If you played a word association game including the word Finland then it wouldn’t be long before someone mentioned sauna! And in a country which is home to over three million saunas, you won’t be surprised to find Finland’s most famous export, the sauna, can be found in truly unusual and unexpected places.
In Finland, the sauna is seen as an integral part of daily life offering the indulgent practitioner physical and spiritual cleansing, and promising an array of health benefits. It is also seen as a sanctuary – a peaceful haven for mental and physical cleansing.
In Helsinki’s Hartwall Arena, home to the Jokerit ice hockey team, guests can stay warm at the ice rink with a private sauna. A selection of VIP Skyboxes include saunas fitted with windows so guests can keep their eye on the puck whether they are entertaining clients and colleagues or enjoying a night with family and friends.
Visitors can even enjoy a sauna as they soar above the beautiful Helsinki skyline in the Finnair SkyWheel SkySauna. Spot Helsinki’s most famous landmarks, look out over the open sea and the surrounding islands along the south coast of Finland from the private sauna in the heart of Helsinki which can accommodate up to 20 people.
Roasting sausages on an open fire is often a key part of the Finnish sauna experience, but one newly-opened sauna will give Finns a different dining experience. Guests visiting the Mannerheimintie Burger King branch in Helsinki can enjoy a Whopper while they relax in a 15-person sauna that comes complete with a TV, Burger King bath robes and towels.
Further North, the world’s first sauna gondola takes guests through the breathtaking Lapland landscape at Ylläs ski resort, 718 metres above sea level. On a 20-minute roundtrip journey, guests can enjoy the majestic scenery from the comfort of the four-person sauna gondola.
“The sauna is part of the Finnish identity and integral to our culture,” said Eva Kiviranta, PR and Media Coordinator UK & US, Visit Finland. “Sauna is the only Finnish word that has been internationally adopted in other languages, and there’s no other word Finns would want more recognition for – it is the perfect ambassador for Finland, its people and culture.”
For Finnish sauna tips for beginners, visit the Visit Finland website.
Featured Imgae: Sauna Helsinki Hakaniemi – credit: Jari Kurvinen