Originally known as Aqua Balissae (a name which translates to mean ‘very hot springs’), Daruvar’s relationship with thermal water dates back over 2,000 years. Located in the north-east of Croatia, it has been ruled by the Romans, Turks and Hungarians, creating a patchwork of interesting history and monuments that reflect this.
The main spa in the town is Daruvarske Toplice, a sprawling complex that provides a plethora of treatments using modern technology in combination with the healing waters. Thermal pools naturally heated to between 43°C and 45°C are joined by massages, alternative therapies such as Cryotherapy and therapeutic mud known as ‘Fango’ to create an entire portfolio of health and wellness options.
The only pastime that has as much history in Daruvar as the thermal springs is winemaking. Wine tasting is available, a Wine Route stretches through town and stops at seven points of interest, and there are several wine festivals firmly in the calendar every summer. Connecting the vineyards to the town centre is the Roman Forest, a relaxing place for a romantic stroll and home to the Spring of Love (Julius Brum). Local legend states that if you drink from the source you’ll soon fall in love.
One other attraction that shouldn’t be missed is the Castle of Count Janković. Having arrived in the 1700s, Count Janković is credited with making Daruvar what it is today. The town’s name is even taken from the symbol of his family – ‘Daru’ meaning crane.