Abstract Ten gravity springs from the slopes of the Biokovo Mt, Adriatic coast of Croatia were investigated. Three of them are included in the regional water supply system. The aim of this study was to investigate hydrogeological and geochemical characteristics of watershed, presenting one of the most typical karstic areas in the world. Hydrogeological investigations were performed during two seasons with dye tracing, using Na-fluoresceine which was poured into two pits, observing springs at distances of 1.82–8.8km. Apparent velocities were 0.21–0.51cms−1. Dye tracing was first time partially effective and second time ineffective, what could be due to immanent ore mineralization, which presents a natural barrier and was discovered by geochemical and mineralogical methods. Concentrations of 17 dissolved and total trace elements were determined first time in groundwater samples. Their concentrations were extremely low, more than 3 orders of magnitude less than allowed by the Croatian directives for the first category of groundwater and drinking water. The mass fractions of 60 elements were determined in 3 representative spring sediments. Highest concentrations of some metals in sediments (mgkg−1) are: lead 5440, chromium 118, manganese 935, zinc 116 and barium 238. Origin of some elements and mineralogy is discussed.