UPDATE: Sunday, Mothers Day 10:00 AM Tampere, Finland: Below is a live, running itinerary. I am taking detailed notes and when I can sit down and process this incredible journey, I will be expanding this post and including more information and feedback, which I am excited to share with you….
Monday, May 5, Helsinki. Late morning arrival to Finland
Smaller Sauna. Maybe it was the jet lag, but this sauna was HOT and raggamuffin and wonderful. First plunge into Baltic and jet lag was gone. Staff replacing Harvia wood burning stove “on the fly” with stove gloves.
Larger Sauna. Large Harvia wood burner right in front of door. Symmetric seating left and right. Transom windows facing Baltic. GREAT rounds.
As old school as you can get. Electric Iki. Cupping on site. Museum locker room.
4. Loyly – smoke like sauna
Breathtaking architecture. International crowd. English speaking drowns out Finnish. Soft loyly.
5. Loyly – traditional wood fired sauna
Outdoor patio after Baltic cold plunge. Iki private sauna wood burner. Steps up after hot room entry. Owned by Jasper. (Sauna Talk link here). Award winning design from Avanto architects. Time Magazine top 100 places to visit in the World. Sea cold plunge.
Tuesday, May 6, Helsinki
6. Clarion Hotel rooftop sauna
Full glass hot room door, looking straight out window to Helsinki skyline, 17 floors above.
7. Saunaseura or preferably Vaskiniemi (Finnish Sauna Society) savusauna #4 (Harald)
8. Saunaseura savusauna #6 (Ilmatar)
9. Saunaseura wood-burning heat storing sauna #2 (Väinö)
10. Uusi Sauna
“New” sauna. Clean sleek bar/outdoor patio. Pellet wood heated dual his/her separate saunas. Great heat even with last rounds of the night. Connection made with Jarmo Hiltunen, wood timber sauna builder who also wrote a how to build sauna book, his on timber sauna building.
Wednesday, May 6, Varjola (Central Finland)
11. Hotel Alba, Jyväskylä
Comfortable curved benches. On cloud 9 after podcast interview with Dr. Jari Laukkanen. Light, airy, curved Aspen benches. semi circular design. Great flow.
12. Varjola Koskenniskan smoke sauna
Room for 12 people easy. Real heat. Stayed 2 hours with a solo sauna, and mobile speaker, probably a breach of Finnish Sauna Protocol. (but i was alone!).
13. Varjola Lahdenpellon smoke sauna (dry sauna)
Generous fireplace room and terrace with hot tubs. Day after a big sauna party and fun to see the empty beer cans and party carnage.
14. Varjola Kelosauna (dry sauna)
Log sauna. Very old. Soft steam for small groups. Traditional functional farm sauna with hot water tank. Beautiful outdoor cool down patio in courtyard behind restaurant.
Thursday, May 7 (Central Finland)
15. Savutuvan Apaja – Savotta Sauna
No lodging resort catering to weddings and corporate parties. Lake Murtoselka, Jyvaskyla Region. Right on the lake shoreline. Fabulous shower and hang out cool down space and covered front porch looking out to lake.
16. Savutuvan Apaja – Smoke Sauna
17. Savutuvan Apaja – Torppa Sauna
Inside private courtyard adjacent to two hot tubs.
A wonderfully typical Finnish ski chalet with Harvia Electric heated sauna and adjacent shower area, leading off to back patio.
Friday, May 8 (Central Finland -> Tampere)
19. Harvia Factory Showroom (dry saunas)
Viewed and sat and Sauna Talked (dry) inside over 10 saunas at the showroom with Harvia Director of Marketing, Sami Linna
20. Sauna Village (dry saunas)
This is a work in progress collection of historic recovered savusaunas, many dating back to the 1800s. A must see as every sauna has a soul, and each of these basic, historic saunas can speak to the visitor (if allowed to listen).
21. Rajaportti Sauna
I absolutely totally, completely, enjoyed Rajaportin Sauna. Simple and functional. Worn and real. The Loyly is heavy and gets right to the bones, as a good sauna tends to do. The day a tour bus arrives may be a good day for Rajaportin’s unique financial model (6 euros on Monday and Thursday), but may come with a loss of its magical purity.
“Since 1989 the Pispala sauna association has been responsible for activities at Rajaportti and for maintenance of the premises. Thanks to the energy of the association, the sauna at Rajaportti is the oldest public sauna in Finland still going strong!”
