In 2018 we planned some cruises with the objective of visiting as many saunas as possible, and writing reviews of them for the benefit of other sailors. Here are the results of those visits.
I’m very grateful to my crew during the cruises, who did the hard work of taking sauna and writing up these notes. Most of the work was done by Vera Anttila, Elina Laakko, Tuulikki Rautiainen and Jenna Karoliina Mäkäräinen. Tuulikki and Elina had the original idea for this in 2017.
One thing we didn’t do, I realised afterwards, was to include photos of the inside and outside of the saunas. In 2019 we will try and put that right, but if any readers already have useful photos I’ll be very glad to add them, just email me using the contact form on the website.
Details of cost and timings for the men’s and women’s saunas may change in 2019.
Seili, 27 June
Sauna is free, women 16.00 to 18.00, men 18.00 to 20.00
Old wood building, wood-fired heater. Attached to the sauna is an old rippilein-like room with a fireplace and tables. Sauna is located by a very shallow beach with a soft mud/clay bottom. Water had some algae.
Very soft löyly, enjoyed it alone despite the public hours. Nice, clean average. Recommended (as it’s free) but nothing special as swimming wasn’t really possible.
Kasnas, 29 June
Review of spa by the hotel, €6.50, not the sauna attached to the guest harbour.
Swimming pool feel with normal, infra-red and steam sauna. Swimming pool was 25 metres and in addition a hot tub and kids’ pools were available.
Feel of the sauna was clean and fairly new, more beautiful than an average swimming hall. Basic löyly and showers, but extra, and about the small “twinkle” lights at the sauna.
Dressing room was super warm, had to cool down in the lobby. Got a chance to read about Kasnas history and the owner/entrepreneur of the hotel and harbour. Good for them building everything from scratch.
Harbour sauna Included in the harbour fee
Sauna is very new, spacious, with a view to harbour. Three very good showers with enough warm water and big changing rooms. No possibility for swimming.
Everything was very clean, including toilets.
Sauna could have been a bit warmer, otherwise very pleasant experience.
The electric stove is in the middle of the room, and it’s nicely sheltered with rails. Suitable for children.
Trunsö, 30 June
Sauna fee included in harbour fee of €17
Sauna is heated with wood, which is always a big plus. It’s situated close to the guest harbour but still has good privacy.
The building had a terrace with a beautiful view and a separate dressing room. The actual löyly was very soft and pleasant. The room can easily fit 4-5 people.
It doesn’t have showers but hot water was heated by the stove, and there were enough buckets to wash in.
There’s a place to swim and the water was very clean and fresh (cold). The ground had a rock path cleared to the bottom of the sea which was nice and a new thing for me.
The overall experience was extremely nice, the best sauna on this summer’s trip. To top the whole relaxing beautiful and idyllic archipelago sauna moment we got a rainbow. I mean, please!
You can reserve an hour slot from the washing room by the pier.
Clean, not smelly dry toilets.
Very friendly island host lady. Strongly recommend this island, the nature walks and grills.
We were the only boat there, which is amazing.
Jurmo, 1 July
Sauna is in two separate sections for men and women, and can be used free for showers in the morning. In the evening reservable by the hour.
Sauna building isn’t close to the water so not really an opportunity to swim.
Sauna is recently renovated. It’s clean and functional with one shower. Sauna is electric and had dry and rather harsh löyly. Benches had a very interesting upright design, felt like sitting on a bus, but it worked surprisingly well.
Shower room was clean and gets extra points for its non-slip material on the floor.
Dressing was quite small but functional. There was no terrace but you can cool off on the stairs outside with a beautiful view out to sea.
Overall experience was nice and it provided warmth on a rather chilly evening.
Kökar, 3 July
Sauna is situated by the side of the café and shop in its own private area. This was sauna number 3, there are two others which we didn’t use. It has no running water and is the oldest sauna in this harbour. Saunas 1 and 2 are on the other side of the harbour facilities, to the south, and do have running water, but with no guarantee of hot water with only a small hot boiler.
Sauna #3 was small with electric stove. It was basic and nice and did its job. There is a pier for swimming but it was close to the boats.
The löyly is a little sharp and dry, but the terrace and views are nice, this time topped off with a beautiful sunset and double rainbows.
Although there’s running hot water (this time enough for two of us) the washing is done in sauna in a relatively small place. The dressing room is also pretty small and very hot.
