Architecture I 05.11.18 I by

6 scenic saunas to unwind in this autumn

Enjoy a good steam – and dramatic views

In Finland, the sauna is an essential part of everyday life, with around 99% of the population visiting once a week. It’s a ritual that dates back thousands of years, but one that continues to inspire architects and designers around the world.

With the colder months closing in, we’ve found six of the best hotspots for enjoying a good steam and some scenic views.

Soria Moria, Dalen, Norway

6 scenic saunas to unwind in this autumn
Photography: Dag Jenssen

This canal-side spa sits surrounded by trees and mountains in Norway’s Dalen. It’s open to guests of the nearby hotel as well as hikers that stumble onto the spot and offers uninterrupted views of the water from its blonde timber benches.

6 scenic saunas to unwind in this autumn
Photography: Dag Jenssen

The sauna is named for a fairy tale palace made of gold and really comes into its own at sunset when light reflects of flecks of gold in the building’s exterior.

Hotellvegen 33, 3880 Dalen, Norway

Gothenburg Public Sauna, Gothenburg, Sweden

6 scenic saunas to unwind in this autumn
Photography: Raumlabor

Don’t let the metallic exterior of this building fool you – inside are warm planks of timber and soft drifts of steam. German architects Raumlabor designed the corrugated steel building to reference the city’s disappearing industrial past, raising it above the surrounding water of Gothenburg port.

6 scenic saunas to unwind in this autumn
Photography: Raumlabor

Once over the wooden bridge and inside, guests can enjoy views of the sunset its larch benches and watch ships sailing into harbour.

Jubileumsparken, Gothenburg Harbour, Gothenburg, Sweden

Vala, Soomaa National Park, Estonia

6 scenic saunas to unwind in this autumn
Photography: Tõnu Tunnel

This floating cabin is located in a secluded section of Estonia’s largest national park, set close to a campground and hiking trail. Visitors can jump into the river straight from Vala’s sauna room, and cool off in the rainwater shower if the heat gets too much. It’s free to use – provided you can find it in the wilderness first.

Soomaa Rahvuspark 118, Riisa küla, Tori vald, Pärnu maakond, Estonia

Stilleben sauna, Åmot, Sweden

6 scenic saunas to unwind in this autumn
Photography: Small Architecture Workshop

Guests to Sweden’s Stilleben hotel can immerse themselves in peaceful forest surroundings from its tiny floating spa, which blends into the trees thanks to its charred timber exterior. Designed by Milan practice Small Architecture Workshop, the eight-person sauna has a glazed end that makes the most of the surrounding lakeside scenery.

Stilleben, Bruksvägen 3C, 816 95 Åmotsbruk, Sweden

The Bands, Lofoten, Norway

The Bands sauna in Lofoten Norway

This larch-clad building stretches across the rocky shore of former fishing village Kleivan on the Lofoten Islands. As well as a sauna, there’s a picnic terrace, bbq spot, sunken hot tub, and direct access to the water – essential for a post-steam dip. The surrounding mountain range and scattering of nearby buildings can be admired from full height windows inside the sauna.

Kleivan Quay, Vestvågøy, Lofoten

Löyly, Helsinki, Finland

6 scenic saunas to unwind in this autumn
Photography: Kuvio

It’s all about the city sights at this Helsinki spa, designed by Finnish practice Avanto Architects. There’s both traditional smoke and wood-burning public saunas to choose from, with room for 20 people, as well as smaller private saunas for those that prefer their own space.

6 scenic saunas to unwind in this autumn
Photography: Kuvio

Löyly wellness hub has a huge front terrace, where visitors can enjoy the city landscape as well as views across the sea.

Hernesaarenranta 4, 00150 Helsinki, Finland

Read next:  5 of the best new wellness retreats for design lovers

Emma is a contributing editor at The Spaces. She also writes for Grafik, Dezeen and Creative Review

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