Piestany © Bjalek Michal
Located just an hour's drive north of Bratislava, Piestany is Slovakia's premier spa resort town, and a great place to go for tourists looking to relax and rejuvenate in style. The range and quality of treatment available in Piestany is world class, but due to its relative obscurity on the European spa resort scene, it is far more affordable than similar towns in more tried-and-tested areas around the continent. Piestany is situated in the beautiful, forested region of the Vah River Valley, and is fringed by mountains to the north. The Piestany Spa is the town's main attraction, catering to (mostly foreign) patients with chronic rheumatic and arthritic diseases; though in the summer, also to tourists looking for mud therapy, massage and even dietary advice. The Piestany Spa Resort also offers accommodation and a range of resort amenities, like a nine-hole golf course, Jacuzzis and steam baths. Other sights and activities in the town include a 13th-century monastery and a number of great walking and hiking trails. In summer, Piestany hosts a popular Arts Festival and a country and folk music festival. Budget-conscious travellers looking to spend some time in a top-class European spa resort should seriously consider Piestany, which - like the rest of Slovakia - is an unassuming gem of a holiday destination.