Find the route for you
The Ratkaj Route – Desinić
Desinić is mentioned for the first time in the Zagreb Kaptol statutes around 1334, under the name ‘Ecclesia sancti Gheorgii de Zothla’, as the seat of the Roman Catholic parish of St. George.
Desinić is a charming small, non-urban town in Zagorje, where the great Gothic church of St. George graces the local square, co-existing with peasants struggling all day on land, with very modest opportunities.
The Ratkay family of Veliki Tabor became the owners of Veliki Tabor in 1502, after the Celjski family. It was by a royal charter from King Maximilian II that Baron Petar Ratkay came into possession of it for military merit. As owners, the Ratkay family expanded Veliki Tabor, giving it its present appearance. When coming into Veliki Tabor, the coat of arms of the county of Ratkay is still visible: a brick well with a spool and a bucket.
The Ratkaj Route starts on the public parking lot south of the Church of St. George. Start by riding south, and after the downhill section, turn right at the D1 intersection, located 150 m from the bridge over the Horvatska watercourse. Follow the street and turn right at the small D2 intersection. You will reach the beginning of the uphill section and the D3 intersection, where you should keep to the right. You will arrive at the D4 intersection with the main road in no time. Before continuing, we recommend visiting the Grešna Gorica Restaurant, which is located south of the D4 intersection. After a tour of Grešna Gorica, the route continues along the main road that passes at the foot of the Veliki Tabor Castle, which you will visit near the end of the ride. A gentle downhill section followed by a gentle uphill section to the D5 Y-junction; turn left into the forest, paved road. Follow the road to D6, turn right. Here you will find the Chapel of St. John and a beautiful view of the picturesque hills of Zagorje. Continue south-west to the intersection D7 in the middle of the forest, turn right and follow the road to the T-junction D8 with the main road. Turn left, and after 200 m, make a sharp right turn and, with a view of the Miljana castle, continue to the uphill section leading to the forest above the chapel, then right, until you reach the D9 Y-junction. Turn left onto the forest road, which is where the real two-wheeled off-road fun begins. J Upon leaving the forest you will find yourself at the D10 intersection; continue straight to the north-west. The Chapel of St. Anne is on the left, offering a picturesque view of the Veliki Tabor Castle. As you continue down the same road, you’ll come to the D11 intersection, where you need to turn right onto the uphill section, with the Masnec family-owned farm (OPG) waiting for you at the top. You’ll find yourself on the forest road, ready to enjoy the off-road ride. In the middle of the forest you’ll reach the D12 intersection, where you need to turn right. The left turn leads to Slovenia. This is followed by a forestry ride to the D13 T-junction, where you need to turn right. Then, at the D14 intersection, you need to turn left. The path follows a picturesque road to the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene; owing to the chapel’s location atop of a hill, the view is once more nothing short of magnificent. Continue and you’ll arrive at the D15 intersection below the Veliki Tabor court. Turn left and ride straight along the cobblestone road to the Veliki Tabor court. Feel free to take a break here and have a look around in Veliki Tabor, which is one of the most beautiful and best-preserved monuments of medieval military-residential architecture in Croatia and this part of Europe in general. When you are done sightseeing, the route leads back to the intersection where you need to turn right and take the gravel road leading downhill, called the Veronika Desinićka Promenade.
As you reach the D16 T-junction, turn right and follow the road to D17. Turn left onto the gravel road that leads to the D18 T-junction. Head right towards a gentle uphill section and keep to the right at the next Y-junction. Although your legs are bound to feel a bit heavy as you make your way uphill here, at the top you will find the centuries-old linden tree in Desinić and a view of the Veliki Tabor Castle, which you must immortalize with a photograph. After having a look-around, you can start the partially steep downhill section to the town centre of Desinić, which is where your tour comes to an end.
The route is ideal for MTB/Gravel/trekking bikes, and you can easily and effortlessly ride an e-bike, as well. Moderate physical fitness and advanced cycling skills are needed.
For additional information, please contact the Tourist Board of Po plavem trnaci (Tourist Board of the Kumrovec, Desinić, Zagorska Sela).
For a safe and carefree ride, study the map and all the necessary information or hire a local licensed cycling guide. A list of active and licensed guides can be found here.
Route start/endpoint: Desinić – the parking lot in the town centre. The route starts on the parking lot, before heading south.
- Y-junction after crossing the Horvatska watercourse. Turn right and follow the road.
- X-junction. A small junction in the middle of the street. Turn right.
- Intersection. Turn right towards the uphill section, and keep riding to the T-junction with the main road.
- T-junction with the main road. Turn right to visit ‘Grešna Gorica’ for a true rural tourism experience. On the way back, turn left and ride on the main road.
– Grešna Gorica Restaurant
- Y-junction. Turn left into the forest.
- T-junction. Turn right. After 50 m comes the entrance to the Chapel of St. John. Spectacular vistas.
– Chapel of St. John
- Y-junction. Turn right through the forest, and stay on the same path to the T-junction with the main road.
- T-junction with the main road. Turn left. After 200 m, make a sharp right turn. Enjoy a view of the Miljana Castle, while continuing towards the uphill section leading to the forest, then turn right.
- Y-junction. Turn left onto the forest road and pay careful attention to stay on the road.
- Y-junction with the paved road. Keep to the right and continue.
– Chapel of St. Anne
- Intersection. Turn right and uphill.
- Y-junction in the forest. Turn right. The road left leads to Slovenia.
- T-junction. Turn right.
- Y-junction. Turn left.
– Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene
- T-junction. Turn left. The road straight ahead leads to the Veliki Tabor Castle. On the way back, make a sharp right turn onto a gravel road.
– Veliki Tabor Castle
- T-junction. Turn right.
- T-junction. Turn left onto the gravel road.
- T-junction. Turn right. At the next Y-junction, turn right, towards an uphill section.
– Centuries-old linden tree in Desinić
Return to the starting point in the centre of Desinić.