We originally booked it for 21-22, but coming to sauna we noticed there was a double booking and found out our booking was an hour earlier, so the harbour master booked us a new later slot, and offered us complimentary cakes and tea/coffee, which were delicious, and a very nice gesture.
All in all a good sauna experience and would do it again.
[Editor’s note – there are quite a lot of snakes on Kökar and they have been seen under the saunas. Be watchful.]
Degerby, 4 July
Sauna included in the harbour fee. Women 17.00 to 19.00, men 19.00 to 21.00
Sauna is right in the harbour in the utility block, with no swimming possibility. Dressing room and shower areas are small, but plenty of running hot water. Sauna itself is big, basic and somehow traditional. It warms up nicely after a cold day.
Very basic but OK. There were only a few boats in the harbour, so it wasn’t crowded when we were there.
Rödhamn, 6 July
Sauna fee €25. This is the open sauna at the W side of the island. There is another sauna at the E end for members of the ÅSS only.
Sauna is often fully booked as the harbour is so popular, so we had a delicious morning sauna from 11-12.
Sauna is beautifully located far away on the W end of the harbour and quite secluded. You really have your own space and can enjoy the experience by yourself.
Sauna has a separate spacious dressing room and a large washing room. Sauna is big, and heated with wood. Everything is tidy and well-kept and the atmosphere is the best of the saunas we visited on this trip. There’s no running water for washing.
The pier for swimming is very good and we went out three times although it was very fresh and cold (this was before the heatwave arrived). The steps are sturdy and comfortable.
Overall the most amazing sauna of the archipelago.
Airisto Strand, 18 August
The electrical-heated sauna is included in the harbour fee (25 €/night). It is located close to the harbour office and is easily accessible with a spacious dressing room and two showers.
We had enough space, because of the season coming to its end. The panoramic window portrayed the harbour beautifully and the overall interior design was fresh and modern. It had been recently renovated.
The heat stayed for a good while, when throwing water on the stove. There is a sand beach close by and smaller rockier place almost in front of the sauna, where you can take a swim. The experience was overall positive and recommendable.
Kejsarhamnen – Högsåra, 19 August
Sauna fee is 20 €/h for the older sauna (the newer sauna costs 30 €/h). The location of the electrical-heated sauna is very picturesque with small red cabins and beautiful nature. The sauna has a small dressing room and a shower.
The sauna didn’t heat up well and felt
mostly just moist. We tried to let it dry and throw again, but it stayed the
same. It seemed like it had been a wooden sauna before. You will have a sand
beach almost straight outside the sauna. The beach is very shallow, so we had
to walk out to the boats for deeper waters. It was nice to take a swim around
S/Y Korybant and look at her from another perspective.
It could be a good idea to try the new sauna instead of this, if you are a true sauna enthusiast.
Hangö, 20-21 August
Sauna is included in the harbour fee (24 €/night). The electrical-heated sauna is located above the harbour office, in a container.
It has a spacious dressing room with a
hair-dryer, a lot of showers and a decent sauna. There is a panorama-window
from where you can look over the harbour and spy on people (they can’t see
you). The wooden scoop was pretty small, so sometimes we threw water straight
from the bucket for the right effect.
Overall a clean and neat experience. This is not the most personal sauna we have been to, but serves the purpose of getting you sweaty.
Elisaari, 23 August
Sauna fee €29/h for Sauna 2. It is located around 200 m west of the harbour. There are also three other wood-heated saunas on the island. The saunas can be booked between 6-8 PM at the Elisaari shop/cafe.
It takes around 45 min-1 hour to heat the sauna. It has a modern dressing room and a separate washing room with running water. The wood was really dry and burnt fast, because of the warm summer. The sand beach and swimming dock are right outside and the water didn’t show any signs of blue green algae.
We enjoyed a calm sauna from 9-10 PM. The experience was quite humid and could have been more intense heatwise. To our surprise, someone had booked the sauna from 10 PM onward, so we got into a little bit of hurry at the end. A beautifully located sauna.
Porkala marin, 24 August
Sauna is included in the harbour fee.
It is located close to the boats and on the way to the restaurant Bryggan. The
sauna has a small dressing room, two showers and a fierce electrical-heated
stove. Women’s sauna is from 6-7 PM and men’s from 7-8 PM.
The experience was positive, because of the efficient and strong löyly. The sauna is quite small, so it might be crowded during high-season. We were lucky and could enjoy the sauna all for ourselves. There is a swimming ladder outside, but it leads straight out where the boats are and the water on a hygienic level can be discussed.
You can reserve the sauna for yourself after the public sauna hours.