Where we are
Gacka can be accessed from different directions: west from the road leading to the coast and the town of Senj across the Vratnik mountain pass; north from the direction of Ogulin and Gorski Kotar across the pass dividing Velika Kapela and Mala Kapela; east from the direction of Plitvice Lakes and Krbava via Homoljac gorge; south from Gospić and Lika across the Janjče slopes. This picturesque area can also be accessed from the sea over the largest Croatian mountain, through the Velebit Nature Park and Krasno via the Grezina pass on the Senjsko Bilo ridge. If travelling by rail, you will experience the most beautiful scenery – the place of birth of the river Gacka. If arriving by air, the whole landscape will spread out before your eyes.
The Gacka region is located in a central position between the world famous Plitvice Lakes National Park, the Velebit Nature Park and the North Velebit National Park (not far from the Botanical Garden on Zavižan and the Marian pilgrimage site at Krasno). Adding to the attractiveness of the destination is the Gacka river, one of the best known salmonid waters in the world.
Arriving in Gacka, you wil see it is not all barren rocks, on the contrary, the landscape is very green with forests, glades, meadows and flat plains, rivers, streams and lakes, but still abounding in karst formations such as caves and sinkholes. Villages and towns are randomly scattered in the fields in the foothills. Here people live in harmony with the wonders created by nature.
1. THE BARKAN ROUTE (15,7 km) bikemap.net
2. THE TREE LAKES ROUTE (6 km)
3. DABAR'S BREVIARY BIKE ROUTE (36,5 km)
4. URSA MAJOR BIKE ROUTE (34 km)
5. HAJDUČKA DRAGA BIKE ROUTE (52 KM)
Angling on the Gacka river
The Gacka Beauty, 61 km long with its tributaries, springs unexpectedly quiet from below Godača and Venac hills in Sinac. Once out of the karst underground, it shows its liveliness and playfulness after fifty meters already. It rushes down in small cascades, forming a river stream or tributaries. It lazily meanders down the plain to Karlov kanal near Otočac. From this point on it merges with the Lika River.
Although essentially a karst river, the Gacka is extremely slow and quiet with a uniform flow of water. Apart form the uniform abundance of its source, the Gacka is known for its stability and small temperature differences. The average annual water temperature is 9.4°C (7.9°C in winter, 10.8°C in summer), which is particularly suitable to the fish of the salmonid family. The Gacka water is rich in oxygen (9.1 to 13.5 mg/l), even to supersaturated conditions. It is slightly alkaline as well as fairly hard and rich in calcium salts.
The flora and fauna of the Gacka River is very rich. The aquatic vegetations of mosses, algae and woody plants are lush due to favorable water temperature, good chemical composition and muddy bottom.
From the fish species, the Gacka is renowned for its brown trout (Salmo trutta), truly a mecca for passionate anglers. Because of the abundance of food, the Gacka brown trout grows 5-7 times faster than in any other trout water in the world. Capital specimens of the Gacka's trout have been known to grow up to 5 kg. The angling season on the Gacka River opens 1 March and closes 31 October.
The Gacka River means life for the people of the Gacko polje. In addition to using its waters for drinking (the Gacka River is the second highest for quality of potable water in Europe), they catch its fish and cut its water plants for their cattle. At the sources (in Sinac and Lešće), they have built many watermills to grind grain, wooden hammers to pound and soften homespun cloth and baskets and to roll the rough blankets made of homespun cloth. The watermills on the Gacka River in Sinac are particularly attractive as an authentic reminder of the traditional construction on water and the old crafts. The wooden hammer for cloth pounding preserved in Sinac is one of the rare such apparatuses in Croatia still in operation.
Come and see the watermills in Sinac, smell the freshly ground flour, hear the clattering of the mill stone and the roaring of the clear water crashing onto the drive wheel, or just enjoy the fresh air.
Information is available from
GACKA d.o.o. za zaštitu i gospodarenje rijekom Gackom
Trg dr. Franje Tuđmana bb
Tel. +385 91 6701 954
Fax: +385 53 773 655
E-mail: gacka.d.o.o.Otoč firstname.lastname@example.org
The main stream of the Gacka River is divided into A, B and C angling zones.
The A Zone encompasses the Gacka stream from the source at Tonković vrilo to the Stanišić (Rogić) Bridge, including the Sinačka pučina from the pond dam to the confluence into the River Gacka. Only fly angling is allowed. This zone is a catch-and-release-area, particularly in the area of the Podgora Bridge (the first bridge) upstream from the confluence of the Sinačka pučina into the Gacka.
