Ice swimming and smoke sauna baths in Lapland

Ice swimming and smoke sauna baths in Lapland
Heat of a hazy smoke sauna, dip in an icy lake, and idyllic Lapland scenery. What could be more Finnish? At Karu Lodge in Luosto you can experience a truly unique and relaxing sauna bath in a traditional deadwood smoke sauna. In Pyhä you can visit Kairosmaja smoke sauna, which is a public lakeside sauna near Pyhäjärvi.

Saunas are an essential part of Finnish culture and bathing rituals, and for many a must-have space in their own home. It is estimated that there are approximately 2 million saunas in Finland, and even many city apartments have their own small sauna built in. For most Finns, the ideal temperature of a sauna is around 80 to 100 degrees Celsius (176-212 °F). There are three types of saunas: electric, wood and smoke sauna.

Smoke sauna differs from a regular sauna due to its unique heating process. Smoke saunas do not have a chimney, so the fire in the sauna stove needs to be extinguished and the room needs to be ventilated before use. The heat is then reserved in the stove stones and released softly during the bath. Smoke saunas also have their own special, relaxing scent of woodsmoke. Because the heating process of a smoke sauna takes time, visits to smoke saunas should be booked well beforehand, at least two days prior.

Karu Lodge’s smoke sauna can be reserved for groups. During winter Karu Lodge’s smoke sauna also has an open ice hole for swimming outside. Ice swimming is said to improve blood circulation, reduce neck and shoulder pains, and refresh the body and mind. For many it is a form of stress relief. After a relaxing sauna bath, you can enjoy a tasty evening meal at Karu Lodge’s cozy sauna hut. Keep in mind, that if you have experienced heart complaints or high blood pressure you should avoid swimming in cold water after sauna.

Kairosmaja is a public lakeside smoke sauna near Pyhäjärvi. The sauna has separate shifts for men and women, and it is heated approximately once a week during summer months. Since the sauna is located near a lakeshore, you can go for a refreshing swim after your sauna bath. Kairosmaja also has a regular public sauna which is open daily from 3pm to 5pm and on Wednesdays until 7pm. A bath in the smoke sauna costs 10 euros, and in the regular sauna 9 euros. The sauna spaces can also be booked for private use. Note! Due to COVID-19, Kairosmaja sauna is temporarily closed.

Contact Karu Lodge:


Yli-Luostontie 358

99555 Sodankylä

Contact Kairosmaja:

0207 681 730

Kappelitie 2

98530 Pyhätunturi