One of the nicest parts of continental Croatia is definitely Gacka river valley. Famous for its peaceful and clear waters, Gacka is a popular getaway for Croatians and, increasingly, for tourists visiting Croatia.
There are three major springs and most popular is Majer’s spring (or Majerovo vrilo) in a small village of Sinac. The mills at Majerovo vrilo have been reconstructed in 2005.
Two of them are operational and people actually live and work here. They are not as busy as back in the old days, but they do a combination of making flour and selling other domestic products and souvenirs. Local farmers used to even harvest the water weed to feed their cattle. Most farmers are long gone now, therefore few are left to preserve the tradition.
Mills these days mostly sell corn flour and can do other varieties if clients bring their own wheat. For instance, some folks are making flour from barley, secale and even long forgotten spelt.
The mills echo the days gone by when there were over 60 operational mills at springs of Gacka. That was not even long time ago but back in the 20th century. One of the millers is now available to show the traditional production of flour and traditional clothes processing. One should make the appointment in advance with Jure Majer; tel. 099-831-4381 . However, if you don’t have the time, similar traditions can be these days observed at etno museum of Krka waterfalls near Skradin.
Eating in the neighborhood
Gacka is well known for its trout. Up to 1937, there were only 4 species of fish in Gacka river: brown trout, european eel, loach and pike that was introduced back in 17th century by some sources. Today, there are other fish species but trout is still the most popular one to fish and eat.
Unfortunately, there are very limited choices and Vrilo Gacke stays as the only proper choice. It serves a variety of local dishes. Trout is on the menu, of course.
Of all dishes, trout was the best but we certainly hope they will improve and have a better variety of traditional dishes. Škripavac cheese and local ham are excellent!
Gacka river is still one of the cleanest rivers of Europe by many and it will certainly stay the same now when most of the inner Croatia is left abandoned. There is virtually no industry and mostly elderly are left.
In conclusion, it is really a stunning place to visit and stay in local apartments and camps. In addition, Majer’s spring is easy to reach from most major cities of Croatia making it a perfect weekend getaway.