Tag Archives: sauna trip

A cozy sauna spa in Mama’s Pocket

Finnish archipelago in winter

A few months ago I had a chance to visit a cozy and original site called Herrankukkaro (“Mama’s Pocket”) built upon an old fishing village. It was located in the Turku archipelago in Southwest Finland and used mainly for business meetings and team building.

Herrankukkaro has put effort to their own sauna spa area because they want to cultivate the Finnish cultural sauna heritage. The spa has four different smoke saunas, including the world’s largest smoke sauna for up to 124 people!

The  place is probably at its best in the summer time, but I think it had a special, almost magical atmosphere in the winter. During my stay the weather got cold extremely fast and I saw something impressive. I witnessed the sea freeze. Never seen that before!

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Pictures and text: Laura

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Turkish bath in Istanbul

Turkish bath in Istanbul

It was different this time in many ways, a new place to visit and experience. While walking around historical places we started to long for Christmas traditions and ended up in a hamami, a Turkish bath.

First, you chose what you wanted from the hamami, just sauna, scrub or massage or a mixture of these. We chose all three.Men and women went to different sides, me and my daughter were guided to our private dressing room. We left our clothes and belongings there, put on the linen towel and wooden slippers, and  locked the door.

We were then  guided to a huge steam room, where it is easy to breathe, they asked us to sit down on some marble steps and started watering ourselves with a small pail for a while. Then a body builder looking female came and asked us to lay down on a huge marble table in the middle of the steam room. Towel off, the scrubbing started, she did her job very well; everything was washed well with a rough linen cloth and soap, hair was shampooed, skulls were  massaged  and even ears  were washed, which was surprising. Then it was time for the  massages; they were very different, but nice.

We  felt very relaxed and clean, the atmosphere was nice and quiet, and you could tell that those stone and marble walls had seen a lot. Then we went back to our dressing room and took our time to enjoy the moment and relax. Afterwards, we drank some freshly pressed pomegranate juice; it was perfect and  a very good start to our Christmas Eve.

If you go to Istanbul, you have to have this kind of experience. There are hundreds of hamami’s there, but I highly recommend the one we visited: www.cagalogluhamami.com.tr

Turkish sauna slippers

Author and pictures: Anne

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Lazy days in the countryside

I had a great holiday break in the countryside. I did absolutely nothing, at least nothing useful. I spent time with my family, made long walks, read books, ate well (too well) and heated our sauna almost every night. And after these lazy winter days, I am ready to get back to my normal busy life.

I welcome the year 2013 with joy and enthusiasm. Let it begin, I’m rested and prepared!

Wintery sauna cottage

Sauna logs

sauna slippers

candle light in a sauna

sauna stove

sauna logs

Author and photos, Laura

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Sauna in Geneva

Sauna in Geneve

Our friend Anne lives in beautiful Geneva and we are happy to welcome her as our new sauna correspondent in Switzerland!

Anne’s sauna greetings from Geneva

There is a sauna and massage place in the middle of Geneva, on the South end of Lake Geneva. The location couldn’t be any better, and the views are amazing.

There seem to be a lot of people using these facilities on a weekly basis; On the way to the pier you can see people walking with their towels towards the saunas. What is even more amazing is the fact that people swim in the really cold water, some have their swimming suits on, some are naked. It’s like Finland!

There is a restaurant next to it, so after sauna a French onion soup or quiche lorraine with a glass of wine tastes really good.  No sausages are available. I’m very happy to see this kind of sauna culture here in the middle of Europe!

Bains des Paquis

Sauna view

Sauna in Geneva

Sauna view in Geneva

Author and photos: Anne

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Saunasaari, a paradise island

Ladies in a hot tub

This fall has been incredibly rainy in Finland. Seriously, it has rained almost every day!  On a day like this it’s comforting to browse old summer pictures and think back about sunny and warm days.

There is one summer memory which especially makes me smile. In August I had a change to visit Saunasaari (Sauna Island) in Helsinki with my old colleagues.

This small island has different kind of saunas and an amazing view to the coast of Helsinki. You can actually see the Helsinki Cathedral from the beach.

We spent one whole day there and relaxed in different kind of saunas: traditional Finnish saunas, smoke saunas and wood-heated hot tubs.

This sauna lover’s paradise has already existed for over 10 years and it’s a dream come true for its founder, sauna-master Rainer Hanhilahti.  He wanted to create an inspiring environment to calm down and to experience nature and traditional sauna culture.

Today Saunasaari is a unique and popular excursion place for companies and groups: Saunasaari

Sauna trip, Finnish flag

It takes 15 min by boat to get to Saunasaari


Saunasaari is a peaceful and green island

Sauna Island

Traditional Finnish sauna in Saunasaari

Sauna-master Rainer Hanhilahti

Sauna-master Rainer Hanhilahti

Coast of Helsinki

Amazing view of Helsinki coast


Everything is ready for sauna lovers

Author and photo: Laura

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