Family vacation at Kvarner Hinterland

Family weekend in Kvarner Hinterland

Kvarner hinterland is covered with fairytale forests, mountains, and pastures and therefore rightfully called the green heart of Croatia. Living in harmony with nature is your opportunity to spend an active vacation, enjoy sports, or simply indulge in the relaxing ambiance. Come and spend an unforgettable family time!

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Why choose Kvarner hinterland?

If you are looking for a weekend destination where to spend an active family holiday Kvarner hinterland is a great idea. A beautifully diverse region with mountain rivers, dreamy lakes, and mountain peaks is simply spectacular during any time of the year.

Gacka Valley

River, hills and mountains of Kvarner Hinterland, Source: Facebook: Sportski klub Otočac

This is a perfect destination for those who want to rest in authentic nature, adventurists, or lovers of cultural heritage. Mosaic landscapes with a variety of natural and sports content will make all family members happy.

Gacka Valley

Famous for its peaceful and clear waters, Gacka is a popular getaway for Croatians and for many tourists visiting this part of Croatia. The Gacka Valley is a karst valley surrounded by the mountain range of Velebit and dominated by the river Gacka which springs at one end of the valley and sinks underground on the opposite end.

Gacka river in the valley

Gacka river passing through the valley; source:Facebook: Discover Otočac

Water from the river is drinking water (second in Europe in quality)and you can drink water without any fear of bacteria or pollution.

In the Gacka valley, you can enjoy various family sports such as cycling, and hiking, you can go fishing or kayaking. The kayaking experience is a great way to improve fitness, reduce stress levels, and get closer to nature. Breathing the fresh air while contemplating the beauty around you has no price. Family fun is here guaranteed.

Kayaking trought the Gacka Valley

Kayaking on the Gacka river, source:Facebook: Discover Otočac

Amazingly clear water, stunning views, lots of swans, ducks and similar animals. Your children will surely love it.

Ducks on Gacka River

Ducks and ducklings on the Gacka river

Gacka Springs

The springs on the Gacka River have established themselves as a not-to-be-missed destination. During the 20th century, about sixty water mills were operating on the Gacka river. Today only a few water mills are still used for grinding grain in the traditional way using the river’s water power.

The two largest springs of the Gacka are Majerovo vrilo (Majer's spring) and Tonkovića vrilo (Toinkovića spring). The most popular is Majer’s spring situated in the small village of Sinac.

Spring on the Gacka river

Majer's spring on the Gacka river

The springs of the Gacka are a popular excursion destination. There you can watch the fresh bubbling of the Gacka water, watch the mill wheel or just enjoy the river in the sun.

Water rushing at the Majer's spring; source: Wikimedia commons

The springs are a unique combination of unspoiled nature and human coexistence. This charming and peaceful place will bring you to the past. Take a moment, rest, have a picnic or just chill.

Family enjoying the Gacka countryside

Family time at Majer's spring

The Gacka Mills

Take a leisurely walk around at the source of the Gacka river and then visit centuries-old water-powered mills. Each mill is a living reminder of traditional architecture that preserves the memory of an ancient extinct craft.

There used to be around 60 mills on the Gacka river, but a few of them are still active today. We suggest that you visit Majer's mill which has been owned by the Majer family for generations.

Majer's mill

Mayer's mill is excellently preserved and still grinds grain, wheat, rye, millet, and corn, in the traditional way.

Majer's family mill

Majer's mill at Majer's spring

Other than being beautiful this visit can also be educational. Just ask an owner and you can witness first-hand how flour is made.

The best thing is that you can also buy different types of flour and other milled products. There is no way you will find such quality goods in supermarkets.

Flour producing processThe flour milling process at Majer's mill

The best thing is that you can also buy different types of flour and other milled products. There is no way you will find such goods in supermarkets.

flour for sale at Majer's mill

Flour for sale at Majer's mill

Other traditional products like honey, cheese, or pine needle syrup, which is great support for your immune system, can be found at the local family farms.

Pine needle syrup

Pine needle syrup can be bought at one of the many family farms at the area

Kuterevo bear refuge

If you are an animal lover, you have to visit the bear sanctuary in Kuterevo. Founded in 2002, the bear refuge is run by volunteers from all around the world and inhabitants of the village, who help these orphanage brown bears live a normal life.

Volonteer cener Kuterevo

Volunteer's house in Kuterevo

Upon arrival, you will see the info point where you can get all the necessary information about the visit itself. The bear refuge can be visited from 9:00 am until dark. There is no entrance fee, but donations are welcomed. Free parking is also available.

Info point at Kuterevo

Info point at bear's sanctuary in Kuterevo

The Refuge is separated into two parts – the first one is dedicated to the younger bears and the second to the older ones.

On your walk downhill toward the first bear location, you will encounter other animals like geese and turkeys which will be particularly interesting for the young ones.

walk at the bear's refuge

Family walk towards the bears

The refuge can be visited in spring, summer, and autumn. Kindly note that the bears are hibernating during winter and no visits are allowed in order not to disturb the animals.

Bear at the bear's refuge

Bear at the refuge

You can get closer and take photos, but please note that it is prohibited to feed the animals. The bear sanctuary was founded with the idea of protecting the bear's habitat, educating, and promoting a sustainable lifestyle. You can learn many interesting facts about these amazing animals only by stopping by educational points like this one.

Educational point at Kuterevo

Learning from the bear educational info point

Kuterevo is tucked away in the middle of the countryside, but it is well worth a visit. Being with the bears in their environment is an unforgettable experience for the whole family!

Kvarner hinterland is easy to reach from most major cities of Croatia which makes it a perfect weekend getaway. And if you feel like it, just relax and enjoy these beautiful autumn colors.

Automn colors at Gacka

Autumn colors at Gacka river

We hope you find this blog exciting and that we inspired you to explore what this wonderful part of Croatia has to offer.

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