Croatia has numerous mineral springs with thermal spas right next to them. These thermal spas called toplice are located close to Croatia’s biggest cities – with some only a half-hour drive from Zagreb.
Spas are an ideal place to visit regardless of whether you have a few days or just a few hours free. You can bathe and swim, take in a massage or a beauty treatment, exercise, or just relax.
Due to the healing properties of mineral waters, Croatia’s spas are ideal for people with certain health conditions but are also beneficial for anyone’s health and skin.
Our guide on Croatia’s thermal spas includes a list of all spas, along with what makes them stand out. Time to take a break from everyday life…
In this post, we cover:
- What is toplice
- What you can do in toplice
- Thermal spas in Croatia
- Tips for visiting toplice
The facts are these…
How to visit thermal spas in Croatia and a complete list of toplice
In Croatia, the spa is called toplice or terme. Spas usually have natural sources of mineral or thermo-mineral waters that include bathing areas and treatment centers (sanatoriums) located right next to them. Since Ancient Rome, bathing areas were built next to these springs of thermal water.
A bathing area is called (termalno) kupalište, and a treatment center is called (termalno) lječilište. In Croatia, people visit toplice as tourists or for medical reasons.
Toplice is an excellent choice for the ones who want to travel somewhere inside Croatia to swim, bathe, and relax. They are usually open year-round.
If you miss swimming during winter, visit toplice to get your water fix. In addition, if you don’t live close to the coast or you don’t have enough budget or time for summer holidays, toplice is a suitable substitute.
Visiting toplice is especially recommended for people with medical conditions including:
- Chronic diseases of the locomotor system
- Rheumatic diseases
- Orthopedic diseases
- Neurological diseases
- Recovery after injuries and operations on bones and joints
- Chronic inflammation of the female genitalia, especially with consequent infertility
- Mental and psychosomatic disorders
- Heart diseases
- Lung diseases
Together with their tourism offers, most spas in Croatia include specialized hospitals or institutions for health tourism. These medical complexes implement therapeutic and recreational programs for certain groups of patients. They also offer preventive programs for improving the health of vulnerable groups like people who suffer from high-stress levels at work. But isn’t that all of us? 😊
Toplice is plural.
In the Croatian language, the word toplice used for spa is actually plural. This means that if you are speaking about a specific spa in Croatia, you use plural verbs with it.
Example: Krapinske Toplice su super. Since it would sound quite odd to use plural verbs with this word in English, we did not carry over its plurality to English for this post. Croatian has many words that refer to a singular thing but are written and treated as plural. Another example is leđa, which means back.
Croatian spas offer a wide spectrum of services. Depending on which toplice you visit, they usually provide:
- Indoor pools
- Outdoor pools
- Café bars
- Pool toboggan slides
- Congress halls
- Recreational programs
- Anti-stress programs
- Swimming school
- Diving school
- Sports field
- Rehabilitation centers
- Specialized hospitals
We have compiled a list of thermal spas in Croatia, together with their locations, contact information, and offers. Hope you’ll visit some of them if you still haven’t!
Aqua Vivae Krapinske Toplice got its name thanks to the ancient Romans who noticed the warm and crystal clear spring, which they dubbed živa voda (living water). One of their exciting programs is ronjenje na dah (scuba diving course) in a diving pool of 4.5 meters in depth, painted with submarine motives.
Number of pools: 6
Thermal water in the bathing area Aquapolis in Bizovačke toplice is unique worldwide and has the warmest iodine hyperthermal saline water in Europe. It is especially useful for treating diseases and injuries of the locomotor system. Aquapolis includes sports fields where you can play volleyball, table tennis, mini football, football, basketball, and tennis.
Number of pools: 11
Daruvarske toplice has a lot to offer, from health, fitness, and team-building programs, to sports and conference halls. You can experience aqua spinning aerobics training which includes riding a bike underwater. Another attractive offer are their antistress programs.
Number of pools: 3
Istarske toplice is recognizable by the 85-meter high rock called Gorostas (Giant) which rises right above the spa. The source of the healing water is below Gorostas. In terms of water quality and healing properties, Istarske toplice is among the first three European thermal springs. They offer treatment with ljekovito blato (medicinal mud) called fango and sulfur fumes inhalation therapy.
