Warm up at one of Croatia’s top five thermal spas
Hidden away in the hills of Croatia are numerous toplice – thermal spas or hot springs. Though popular year round, thermal spas are especially appropriate once the temperature falls, inviting you to seek relief from the cold in warm, health-boosting pools. We bring you a list of five thermal spas to keep you warm when the temperatures drop.
The only one of Croatia’s most well known thermal spas not located on the mainland, Istarske Toplice is on the Istrian peninsula, 35 kilometers from Porec, and nestled below a towering rock formation that climbs skyward some 85 meters.
Sveti Stjepan mineral spring flows from beneath the rock, feeding the spa with water containing 13 different minerals well suited for rheumatic, dermatological, and respiratory diseases, as well as post-op rehabilitation. Thanks to its high-quality waters, Istartske Toplice ranks third among the therapeutic hot springs in Europe.
When you get tired of soaking, enjoy a healing mud treatment. Carefully prepared, mineral-enriched mud with a temperature of about 40 degrees Celcius is spread over the body at a thickness of about 3-4 cm, and after several minutes, is washed off with mineral water. Three- and four-star accommodation is available onsite, and you can also book massages and other wellness and medical treatments.
Krapinske Toplice is located in a small town that carries the same name, and it’s completely surrounded by rolling hills and lush forests. In 1772, the first bath was built to harness the calcium and magnesium rich springs. At a temperature of 39 – 40 degrees Celsius, they’re comfortably warm, and the water is thought to be particular soothing to rheumatism, spinal afflictions and joint pain, as well as heart disease. The water quality at Krapinske Toplice ranks sixth in Europe.
Luxury accommodation is available at Villa Magdalena, where you can relax, book spa packages, and enjoy a restorative meal at the hotel restaurant.
Located just 7 kilometers from Krapinske Toplice and 50 kilometers from Zagreb, the thermal spa in the town of Tuheljske Toplice is a popular weekend destination. Equipped with water slides, a wave pool and a kiddie pool, it’s family friendly, and Hotel Well even offers family wellness packages that keep the kids busy with fun activities while their parents enjoy relaxing spa treatments.
For a calmer atmosphere, plan to soak at the spring pools, a combined thermal spring and mud pool. The water contains sulfur, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and strontium and is especially beneficial for soothing the skin. The healing peloid mud regenerates skin and is used for anti-cellulite treatments. Tuheljske Toplice are a bit cooler, at a temperature of 32.5 degrees Celsius.
Varazdinske Toplice isn’t actually in Varazdin – you’ll find the springs in a small town of the same name located about 20 minutes southeast of Varazdin. Like many of Croatia’s thermal spas, Varazdinske Toplice was frequented by the Romans. In a small park near today’s spa are the ruins of the Roman-era spa, Aquae Iasae, used between the first and fourth centuries.
Today, Varazdinske Toplice is known for its hospital and medical facilities, but visitors are also welcome to soak in the large recreational complex at Hotel Minerva. On the warmer side, the hot springs at Varazdinske Toplice can reach 58 degrees Celcius.
Stubicke Toplice is perhaps not the most well known of Croatia’s thermal spas, but the water’s intense heat lands it on our list. Of these five, it’s the hottest, with temperatures of up to 69 degrees Celcius. So for those of you who crave a penetrating soak, Stubicke is for you.
Though Stubicke Toplice has been in use since Roman times, a modern health resort wasn’t established there until the 19th century. Now, a hospital on the premises provides rehabilitative services, but visitors can also enjoy the springs. Take relaxation to the next level by booking an on-site massage.