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!
Read more: Herrankukkaro
Pictures and text: Laura
Last summer I had my first smoke sauna experience and I will never forget it. My friend invited me to her summer place with a beautiful dark smoke sauna. She had heated the sauna for several hours, almost the whole day, to get it ready for us. We arrived just in time to see how big logs you use for heating and how to get the smoke out of the sauna. Because that’s what you do before going in.
Inside the smoke sauna it is very dark and cozy, because you don’t have any big windows, only a very small window to get some light in. You can sense the existence of our ancestors and their life style: pure, simple and rough.
What I learnt is, never volunteer to be the first one to go to a smoke sauna. It is so hot. Even though the ladies went second, I was not able to sit on the sauna bench without a several times folded towel under my butt, and I had to dip in to the river every now and then to cool my skin.
But, after a while the heat became so smooth and gentle, and we spent several hours enjoying this very special way of sauna bathing.
Have a wonderful midsummer.
Laura & Kati
photo: Teija Soini, www.fotosoini.com
Last week I visited Saariselkä, one of the oldest and most known travel destinations in Finnish Lapland. I used to visit there every year when I was a kid, and that’s why it always has a special place in my heart.
The place has changed a lot since my childhood. It has become a big resort with all kinds of family activities. Despite all new attractions, Saariselkä has managed to keep its own restful atmosphere. It still has the best cross-country skiing conditions in Lapland.
I spent five days skiing, walking and enjoying surrounding nature and silence. After spending the whole day outdoors, I relaxed in a sauna we had in our cabin.
For the sauna lover Saariselkä is a great place to visit. Almost every cabin has its own sauna and there are public saunas and spas as well. The bravest ones can visit the famous smoke sauna situated in the Kiilopää Fell Centre. After a sauna and ice-swimming you definitely are able to leave your rush and worries in the wilderness!
Information about Saariselkä: saariselka.fi, gosaariselka.com
Photos: Laura, Mauri, Antti-Jussi and Kiilopää Fell Centre
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
It takes 15 min by boat to get to Saunasaari
Saunasaari is a peaceful and green island
Traditional Finnish sauna in Saunasaari
Sauna-master Rainer Hanhilahti
Amazing view of Helsinki coast
Everything is ready for sauna lovers
Author and photo: Laura
We received some exciting and terrific wintery sauna photos. The pictures remind us of the magic of a real winter with snow. Thank you!
Among those who shared their photos, we raffled a linen towel by Jokipiin pellava. The winner is Heikki Annala. Congratulations Heikki!
Sauna in the winter
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