LENGTH: 35 km
TYPE: CIRCULAR ROUTE
Recommended direction: Sošice, Sveta Gera, Sekulići, Kuljaji, Radatovići, Šiljki, Malinci, Plavci, Reštovo Žumberački, Sošice
The next circular route, 35 km long, is rather demanding, featuring a 930 m long ascending stretch. Both the starting and the ending points are in Sošice, one of the most visited places in Žumberak. In contrast to the typical Žumberak villages, scattered around the hills, or compacted in the river valleys, this one is situated in the broad valley of the Sošice plain. You’ll start your cycling tour from this Žumberak village, where you can visit the local churches – the Greek Catholic Church of St. Peter and Paul, from the 18th century, the Roman Catholic Chapel of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, from the beginning of 19th century, the Basilian Sisters monastery with its ethnographic collection, the Jazovka pit and the frothy Sopot waterfall. A winding forest road will take you up to Sveta Gera, the highest peak of Žumberačka gora, 1178 m above the sea level, near the Slovenian border. Although the Croatian name for the peak has traditionally been Sveti Ilija (St. Elijah), it has somehow been replaced by the old Slovenian name Sveta Gera (from St. Gertrude). At its top, there are the remains of an old Greek Catholic chapel of St. Elijah the Prophet, built in the 16th century. From there, you’ll go downhill to Rajakovići, at the foot of the Oštrc hill, with two creeks, the Vrelo and the Sušica. Not far from there, you’ll see Sekulići, the last inhabited place before Sveta Gera, with a road branching towards Bulići. Zeleni vir, the most attractive part of the Sušica valley, is situated in the western part of Žumberačka gora, on the Sušica, near the village of Kuljaji. Its name contains the word for ‘green’, since the water there reflects the green woods towering over it almost like a dome. After that, you’ll arrive to Radatovići, with its parish church of the Ressurection of Our Lord, from 1870. Inside, you’ll find a valuable iconostasis from 1880, the Gospel from 1896, and the traditional Croatian flag from 1912. A forest trail will then take you through Malinci, with the St. Demetrius Chapel, to the village of Visoči. From there, you’ll be able to see the surrounding towns, as well as the pristine Žumberak woods.
Apart from its authentic beauty, this village has something unique, too. Visoče has three ecclesiastical statues: Jelavski at the beginning of the village, Mivinim in its center and Lubinski at the other end of the village. After this interesting village, you’ll come to Plavci and Reštovo Žumberačko, the birthplace of Tadija Smičiklas, who wrote the first modern and comprehensive history of Croatia, ‘The History of Croats’. As a token of appreciation and in memory of the ‘Croatian Herodotus’ (the term coined by the Croatian novelist August Šenoa), a memorial plaque was placed in 1928 on the house in which he was born. After this interesting cycling tour featuring a number of historic sites and elements, you’ll arrive at its starting point, the village of Sošice.