The Slovak appetite for water parks is particularly in evidence along the Danube. From Veľký Meder (in Trnava Region), to Podhájska (near Nové Zámky), to Patince (near Komárno) and Vadaš (in Štúrovo), a series of large complexes accommodate thousands of bathers and holidaymakers during the summer.
Each of these resorts was built during the communist period to utilise the thermal springs in the area, and provide somewhere for people to holiday without leaving the country. As a result, they are often (locally) described as 'famous', a reference to their status as holiday resorts in socialist Czechoslovakia.
Each of them is now undergoing renovation, meaning that they all sport an odd mixture of crumbling communist-era pools and accommodation blocks and shiny new hotels and 'wellness centres'.
The Patince resort is spread out over a large area, and run by a panapoly of operators. The most impressive bit - in terms of novelty and service - is the four-star Wellness Hotel Patince, with its large indoor pool and sauna complex.
Photos by James Thomson
Prices at the hotel can be a little on the ambitious side but English is spoken here and customer service seems quite switched-on: the staff are professional and courteous, and (uniquely) the hotel publishes a daily information sheet which, among other things, lists the first names of everyone on duty.
The Vadaš resort in Štúrovo is also very large (there is on-site accommodation for more than 2,000 people), and centrally managed. Among its numerous pools is one of the largest in Slovakia (3,800 square metres, with a wave machine) and a range of hotels and chalets.
One advantage of this area is that it is typically the warmest part of the country: even during an off-season visit, in mid October, the afternoon temperature in Štúrovo was 24 degrees celsius.