZJANSKI PARK

Website of one of the largest and oldest regional parks in Slovenia

VISIT PODČETRTEK

Website of the Tourist Information Centre Podčetrtek, Bistrica ob Sotli and Kozje

VISIT OBSOTELJE AND KOZJAN

Welcome to Obsotelje and Kozjansko – Municipalities of Šmarje pri Jelšah, Rogaška Slatina, Rogatec, Podčetrtek and Kozje

VISIT SEVNICA

Sevnica – a treasure trove of experiences!

BREŽICE

Čatež and Brežice – a green world at the confluence of the Sava and Krka rivers, thermal springs, vineyards and castles – Brežice, many call it the place where different worlds meet.

CROSS

To Krško for the energy of flavours, wine, nature and culture!

POSAVJE – FULL OF OPPORTUNITIES

Posavje is the sleeping princess of Slovenian tourism.

Zapri

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