Finnish Sauna

Maybe you have heard that here in Finland people are crazy about going to sauna. We can guarantee that it is 100 % true. Sauna and its different traditions are deeply rooted in our culture. In total, there are ca. 3 million saunas in Finland, so you have good opportunity to try it while you are here. Finnish sauna is something you have to experience yourself with all your senses to truly understand the hype.

Couple relaxing in sauna

Finnish sauna culture – what and why?

Finns are sauna people. Sauna relieves stress and also has several positive impacts on your health. Typically, Finnish sauna is warmed to 80-100 °C and the water will be thrown on the stones (in Finnish kiuas). The warm and wet steam (löyly) raises and increases the moisture in sauna. This process will be repeated as many times as feels good. Every now and then it is recommendable to go outside the sauna to chill. For example, swimming on the lake or rolling on snow in a wintertime are typical Finnish ways to cool down.

For people in bathropes before sauna

Good to know

  • Remember to drink a lot water or juice to keep hydrated
  • Don’t stay too long in the heat
  • It’s ok to wear swimsuit or a towel in a sauna
  • Watch out wet floors and benches
  • Relax and take it easy – in Finnish sauna you don’t have to hurry

10 sauna tips for beginners

Two women going to sauna

Relaxing sauna experiences

Even sauna is a place where you can just chill and let the body and mind rest, you can strengthen the feeling with herbal treatments. For example, a refreshing foot bath and turf mask in a heat soften your skin and makes it glow. To pamper your muscles, in North Karelia you have a possibility to try sauna yoga.

Herbal sauna treatments

Sauna Yoga

Sauna tours

In North Karelia you have an opportunity to go on a sauna tour and visit different kind of saunas during the same trip. The tours include also other activities, accommodation and delicious Karelian meals.

Guesthouse to guesthouse Karelia à la carte sauna tour

Karelian sauna tour in Finland

A man standing in front of the sauna

Smoke sauna

Finnish smoke sauna (in Finnish savusauna) is a special sauna as it is warmed with wood but it does not have a chimney. The smoke from burning woods fills the room and warm up the sauna. When the temperature is high enough, the fire will be extinguished and the room will be ventilated. Due to the smoke, the sauna is dark and full of fresh scents of burned woods.

You can try the traditional smoke sauna for instance in Valtimo, Nurmes. Usually it takes several hours to heat up the smoke sauna, so it is necessary to make the reservation beforehand. Both smoke sauna packages below includes guiding and snacks after the experience.

Finnish Smoke Sauna Evening in Nurmes

Riihi Smoke Sauna

A hidden sauna in the forest

Sauna land in Kotakylä, Juuka

Sauna land is located in Kotakylä – Teepee Village, Juuka and has in total 5 unique saunas in the area. There are available for instance a traditional Finnish sauna, smoke sauna and one even  on the lake. Saunas will be warmed on every summer Saturdays. Please make a reservation beforehand.

More information about the Sauna land

A hot pool with a snowy view

Sauna and spa

Sauna experience with the touch of modern Karelian luxury

Do you want to get the Finnish sauna experience but with modern Karelian luxury? Three spa hotels in Joensuu, Koli and Bomba offers relaxation with all facilities and beautiful views. If a visit in sauna is too much, you can enjoy your stay in pools, jacuzzi, experience showers and steam room.

Bomba Spa

Koli Relax Spa

Pampering Spa Kimmel


The Ultimate Finnish experience

Sauna and ice swimming

The bravest ones will try both Finnish sauna and ice swimming at the same time. The combination of hot and cold might sound crazy but it gives you a very relaxed feeling and has lots of positive impacts on your health. For safety reasons it is recommendable to try this first together with a local ice swimming professional.

Read more about Joensuu Polar Bears