Istarske Toplice indoor pool
The woodsy Croatian interior is liberally sprinkled with thermal and mineral water springs that were once great favorites of the Romans. Today, many of the springs have become renowned health and wellness centres replete with hotels, giant pools, fitness centres and a variety of curative treatments.
Now, if you want to pamper yourself in the lap of luxury with first-rate restaurants, impeccable service, cutting-edge design and the latest in relaxation techniques, you may want to head for a luxury hotel spa resort. The Croatian coast and islands are liberally sprinkled with these pamper-palaces. See more.
Generally, the thermal spas are in northern or eastern Croatia and are simpler and cheaper with plenty of options for the kids. Here's a selection of my favorite thermal spas, chosen for their facilities and beautiful surroundings.
Huddled under a 100-m high cliff in central Istria, this ancient thermal spa is built around a huge outdoor pool that can reach 36°C (97°F). Indoors, there's another thermal pool plus a variety of beautifying and health-giving treatments like massages, aromatherapy, mud baths and a solarium. The surrounding greenery is crisscrossed with hiking and biking trails and there are excursions to nearby Motovun. Read more.
With six outdoor pools in this thermal spa only 40km from Zagreb, you have a wide choice of watery styles and activities. Kids will love the pool with four slides or the one with a castle in the middle. Stressed-out adults can relax in pools with hydro-massage, a wave pool, or a pool with waterfalls. The hotel has been recently overhauled and offer all comforts including a huge sauna, a solarium, indoor pool and a full range of wellness programs. Read more.
You won't be shivering in the sulfurous springs here that can reach a temperature of 58°C (136°F). There are three indoor and two outdoor pools plus an array of wellness treatments in a relaxing, woodsy setting. Near Varazdin, the spa is part of an attractive village and there are remains of a Roman settlement nearby. For accommodation, try Bernarda Guest House, Apartment Pokos, or Apartments Dajcic.
In the heart of beautiful Krapina-Zagorje county, 45km northwest of Zagreb, the thermal waters here are among the top ten in Europe. Plus, there's a new four-star hotel, Villa Magdalena, where the pampering is also superb.
Other thermal spas include Daruvar Toplice in Bjelovarsko-Bilogorska county, Stubicke Toplice and Bizovacke Toplice in Osijek-Baranska county, Sveti Martin Thermal Springs in Medimurska county, Lipik thermal baths in Pozesko-Slavonska county, and Topusko in Sisak-Moslavina county
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