Guide to Croatia’s Natural Hot Springs
Croatia, once part of Yugoslavia but now independent, has a smorgasbord of hot springs for the interested traveler. You’ll find these geothermal “toplice”, as they’re known locally, across the country from east to west.
The best known is Istarske Toplice, a resort near the borders of both Italy and Slovenia. The water that powers the spa comes from Sveti Stjepan, which has been used since the Roman occupation for healing therapies. The place is a resort deep in the mountains, and if the hot springs aren’t enough for entertainment, there’s hiking, bike trails, and rock climbing nearby.
However, there are plenty of other hot springs in the country and we’ll break the rest down into two categories, those in the east of the nation and those along the western coast. In both sections of the country, spas that contain geothermal baths are called ‘toplice.’
West Coast Croatian Hot Springs
Stjepan Light All Inclusive Resort is located very near Istarske Toplice, and its outdoor pool is filled with local geothermal water. There is a wellness center on site where yoga and madero therapy (maderotherapy) is offered. The resort benefits from coastal Mediterranean weather, meaning that most of the year you can comfortably be outdoors.
Lešće Spa offers both indoor and outdoor thermal pools. Like Stjepan Light All Inclusive, massages are on the menu at the spa. The Dobra River runs nearby, and it and the forest give the spa a rustic, hidden-away atmosphere. There’s also a restaurant that provides bathers a place to fill their stomachs after a day of treatments and soaking.
Eastern Croatian Hot Springs
At Tuheljske Toplice kids and families are welcome to enjoy not just the relaxation found in thermal water but the fun as well. The large water park has wave pools and slides, all filled with minerally rich thermal water. A cocktail bar also allows adult bathers to kick back with a drink.
On-site is Glamping Village Terme Tuhelj, a 28-dwelling village with access to Finnish and steam saunas.
Varaždinske Toplice is a town, not a specific resort. What’s important is how much of the town’s economy is based on its hot spring. This is a tradition since the Romans called the town ‘Aquae Iasae’ for its nearly magical healing waters.
The town recently sunk 200 million euros into rebuilding and upgrading existing infrastructure to make it a leader in spa tourism. Part of this money has gone to Hotel Minerva, onto which will be built Hotel Jupiter, meaning more geothermal water-seeking tourists can stay in town.
Other Eastern Toplice:
- Terme Sveti Martin
- Villa Spa Magic
- Top-Terme Ltd.
- Daruvar spa
- Bizovačke toplice
- Terme Čatež
- Hotel Villa Magdalena
Croatia is a nation of languid beaches, crystal clear water, and stunning forest-lined waterfalls. The high season for tourism is summer, with June, July, and August being the peak.
During this time prices go up and parties are more frequent as cruise ships and their thousands of passengers make port. Traveling in the autumn is suggested if you’re looking for relaxation at toplices and hot springs.