22. Tullin Sauna (dry sauna)
Electric fired. All new bar restaurant yet old traditional sauna within an old industrial building. Cool feature in that one of the two saunas is built within common wall such that transom window allows sauna bather to check out the bar/restaurant scene whilst on the sauna bench.
23. Lapland Hotel, Tampere hotel room sauna
16% of the square footage of my beautiful hotel room was sauna. Lapland hotels has their priorities well defined.
Saturday, May 9 Tampere
60s building, two saunas, heated by wood pellets. Unique dual stove wood pellet sauna. Great heat and well laid out easy deck down to crystal clear water small lakeside. Suburb north of Tampere.
Dual Harvia Electric. Surprisingly even good heat. Stadium style aluminum frame benches. Beautiful deck and cold swim area, lakeside vibe akin to Vermilion. Drizzly rainy day. Manager is Russian woman and Finnish electrician wife. Magical, special private sauna session after everyone left.
26. Lapland Hotel, Tampere Sauna Saana rooftop sauna.
Transom rooftop views of Tampere city. Great rounds to cap off a long day. Well hydrated thanks to mineral water protocol, and Jarmo’s watchful eye.
Sunday, May 10 Tampere
Working mans sauna. Public bath. Two saunas. Oil heat. Rocky outcropping to cold plunge. Beautiful walk through old growth forest along lakeshore to Kaupinoja Sauna.
28. Kaupinoja sauna
Massive continuous burn wood stove. Multiple benches. Burns very hot. large hot room. Steps down to the sea. Beautiful walk to Rauhaniemi Sauna.
29. Alisniemi Sauna summer sauna
Off the path campground with two saunas, on the shore of crystal clear Lake Alisenjärvi, about 4 km from the center of Nokia and 20 km from Tampere. Continuous feed wood stove in center of room.
30. Kuuma café-restaurant modern sauna
Electric fired stove with “a glimpse of smoke as as a decorative element.” Heart of Tampere, similar vibe to Loyly in Helsinki, riding the wave of the Urban Sauna Revival.
31. Kuuma café-restaurant wood fired sauna.
Single heat custom stove. Outdoor swim in harbor. Podcast interview with Jacob and Jozefina, from Warsaw Poland.
32. Lapland Hotel, Tampere, Olas rooftop sauna
Monday, May 11 Western Finland
33. Private sauna w/Narvi Jesse
Farm sauna design with Narvi AK57, Single heat. Private gun club, set along shore of Lake Pyhäjärvi, Western Finland. No boats.
34. Fiskars Hotel Tegel sauna (dry sauna)
Electric stove. Functional and clean.
Tuesday, May 12 -> Helsinki
35. Fiskars community sauna (dry sauna)
Magical sauna building, reflecting traditional elements and old world charm. Sauna is used only 2-3 times per month. Village gathering place along peninsula just outside of town.
36. Saunaseura savusauna #1
Most mild, conventional. Silent sauna.
37. Saunaseura new electric #7 (dry sauna).
New construction for Finnish Sauna Society. Reflecting new electric vibe with clear paneling and tile elements.
38. Saunaseura savusauna #5 (church ceiling)
39. Saunaseura savusauna #3
130 degrees C. Small lower transom window. Tears of joy while walking to sea. An iconic sauna with all sauna pros and experts. Arguably the best sauna in all of Finland (what an American thing to say!, shame on me!).
Wednesday, May 12 Helsinki
40. Iki Showroom/Apartment building sauna (dry sauna)
Innovative fresh air piping creating convection movement and fresh air. Samuli, Iki Stoves, creation. A sauna enthusiast could live in this apartment building, just for access to this sauna. Basement sauna. No windows, but innovative fresh air system.
Insanely beautiful sauna by small accessible beach area. Electric Iki by waters edge. One of 11 commercial saunas managed by Tea Lindberg and Saunat.Fi. “Time for Tea” catering. Weddings, corporate retreats, etc.
42. Kaurilan Sauna
Very traditional farm sauna on private estate. No electricity. Iki continuous wood stove. Strong spirit. Cold water over head in hot room. Tears during podcast interview with founder and owner Saara Lethtonen.
43. Samuli, Iki Stoves, private tent sauna
Wood fired Iki Stove, “temporary” tent sauna by the sea. After boat ride with Samuli Kerman and Sauna Timo Kaukonen, one of the most recognized people in Finland, unfortunately, because mainly due to a tragic outcome of the final World Sauna Championships in 2010
Thursday, May 13 Helsinki
44. Lonna Sauna
Short ferry right to Lonna Island. Farm style sauna design. Single heat wood stove.
