Croatia has numerous mineral springs with thermal spas right next to them. These thermal spas 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 (toplice) in Croatia
- Tips for visiting toplice
The facts are these…
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 of Croatia to swim, bathe, and relax. They are usually open year-round.
If you miss swimming during winter, visit a toplice to get your water fix. Also, 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 substitution.
Visiting toplice is especially recommended for people with medical conditions like:
- 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 Croatia, 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 a scuba diving course (ronjenje na dah) 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 in the world and has the warmest iodine hyperthermal saline water in Europe. It is especially useful for the treatment of 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 the water quality and healing properties, Istarske toplice is among the first three European thermal springs. They offer treatment with medicinal mud (ljekovito blato) called “fango” and sulfur fumes inhalation therapy.
Number of pools: 2
Special hospital for medical rehabilitation Naftalan specializes in the treatment of skin and rheumatic diseases on the basis of naphthalene and salt thermal 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 a high temperature of thermal water at 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 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 the 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 Some offer 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 of 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. Varaždinske toplice is the oldest spa in Croatia. This modern spa resort has been open since 1820.
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
- Croatia’s mountain shelters of modern architecture (within Velebit Nature Park)
- National parks in Croatia PLUS detailed visitor guides
- Treehouses of Croatia
- UNESCO monuments of culture and nature in Croatia
Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant. We can recommend one if you contact us.