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Must-experience saunas in Lakeland
3 minute read
a huge wooden design terrace of a public sauna full of people

Discover five unique saunas in Lakeland

Finnish Lakeland offers a plethora of unique sauna experiences. From the country’s oldest public sauna to hotspots for winter swimmers, here are five Lakeland saunas every traveller should visit.

a woman sitting on a pier and staring at a lake before heading to a sauna
Credits: Julia Kivelä

Rajaportin sauna, Tampere

Located in the old district of Pispala in Tampere – the sauna capital of the world, Rajaportti is Finland’s oldest public sauna still in use. The sauna was originally built by Hermanni Lahtinen and his wife, Maria, back in 1906. Still heated by wood in a traditional manner, Rajaportti offers an authentic feeling of travelling back in time with its old-fashioned charm and simplicity. Visit the cosy courtyard café for traditional sauna sausages, freshly baked cinnamon buns, comforting soups, and a selection of local beers. A traditional massage completes the experience.

people with towels cooling off in between sauna steam sessions
Credits: Laura Vanzo / Rajaportin sauna

Saana Sauna & Spa, Kuopio

The Finnish word “saana” means “sauna” when pronounced in the Savonian dialect. Situated on the shores of Lake Kallavesi in Kuopio, Saana is a recent addition to Finland’s modern public sauna scene. It features three separate saunas – including a smoke one – an indoor hot tub, waterfall showers, two outdoor swimming pools, and the opportunity to try open-water swimming year-round. The restaurant serves locally sourced food and boasts picture-perfect views of magnificent Kallavesi.

an aerial view over Lake Kallavesi and modern sauna terrace and building

Saunaravintola Kuuma, Tampere

An aerial view of a new design sauna, terrace and restaurant by a backwater in the middle of the city of Tampere
Credits: Kuuma Tampere / Laura Vanzo

Combining traditional sauna with urban vibes, Kuuma is a welcome addition to Tampere’s sauna scene. The sleek lakeside building features two saunas and a popular restaurant serving seasonal, Nordic-style cuisine and a delicious tasting menu with select wines. On a summer day, the outdoor pool and large, two-story terrace overlooking Lake Pyhäjärvi fill with crowds enjoying food and drinks into the wee hours.

people enjoying beverages on a sauna terrace
Credits: Laura Vanzo / Kuuma Tampere

Järvisydän, Rantasalmi

For a luxurious spa and sauna experience, look no further than Järvisydän, located in Rantasalmi in the heart of Lakeland. The resort’s Lake Spa was inspired by Finnish nature, and its interior is adorned with warm wood and natural rocks. What’s more, the spa overlooks iconic Lake Saimaa – one of the biggest lakes in Europe. For a day of pampering, try one of the many saunas inside the spa, or book a beauty treatment.

a sauna interior adorned with warm wood and natural rock
Credits: : Järvisydän
a spa interior adorned with warm wood and natural rock
Credits:: Järvisydän

Kaupinoja sauna, Tampere

Kaupinoja sauna, which is run by the local winter swimming association, is located by Näsijärvi Lake and sees more than 50,000 visitors per year. On some nights, this sauna manages to host more than 400 bathers! While there’s been a sauna onsite since 1977, it’s undergone several transformations and was completely renovated after a fire in 2008. Kaupinoja is open “practically always,” except for the second Tuesday of the month, when it’s closed for maintenance.

Check out these fantastic sauna experiences in Lapland, on the Coast and Archipelago, and in Helsinki Region.

an aerial view of an idyllic public sauna building and swimmers
Credits: Laura Vanzo

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