Number of pools: 2
Special hospital for medical rehabilitation Naftalan specializes in treating skin and rheumatic diseases based on naphthalene and thermal salt water. Within their complex, they also offer fitness, wellness, and skin treatments, as well as a gym and individual and group training.
Number of pools: 4
With a luxury offer including a water park and different wellness and spa programs, Terme Jezerčica is an ideal escape to nature. Jezerčica also organizes wedding celebrations and offers a congress center with 4 meeting rooms and technical equipment. Along with the hotel, accommodation is also available in their camp and mobile houses.
Number of pools: 8
Terme Stubaki (Hotel Matija Gubec) has an outdoor pool that is open all year round due to the high temperature of the thermal water of the spring. If you go there during winter, you might experience swimming in a warm pool at 37°C while it is snowing. The spa has a spectacular view of the green hills of Hrvatsko Zagorje.
The hotel is named after Matija Gubec, who was a leader of the Croatian-Slovenian peasant revolt called Seljačka buna in 1573.
Number of pools: 2
Terme Sveti Martin has more than 100 years of tradition. The spring of thermo-mineral water was discovered in 1911 when people were instead in search of oil. In Sveti Martin, you can enjoy more than 16 types of massages, including beneficial Thai massage and beauty treatments. The Svijet sauna (World of saunas) space is used as a nudist zone that represents physical and mental freedom.
Number of pools: 3
In Terme Tuhelj, you can have fun by practicing zorbing. Zorbing is walking on water in big water balls, which helps condition the body. Treatments with thermal mud that matures at the bottom of a healing thermal water spring are beneficial for your health and skin. A fitness center, gym, outdoor sports fields, and children’s playground are available within the spa complex.
Number of pools: 8
TopTerme Topusko offers many health, sports, recreational, and team-building programs, as well as a swimming school. They have a beach volleyball and mini-golf terrain, and boćalište, a playground for a traditional Dalmatian game called boćanje. There is also a beauty salon inside the complex.
Number of pools: 5
Minerva is a complex of a special hospital for medical rehabilitation Varaždinske Toplice intended for tourists. It includes pools, a fitness center, a cinema hall, a showroom, and a hair and beauty salon. Regarding recreation, you can enroll in a swimming school, play table tennis, and practice pilates and Nordic walking with a help of an instructor. This modern spa resort has been open since 1820 and is the oldest spa in Croatia.
Number of pools: 5
As always, good tips are priceless. Here are some useful things to know before you visit toplice:
- If feasible, go there during working days. Weekends are usually crowded, especially during summer.
- Some spas offer night swimming. If you are a night owl, this option might be more relaxing for you.
- All of Croatia’s spas are surrounded by nature and interesting places to visit. Consider adding a few other spots to your trip to toplice.
- Four spas are located in Krapina-Zagorje county, which is next to Zagreb county. If you are staying in Zagreb, these spas are an ideal escape from the city. You’ll be there in less than an hour.
- If you are staying in an accommodation, pay attention to the check-in and check-out hours.
- Bring your own towels, bathing suits, and slippers.
- If you visit during summer, bring sunscreen. The sun is dangerous, especially if you enjoy the outdoor pools for too long.
- Don’t forget to drink a lot of water. You are here to enjoy and relax, not to dehydrate or feel tired.
- Some pools have time restrictions, and you shouldn’t bath longer than is recommended. Don’t overdo it.
View our other traveling posts
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- Best spots in Croatia to go sledding PLUS where to buy one and winter vocabulary
- Best spots to see the stars in Croatia
- Croatia’s mountain shelters of modern architecture (within Velebit Nature Park)
- Hum, Istria: Smallest city in the world
- National parks in Croatia PLUS detailed visitor guides
- Stargaze at these space observatories and planetariums in Croatia
- Treehouses of Croatia
- UNESCO monuments of culture and nature in Croatia
- Weird and unique museums in Croatia
“toplice” by Enciklopedija.hr
Kamo na kupanje ovog vikenda: imamo najveći vodič za toplice, terme i vodene parkove by Jutarnji list
Hotel Matija Gubec
Terme Sveti Martin
Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.