We can’t believe these six quirky saunas
From an underground creek to an ice sauna, these six steamy wonders offer next-level heat in Finland.
Island magic near Helsinki’s Market Square
Just a short boat ride from Helsinki’s Market Square is the island of Lonna, where two modern timber saunas are heated using traditional wood-burning stoves. Open Tuesday to Saturday, the public sauna is best booked in advance for a two-hour session. Offering spectacular sea views, the large terrace is great for drinks afterwards, and a dip in the sea is a must.
Oldest in the land in Tampere
Dating back to 1906, Rajaportti sauna in the city of Tampere is Finland’s oldest public sauna still in active use. Located in the old quarter of Pispala on a site originally built by Hermanni Lahtinen and his wife Maria, the courtyard hosts a café with a cosy terrace serving sweet and savoury pastries, steaming bowls of soup, salads, ice-cream, and drinks. For a real treat, try a traditional massage.
Underground gem in southwestern Finland
Tucked deep in the woods on Kimito Island in southwestern Finland, the Storfinnhova Gård smoke sauna is a true hidden gem. Situated on a beautiful heritage site, the underground sauna is built from large chunks of stone. Inside, visitors are in for a surprise: A clean creek runs through the sauna forming a cooling pool to bathe in. A sea of candles and a streaming waterfall set the tone for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Lapping it up in Lapland
Surrounded by the exquisite scenery of Lapland, Kuurakaltio sauna on Kiilopää Fell lies next to a crystal-clear brook perfect for swimming. In summer, songbirds and the midnight sun add to the fairy-tale feel of the authentic smoke sauna. During the dark season, you can even spot the Northern Lights while relaxing in steamy bliss.
Kuuma is hot in Tampere
The latest addition to Tampere’s sauna offering is Kuuma, a sleek seaside complex hosting a restaurant and a spacious public sauna. Describing itself as “a living room for everybody in the new-Nordic style,” Kuuma combines Finnish sauna culture with the best of local cuisine. On a sunny day the large two-storey terrace overlooking Lake Pyhäjärvi fills with happy people enjoying good vibes, good food, and a refreshing swim.
Six pack in Kuusamo
If one sauna is great, then six is epic! The Sauna Tour takes you on a steamy journey around half a dozen saunas in the northern city of Kuusamo. From a lakeside cottage to a traditional smoke sauna – and even an ice-built sauna in winter – each one has a unique character. Homemade masks and skin scrubs made of wild herbs and traditional remedies are optional yet highly recommended.
Text Laura Iisalo
Opening photo Sampsa Sulonen / Suomen latu
Photos Teemu Lautamies / Sherpa, Visit Kimitöön, Sampsa Sulonen / Suomen latu, Rukapalvelu, and Sauna Tour
Video Jasmin Rauha and the featured saunas