When the Romans traveled around their Empire, infantry and officers alike would get road weary and battle worn. As a way of combating fatigue and the dreary months enforcing the borders of their territory, Roman soldiers would stop for baths at the natural hot springs that dot the countryside of Croatia.
Today, these hot springs have become health spas and resorts catering to a slightly different clientele than armored Roman soldiers coming off of the front lines. Now, travelers drop into the warm water pools as a respite from the stresses of traveling and as a way to improve their health.
The most famous and popular Croatian hot-springs resort, Istarske Toplice provides travelers a place to stay while spending their days in Sveti Stjepan, the mineral spring that most travelers bathe in. The spring is touted for its therapeutic properties and half of the resort is given over to water and mud therapy, the other half devoted to beauty treatments. Istarske Toplice is one of the purest springs in Croatia as well, an examination of the water recently revealed that the water has the same level of purity as an examination completed in 1858.
The hotel at Krapina-hotel Aquae Vivae, combines premium hospitality with available rejuvenatin hot springs baths. The entire hotel is not given over to a resort with spa treatments and instead you are left alone to appreciate the rest of the natural valley surrounding you.
The town of Daruvar was known as Aquae Balissae when the Romans were setting up their tents in the surrounding fields and while the name has changed, the reason for the town’s being has not. Daruvar still has some of the most inviting hot springs in the area and in addition to the hot springs, offers sites other than the spas to see. Several ancient monuments still stand and their is a rich and historic tradition of grape growing and wine cultivation stretching back over 2,000 years.
Daruvar is also something of a unique city in that it is near the Czech border and the cultures have combined over the centuries in a way that is not found in much of the rest of Croatia. Daruvar is a destination worthy of even the most discerning independent traveler.