Did you know that there are over three million saunas in the Finnish side of Kvarken?


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Considering the population of Finland is a little over five million, it is safe to say that the tradition of saunas and spa traditions is deeply embedded in the culture.

Focusing on wellness means cleansing our minds and detoxing our bodies. This rest could be a sauna ritual before getting to bed or a solo retreat weekend in Kvarken. The goal is to consciously take ourselves offline, slow down, listen to our minds and bodies, and address whatever our bodies need from us.

Enjoying spa and wellness experiences such as outdoor yoga help us take time to push our individual reset buttons. By disconnecting and detoxing, we can relax and rejuvenate emotionally, mentally, and physically.

A traditional Finnish sauna is a wooden chamber with a stove that provides steam to help you de-stress, remove toxins from your body, relax your mind, connect with your senses, and revitalize your soul in a sense. The water thrown on the stove is called “löyly“.  The temperature within the Finnish sauna is controlled by löyly on the hot sauna stove.

While traveling around the region, you have access to Finnish saunas including healing rituals which involve whisking yourself with juniper branches too. These traditions are closely tied to nature and strengthen our connection to it.

For a long weekend getaway to relax and rejuvenate, you can lodge at Wanha Tupa, which was once an old abandoned farm house in the Finnish countryside. Beautifully renovated while keeping its old-school charm by preserving original furniture and decor, Wahna Tupa also has a private wooden sauna in its own standalone cottage. There, you can spend time renewing your energy and sweating out toxins as you enjoy a traditional Finnish sauna.


Copyright: LOLA AKINMADE AKERSTROM / Kvarken Destinations

Guests at the Wanha Tupa can enjoy their traditional, finnish, wooden sauna. Photo Lola Akinmade Akerstrom / Kvarken Destinations


If you want an even more remote spa experience, you can head several kilometers deep into the Finnish forests to find Emmes Retreat, a secluded piece of tranquility for silence and mindfulness, forest bathing and yoga experiences. Beyond being able to sleep up in private tree huts overlooking the forest and lake, you can finish off your evening by enjoying an exclusive sauna experience in a standalone hut. The sauna has a panoramic window which overlooks the lake, and is a relaxing way to wind down, watch the sun dip for the night in the distance, and listen to the soothing sounds of churning steam and forest life.


At Emmes Retreat you get a sauna with a beautiful lake view. Foto: Emmes Retriet


At Emmes retreat, you can also take meditative yoga sessions in a dedicated treehouse, which also overlooks the lake.

For sea views, head over to the shoreline to Kalle’s Inn where you’ll find soundproof glass huts with 180° degree panoramic views of the Gulf of Bothnia. There are three different saunas on location. You can try a traditional Finnish smoke sauna and their wood-heated lighthouse sauna. There are outdoor hot tubs for you to relax in while listening to the calming and gently lapping of waves in the gulf.


Three different saunas on the premises, all with outside hottubes are to be found at Kalle’s Inn. Photo: Kalle’s Inn


Their two smoke saunas can accommodate up to 10 and 40 people respectively, while the lighthouse sauna can comfortably fit 16 people. So, a spa and wellness getaway could be with a lot more friends and family in tow. The saunas have outdoor wood-heated hot tubs, and if you dare, the best way to get the full spa experience is a cold dip in the sea after your sauna, see the first image of this article.

Similarly at  Glasbruket Resort,where you can book your own private exclusive cabins, you have access to a private sauna and luxurious outdoor spa tub as part of your rental. The tub is in-built into a large patio where you can lounge on and watch the sun set.


At Glasbruket a traditional Finnish sauna and an outdoor spa in connection with a private beach is waiting for you. Photo: Glasbruket


For a full wellbeing experience, head over to the shores of the biggest impact crater lake in Europe, Lappajärvi. This is where you’ll find Hotel Kivitippu with its vast wellness offerings. You could try traditional massages and bone setting, which are gentle treatments of your joints and connective tissues as well as releasing tension and tightness in your body.

You could also try acupuncture and reflexology treatments, which are used to treat imbalance in your organs, limbs, and other parts of the body. In addition to other physical therapy, you can enjoy its sauna and pool as well as other grooming services like organizing a session with a cosmetologist or hairdresser.

Popular with Sweden’s elite athletes, Hotell Hallstaberget, perched high above the town of Sollefteå offers a ton of wellness experiences for your travelers to Kvarken. And you never know which of your favorite Swedish athletes you might run into on site.

At Hallsta Spa & Relax, there’s a large pool at a pleasant 29° degree temperature, two hot whirlpools with cozy 39° degree temperatures, a cold 6-degree pool and a terrace pool. There are also several dry and steam saunas which you can use.

Beyond its gym fully equipped for athletes on various Swedish national teams, you can also book an experience at their Chakra Spa – from massages and facial treatment to other beauty and grooming services.

If you would rather recharge out in nature in more unusual ways, you can try sleeping in tree houses or cabins with unrestricted views of the surrounding river and forests. On the Swedish side of Kvarken, situated along the Umeälven River in the lush countryside, Granö Beckasin offers unique bird’s nest lodging in one of six tree houses.


And once you’re done sweating it out in the sauna, a cool evening swim in the Ume River is highly recommended. Sauna at Granö Beckasin.


But a treehouse stay is incomplete without trying out the wood-fired sauna at Granö Beckasin. The sauna is housed in its own wooden cottage located along the shores of the Ume River close to a small sandy beach and jetty. It accommodates up to eight people, making it perfect for a family experience or fun with friends. Out on the patio is also a hot tub where you can sit and soak in the pristine surroundings and still waters of the river.