Health tourism

Since antiquity, the man has been connected with nature and its remedies that have been used in health and illness. Since prehistory, human settlements have been located near the springs of mineral waters and people have been traveling to various spas and other resorts with the aim to maintain health.

Croatia has a rich tradition in health tourism in Europe due to its numerous remedies that are a huge capital and potential for further development of tourism in general.
In Roman times, there were several spas in Croatia: Aquae Balissae (Daruvarske Toplice), Aquae Vivae (Krapinske Toplice), Aquae Iasae (Varaždinske Toplice). Springs of thermal and mineral waters and peloids were already known in Roman times, and baths were built for vacation, treatment, and recovery of soldiers, of the rich and of common people.

After the Middle Ages, when natural remedies were not much used, they have become increasingly popular since the mid-18th century. New activities started to develop: balneology (Lat. balneum = bath, Greek λόγος = science), thalassology (Greek θάλαττα = sea, Greek λόγος = science) and climatology (Greek κλίμα = inclination, λόγος = science), sciences that study natural remedies of the land, sea, and atmosphere, as well as methods and results of their performance on healthy and ill human body.
Being parts of nature, natural remedies have beneficial effects on maintenance and improvement of health, improvement of the quality of life, and in preventing, healing and recovery from various diseases. They can be divided into three groups: climatic, marine and balneology factors.
Climatic factors are a change of climatic place, climatic elements, and factors, climatic procedures, cleanliness of the air, sunshine, sea factors, Karsts caves, salt mines.

Sea factors are climate, cleanliness of the air, seawater, sand, saline peloid, sea peloid, vegetation, promenades and paths, sunshine (saline lakes).
Spa (balneological) factors are peloids, naphthalene, climate, cleanliness of the air, vegetation, promenades and paths, sunshine.
For optimum result of the application of natural remedies, on their site or in the application site, it is necessary to satisfy the following resort conditions: daily schedule, healthy and/or diet food, exclusion of smoking, alcohol, drugs and bad habits, morning exercise, being in the fresh air, social, cultural, recreational, sports and spiritual programmes, as well as the exclusion of noise and air pollution through dust particles and light.

Author: Goran Ivanišević, M.Sc.

Photography: Luka Tambača

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