The area from the Knjapovac Brook to Tonković vrilo is a natural reserve where angling is prohibited. The B Zone encompasses the Gacka stream from the Stanišić Bridge to the confluence of the Gacka in the Poljica Tunnel. Fly angling and any type of artificial fly is allowed. Zone C encompasses Švica Lake and Gusić Polje Lake. Artificial lures are allowed.
Weights and floats are not allowed with artificial flies.
One-day angling license: HRK 250.00
Angling licenses are available from:
* GACKA d.o.o., Otočac, Trg popa Marka Mesića bb
Cultural and Historical Heritage
The region of Gacka was inhabited in prehistoric times. The oldest site in the Gacka region from this period is located in Pećina in Lešće. The traces of charred bones of wild animals and bones with clearly visible traces of stone tools reveal the presence of humans from the Mesolithic period - the transition from the Paleolithic to the Neolithic.
Traces from the Intermediate and Late Bronze Age were found in the area of Vrhovine. In the cave Bezdanjača under Vatinovac Hill, just two kilometers west of Vrhovine towards Zalužnica, a necropolis from 1400 BC was discovered – one of the largest cave necropolises in Europe. It is evident from the remains of the material culture that a group of people inhabited that region who belonged to the Proto-Illyrians, ancestors of the later formed Illyrian tribes.
Gacka is one of the oldest Croatian provinces. Its inhabitants were mentioned as early as in the ninth century, for the first time in 818, at the time of the development and formation of the early medieval Croatian state. the Duke Borna is the first Croatian ruler who is mentioned as "dux Guduscanorum" in the Frankish Annals, or leader of the Guduscani, and the Guduscani are called "natio Guduscanorum".
In the mid-10th century, the Byzantine emperor, writer and philosopher Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus mentions the Croatian counties, among them three – Gacka, Lika, and Krbava – ruled by a ban, while all others were ruled by a duke. Thus, in the early 10th century, Gacka belonged to the first Banovina of Croatia known in history.
Throughout his history, the man had left behind a legacy of cultural goods in a modest extent. During long-term periods of security and peace, the culture in the area of today's Gacka was splendid and equal, or even superior, to other neighboring cultures. Thus, the Iapydes had lively contacts with the Etruscans, that most famous cultural people on the Apennine peninsula, with the Greeks in the Mediterranean, with the cultural people of the Black Sea. And they were equal to them. When the history was more fierce and tumultuous, the muses were silent, and the remains of the material culture were becoming rarer. But what man had created throughout the centuries in the area of Gacka was of outstanding cultural and artistic value.
Therefore, this area calls and tickles the human imagination to decide and reveal something magical and beautiful. This is Gacka, the land and the water.
Gacka Museum in Otočac is a county museum with a rich historical and cultural tradition. The museum is located in the very center of the city
In the collection entitled 'Otočac through History' one can trace the events in the area of Gacka from distant prehistory, Romans, first mention of the town, wars against the Turks, Military Frontier, World Wars I and II to the period of the economic and cultural development of the city and the suffering in the Homeland War of 1991.
The Archaeological 'Iapydic' Collection is presented in the objects of material culture: jewelry, weapons, tools, kitchenware, life and work of the Illyrian tribe of Iapydes from middle to late Bronze Age, i.e., from the 10th century BC to the arrival of the Romans at the end of the 1st century BC.
The ethnographic collection reflects the traditional life and culture of Gacka in the last hundred years, presenting exhibits from the traditional culture characteristic of the area, such as tools for manufacture of textile products, pottery, and male and female national costumes.
Particularly valuable is the Memorial Collection of the Academic Painter Stojan Aralica, a world-renowned colorist who was born in Otočac. The exhibits include his oil paintings, drawings in ink, pencil and charcoal, as well as his personal items, documents, photographs, painting tools, and books.
The Homeland War Collection presents the light and heavy weaponry used in the war, as well as the remains of shells, air-dropped bombs, different caliber bullets, etc. The collection also presents the chronology of war developments with pictures of damaged facilities and buildings.
Gacko pučko otvoreno učilište Otočac
Ulica kralja Zvonimira 37, 53220 Otočac, Croatia
Tel/Fax: 053 771 143
Museum Visiting Hours:
Working days: 8 a.m.–3 p.m.
Group visits outside visiting hours arranged upon request
Parking space is available in close proximity to the Museum
* Archeological (Iapydic) Collection
* Collection of the Academic Painter Stojan Aralica
* Ethnographic Collection
* Homeland War Collection
* Otočac through History (Historical Collection)
Search web page