45. Kulttuurisauna (dry sauna)
“Culture sauna” designed by Finn and his Japanese wife. Cold swim in sea. Close to harbor.
46. Arla Sauna (dry sauna)
Old school. Owned by Kimmo from Uuusi Sauna. Converted to oil/gas.
47. Helsingin Urheilutalo larger sauna
Electric. Adjacent to showers and short walk to 5-8c cold pool.
48. Helsingin Urheilutalo smaller sauna
Traditional public pool with massively hot electric stove. 140c. easy. Blow your ears off Loyly. Sauna pro Petri Guilland is on another level.
49. Kotiharjun Sauna
The classic city public sauna. Where there used to be 150 of these in the 1920s, all closed except this one and Arla. Sit outside underneath the red neon sign.
Friday, May 14 Helsinki -> Minnesota
50. Helsinki Airport Sauna (dry sauna). Near Terminal 49, Finn Air business lounge.
10 thoughts on “12 days in Finland: How many saunas can one person take?”
Glenn, I asked a bunch of questions about your trip to Finland on your Facebook page, to which you provided quick but abbreviated answers. I was just sitting in the sauna and thought of many more questions I did not ask! Your trip to Finland was more than the ultimate sauna vacation. It was a Pilgrimage to Sauna Mecca – a once in a lifetime experience. It would be great to get some bench time for a more thorough interview.
Jeff… you are leading pilgrim too!! So many great things happening and so excited to share all with you. Yes, on the bench. i’m going to copy paste the FB stuff as it deserves to be here. Great questions and will help others get framework of where US sauna is and where the real sauna is and how we are on cusp of bridging major gap-age.
FROM JEFF: “Hi Glenn, I am living vicariously through you as you are doing one of my bucket list dream vacations in Finland. I have a long list of questions for you because inquiring sauna minds want to know. 1) What was your favorite sauna experience thus far in Finland and why? 2) How does a cool down in brackish water of the Baltic compare to Lake Vermilion? 3) Is sauna in a savusauna really that much better than in a conventional wood-burning sauna? If so, why? 4) What was your favorite type of sauna stove experienced in Finland? 5) Did you try a heat-storing stove such as a Narvi Aitokiuas AK? How did it compare to our home-grown Kuuma? 6) Did any of your views on sauna building, design, etc. change as a result of your trip?”
FROM ME: Jeff: such great questions. I can’t unpack these on Facebook. But these are hugely great. 1, public saunas by lake water element. Nature is everywhere. 2. I prefer fresh water cool down yet Sompasauna was magical. 3. Jury is still out. Fabulous-question. 4. See number 5. 5. Yes. Fabulously good soft deep Loyly. Close to savusauna. Visiting w Narvia today in fact. Recording Sauna Talk w them. 6. Yes!!! But only a couple things and they are subtle. 90% people wouldn’t notice and that’s ok. Will fill you in later. Sep posts on saunatimes. Bottom line. We need work release program and extend your hot room to add x room and 10cm crack along your hot room door. Ventilation.
Ooh you hit the FSS again? Excellente. I’m jealous.
BTW, after shovelling shit (literally) for 6 hours yesterday and getting in the farm sauna, I was introduced to ” the sauna elf”. You come across this guy before?
Enjoy the last couple of days bud. Hope you can get to either Kotiharjun or the savusaunas at Kuusijarvi.
Wow! I didn’t think a human body could take so many saunas in such a short period of time. How did you feel after 50 saunas in less than a fortnight? Also, mundane question, but what was the weather like while you were there?
PS. Did you watch the hockey? Were the otherwise reserved Finns getting excited?
Dave, after all these saunas, I was thinking i’d be giving sauna a rest for awhile once I got home. But it’s been the opposite. I used to sauna 3x a week now it’s almost everyday. I really like it.
Weather: It was cool, abut 50f. I forgot a stocking cap and which I had one, especially between sauna sessions. But ideal weather for sauna.
I watched the hockey and loved it. The Finns were great. They are like Minnesotans. Love hockey.
May 16. we had great old time sauna in Huittinen with Jacob and Jozefina.
Unfortunetely you didn´t have time because of Fiskars;)
Thank you for visiting our factory.
Henkka: Such a pleasure to visit with you and Tammiston factory. Thanks for chiming in. Hope we can stay in contact.
I really enjoyed listening to the podcast series. Thank you! I am going to Finland this summer and plan to do some sauna research. Wondering if I can ask you some questions through email?
For sure, shoot me an email please. firstname.lastname@example.org. Glad you enjoyed, happy to help.