Kastav is a town located in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, built on a 365-meter-high hill with an incredible panoramic view of the entire Kvarner Bay.
Over the years, Kastav has developed an amazing tourist offer, so today it boasts numerous cultural and entertainment events, museums, galleries, attractions, top restaurants where you can taste traditional flavors and enjoy oenological pleasures and well-maintained bike and hiking trails that pass through nearby forests - Loza and Luzina.
What makes Kastav attractive is the proximity and easy access to nearby larger cities, especially those on the coast - Rijeka and Opatija, so during the summer months you have enough time to visit the Kvarner Bay, islands and beaches, without getting into big crowds and the overcrowding of the places mentioned.
We have no doubt that Kastav will remain in your memory after the visit precisely because of its diversity, hospitality and warmth of the hosts. Below we bring you the attractions, sights and main features of the city of Kastav:
MAJOR EVENTS IN KASTAV
As we mentioned, Kastav has always been proud of its historical and cultural heritage, so these customs have become a recognizable feature of the city. During the year the city hosts many music festivals, the most famous of which are the Kastav Cultural Summer (during July and August), the Guitar Festival (in May) and the Kastav Blues Festival (in June). Every year, these festivals attract many famous and esteemed musicians, but also a growing audience.
A fun traditional holiday is also the carnival that begins every year on January 17 on St. Anthony's Day, and an interesting holiday - Bela Nedeja, which celebrates young wine in early autumn and gathers local tamburitza players, and the event is celebrated in pleasant restaurants and cafes bars.
PLACES OF INTEREST IN KASTAV
1. Alley of the Giants - Alley of the Giants in Kastav is a display of the most influential people in Croatian history who are natives of Kastav. Beautiful white busts show five Kastav greats who are: Vladimir Nazor, Ivan Matetic Ronjgov, Vjekoslav Spincic, Matko Laginja and Matko Mandic.
2. Church of St. Sebastian and Fabian - This small church of St. Sebastian and Fabian was built in the 15th century in the immediate vicinity of the Alley of the Greats. The church was built at a time when cholera was ravaging the city, so to this day it has retained the title of protector of its inhabitants from disease.
3.Fortica- Fortica in Kastav is actually a pebble plateau with tall wild chestnut trees and benches set up to enjoy the beautiful panoramic view of the Kvarner Bay and the mountain Ucka.
4. Town Lodge - The Town Lodge was built in 1517 on Matka Laginja Square. Throughout history, this place has been a center for socializing locals but also for reading court sentences. One of these customs has survived to this day, so the Town Lodge is a popular gathering place for various events and manifestations.
5. Voltica - Voltica is actually the entrance to the town of Kastav, that is, it is the main town gate from 1713. There used to be a massive wooden door here that opened and closed at sunrise and sunset.
6. Kastav Region Museum Collection - In the premises of the former Kastav City Government, today is the magnificent Museum Collection, which in its permanent display has a variety of authentic objects, documents, photographs and maps that give you a closer look at the life of Kastav through history.
7. Belice House - Belice House is actually a newly opened museum that bases its permanent exhibition and content on a long tradition of winemaking in the entire area of the town and its surroundings. The idea of the museum is to show the public in more detail how wine has been made over the years and how much effort, will and desire is 'woven' into each bottle.
8. Idicina peknjica - It is also called the Bakery Collection and is part of the manifestation of the Kastav Cultural Summer. What is especially important is the fact that this is an attempt to raise awareness of cultural identity and to encourage the importance of former crafts. The biggest attention is paid to the bread oven, which is on display in Peknjica, about 100 years old, and which is also in operation today, so delicious bread is traditionally baked every year.
9. Castle with the Church of the Holy Trinity - The small church of the Holy Trinity from the 15th century was built in the center of Kastav, on its central town square. Today, the church has taken over the function of an exhibition space.
10. City walls- Due to the turbulent past, from the sixth to the ninth century Kastav was surrounded by massive stone walls that were connected to a total of nine high towers. Unfortunately, over the centuries, several were destroyed, so today a total of six have been preserved, the most famous and most popular for visiting the Zudika Tower, where, according to oral tradition, verdicts were once pronounced, but also the burning of witches. From Zudika there is a beautiful panoramic view of the whole of Kastav.
RECREATION IN KASTAV
The town of Kastav boasts many landscaped green areas such as parks, forests and promenades that are great for recreation and enjoying the natural beauty of the region. In addition to walks, a popular activity is horseback riding, with which you can also explore and pass through the surrounding forests of Loza and Luzina. Also, in the town starts a 63-kilometer-long, well-maintained bike path with routes that will delight every recreationist.
We bring you popular trails and details to make your active vacation even easier and more interesting:
1. Kastav-Majev Vrh Trail
The walk starts from the old town (starting point is Fortica) and continues into the depths of the dense Loza forest. Arranged wide paths with markings will allow you to easily move through the forest, and if you want you can climb to Majev Vrh, which is located 410 meters above sea level. The length of this circular trail is approximately 5 and a half kilometers, and it will take you about an hour and a half to finish it.
2. Trail Kastav-Zviric-Stanic-Brajani
In this tour, you also start from the old town, from Fortica, and enter the forests of Loza and Luzina. The arranged path follows the road to the Zviric intersection, continues to the Stanic rest area where you can refresh yourself and eat something delicious, and leads to the village of Brajani where you return to Kastav by a roundabout. The length of this trail is a little more than 9 kilometers, and the walk will take about 3 hours.
3. Trail Kastav - Jelovicani - Breza - Mackov vrh - Asparagus cave - Stanic - Brajani
The walk along this third trail also starts in the old town, from Fortica. Exiting the forest road, follow the marked eco-trail and pass through the surrounding villages of Jelovicani and Breza. The ascent to Mackov Vrh leads you to the rest area where you can find refreshment and relax, and also enjoy the beautiful panoramic view of Ucka and Gorski Kotar. Then the trail follows the Sparozna pit to the Stanic rest area, and returns in a circle to Kastav. The length of the trail is 16 and a half kilometers, and the round trip and tour will take about 5 hours.
These are just some of the things you can do in this beautiful city on the hill. Depending on the season, you can find other activities: for example, in the fall, the nearby forests become full of noble porcini mushrooms, and in addition to all available activities, you can simply walk through the woods, picking porcini mushrooms. In summer, the city will offer you many options for comfortable accommodation, most likely with stunning sea views, and the road to the beaches or nearby areas for an evening stroll, will not take long. At the same time, your accommodation will be filled with natural relaxation, homemade Croatian food and coziness. In spring, when there is no intense heat, it is nice to ride a bike on the local trails, and in winter to feel the Christmas atmosphere of a small town, and perhaps even with real snow. We wish you a good holiday, no matter what time of year you decide to visit Kastav.