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Sauna near lake?-- as a daytrip from Helsinki

Fort Collins...
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Sauna near lake?-- as a daytrip from Helsinki
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Perhaps this is a dream, but is there a traditional sauna near Helsinki (no more than an hour away) that's by a lake? I am visiting Mid-May with my boyfriend and would love to do the traditional sauna, then cool off in a lake. A smoke sauna would be ideal, but I know that those take lots of time to warm. We're both rather outdoorsy and love to adventure, so not looking for anything touristy or too expensive---just looking for the traditional Finnish sauna experience.

Alternatively, does anyone want to host us in their sauna? Haha.

Many thanks in advance.

1. Re: Sauna near lake?-- as a daytrip from Helsinki

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Edited: 6 years ago
Helsinki, Finland
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2. Re: Sauna near lake?-- as a daytrip from Helsinki
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Lake or sea? Is it important that the sauna is on the countryside?

In Helsinki, Rastila Camping is a peculiar place, it's a proper camping site by the sea but also right next to a metro station. They have few saunas that they rent: http://www.rastilacamping.fi/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=29&Itemid=19&lang=en

There's a great set of saunas in western Helsinki, but you need to either apply for a membership or find someone that invites you there. It's the official Sauna Society with huge amount of rules on how to (un)dress or behave. You could contact them and ask if they would consider allowing you to participate? But, separate sexes and lots of dedicated sauna goers, uninhibited nudity for sure. In any case, their website is interesting. http://www.sauna.fi/in-english/the-finnish-sauna-society/welcome/

There are probably few thousand saunas by a lake, but right now the only one that I remember is the one in Hvittrask. The house itself is rather famous tourist sight and the lake is beautiful, so it's a great sightseeing opportunity. The downside is that some visitors to the house won't realise that the sauna is reserved for private parties and can disturb you. The sauna is rented out by the Restaurant operator, http://www.ravintolahvittrask.fi/eng/

These saunas won't be cheap as they are often used by bachelor parties etc. The rates include cleaning costs among other things.

One thing I should mention. In may the water can still be so freezing that you probably just feel like it burns. But it's not dangerous. Lots of people here do even avantouinti regularly (maybe ice swimming in English?). I wouldn't go anywhere near water before June, but for you it might be an interesting experience.

(I could invite you to our place, but unfortunately no lake, no sea.. you'd miss a lot.)

Edited: 6 years ago
Helsinki, Finland
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3. Re: Sauna near lake?-- as a daytrip from Helsinki
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For lake and smoke sauna there is Kuusijärvi in Vantaa, around 40 minutes away by bus from Helsinki (regional ticket). Unisex saunas, swimming suit is mandatory.

http://cafekuusijarvi.fi/yhteystiedot/in-english/

Culture sauna is close to Hakaniemi metro stop, but instead of lake it's by the Baltic sea. No beer allowed and separate saunas for men and women.

http://kulttuurisauna.fi/

Plenty of rental options available as well.

Edited: 6 years ago
4. Re: Sauna near lake?-- as a daytrip from Helsinki

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Fort Collins...
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36 posts
4 reviews
5. Re: Sauna near lake?-- as a daytrip from Helsinki
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Thank you so much FlyingLadyFinn for all the info! Lake is preferable (not that I am opposed to the sea), but I was looking for a "lakeland" experience, since we won't be able to venture outside of Helsinki too far, and still want to experience Finland's iconic lake land.

-I've read of the Sauna Society, and it seems like a really interesting place to go, but I would be so nervous that was I was not following proper etiquette! Although it sounds nice if we were able to be guests of a member.

-I've found a couple places like Hvittrask, but that's out of our price-range for just the 2 of us.

-Thanks for warning about the water temp. Fortunately we live next to the mountains currently, and are all too familiar with frigid water temps. Ice-swimming is a good term for it, not a regular sport around here, but something to do as an occasional thrill!

And thanks Sparky1hki, I've looked into Kuusijärvi, and it looks like that might be the answer. Do you know it it would busy on weekday in May? Also do you know what the atmosphere is like (crowded, families, tourists, locals, modern, traditional)? It was hard to get a feel of the place on their website.

I looked into Culture Sauna too, we might have to try that one night too! Do you know what the atmosphere is like there?

Thanks again!

Helsinki, Finland
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6. Re: Sauna near lake?-- as a daytrip from Helsinki
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It is a h´while since I was in Kuusijärvi, it burned down and was rebuilt. But at least then it was The Place to be recommended to couples, because the steam house was one share with both genders, and you wore a swimsuit there. So there was one change room+shower for men, one for women (some shy Americans were shocked that they had to change and shower in front of other people), albeit same gender. After shower you put on swimsuit and walk across lawn to the smoke sauna by the lake. (Crocs or light sandals are nice if your feet are tender.)

Then there were some perennial men who occasionally tried to "boil out" too noisy newcomers, so, behave.

Helsinki, Finland
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for Helsinki
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7. Re: Sauna near lake?-- as a daytrip from Helsinki
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The Kulttuurisauna is a lovely combination of Finnish traditions and eastern zen. All said in the TA reviews already http://www.tripadvisor.fi/Attraction_Review-g189934-d4736510-Reviews-Kulttuurisauna-Helsinki_Southern_Finland.html

Helsinki, Finland
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8. Re: Sauna near lake?-- as a daytrip from Helsinki
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Kuusijärvi is built in traditional log style and I would say 99% of guests are locals. Altogether there are three smoke saunas and if all of them are open on a may weekday there is a good chance you'll have one of them just for yourself. Changing rooms are located in the same building as the largest smoke sauna nowadays, right next to the lake.

Culture sauna is very different, but it's worth it just for the views.

Correction to my previous post; bus to kuusijärvi takes exactly 30 minutes.

Fort Collins...
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36 posts
4 reviews
9. Re: Sauna near lake?-- as a daytrip from Helsinki
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Many thanks for everyone's responses. I think we will check both places out, they sound like the exact mix of what we are looking for. And not to worry, we are not shocked by nudity nor loud. Looking forward to our visit to Finland!

10. Re: Sauna near lake?-- as a daytrip from Helsinki

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