Blue Lagoon

When it comes to treating yourself to a little TLC every now and then, nothing can be better than heading to a spa. For many, the thought of a trained spa therapist easing aches and pains is a most welcome one. In the UK spas and health farms are booming and the UK spa market is now worth over £1.5 billion. If you think of spas, traditionally you would think of white fluffy robes, slippers and relaxation music however in central and Eastern European spas and health centres are a more social environment where people come together to enjoy some health benefits but mainly to meet up with friends and family.

 

1. CopenHot – Copenhagen, Denmark

Located in Copenhagen’s port, CopenHot gives you a mixture o af spa experience and sea water perfect for those of us who love life at sea. This unique new spa allows you to cruise through Copenhagen’s canals in a spa boat complete with hot tubs, which needs to be seen to be believed! For those looking to enjoy some time on dry land while in port, CopenHot also has large heated barrels at the harbour where you can steam yourself.

For those who want to enjoy the views of the harbour but aren’t quite brave enough to sit in the open, then the indoor sauna with its panoramic glass wall will keep you nice and warm. If things get a little too steamy then a quick step into the ice-cold barrel shower will definitely cool you down!

 

Website: www.copenhot.com

Prices:

Hot days (saunas and saltwater baths on the quayside) - £24pp

Sailing hot spa - £263 (5 people - £52pp)

Barrel spa - £156 (6 people - £31pp)

Panoramic sauna - £144 (12 people - £12pp)

Opening hours: 11:30 – 21:00

Best cruises: Baltic Cities Cruises

 

 

2. Allas Sea Pool - Helsinki, Finland

If you ever have had the opportunity to stay in Finland, you will quickly become aware of how enamoured the Finnish are with their saunas. Most homes have one built into the bathroom and most physical activities are always swiftly followed by a sauna visit and then, in winter, a plunge into a frozen lake. For those who do not want such a shocking way to enjoy one of Finland’s most social activities then the Allas Sea Pool is the perfect blend of marine spa and urban culture right in the heart of Helsinki.  

Allas Sea Pool has both fresh and sea water pools which are set into the harbour. With two heated pools sitting constantly at 28°C and the sea pool changing with the natural temperature of the sea, there is something for everyone. 

 

Website: www.allasseapool.com

Prices: £11pp

Opening hours:

Mon-Fri: 07:00 – 21:00

Sat: 09:00 – 21:00

Sun: 10:00 - 20:00

Best cruises: Baltic Cities Cruises

 

3. Mytninskiye Bani - St. Petersburg, Russia

Banya, or steam baths, are one of the oldest health retreats for Russians, traditionally believed to rid the body of evil spirits and unite the four elements. The practice of Russian steam baths is believed to have come across from Finland and was quickly adopted in the cold state. A traditional Russian banya should be made from conifer wood and should consist of two rooms one for dressing and one for the steam.

The Mytninskiye Bani is the city’s oldest communal banya and is heated by a wood furnace to ensure fresh steam is constantly available for guests. First guests are moved into the steam area and are advised to start on the lower benches moving up a level slowly to ensure the body is warmed correctly. Once warm, simply collect your ‘broom’ a handful of branches from trees, and ask a fellow guest to gently whip you with it, after this it is time to experience the adrenaline boost of either jumping into an ice-cold bath or having a bucket poured over you.

 

Website: www.mybanya.spb.ru  

Prices: £2.60 - £3.30pp (depending on day)

Opening hours: Friday – Tuesday 08:00 – 22:00

Best cruises: Baltic Cities Cruises

 

 

4. Blue Lagoon - Grindavik, Iceland

 

Late night in the Icelandic summer ?

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Holding over 9 million litres of geothermal seawater, Blue Lagoon is the world's most well-known natural spa and with its milky blue waters, it can tempt even the most reluctant spa-goer. The site was originally created almost by mistake as a by-product of the nearby Svartsengi Geothermal Power Plant. With a reservoir forming near to the plant, psoriasis sufferers soon began to frequent the site between 1976 and 1981 and they reported extreme improvements in their conditions. In 1987 access to the pools became regulated and the creation of the modern-day Blue Lagoon began.

As well as the health benefits of the natural lava springs, the lagoon produces a spectrum of skin care based on three principles; cleanse, boost and nourish, which in turn are based on three materials which are key ingredients in the geothermal seawater; silica, algae and minerals. The lagoon itself is made up of 55% seawater and 35% fresh water with high levels of silica, not to be confused with silicone, which is a highly restorative natural mixture which has anti-aging benefits, skin condition benefits and even antibacterial effects.

 

Website: www.bluelagoon.com

Prices: £50pp - £375pp depending on package

Opening hours: 08:00- 22:00

Available as a shore excursion: Yes (please see specific cruises for more details)

Best cruises: Iceland & Northern Isles Cruises

 

5. Saunaküla– Tallinn, Estonia

While many spas are located within hotels, Tallinn is unique in that it can boast the only spa village in Estonia; Saunaküla. The complex which sits just outside Tallinn is a real village built in 2000, with different houses and areas based on traditional Baltic spas.

The 800-year-old Estonian tradition of the smoke sauna is one that everyone should try once. The smoke from the stove is allowed to stay inside the room and guests are encouraged to sweat it out, adding more water to the hot stones and in turn creating more steam. While the thought of sitting in a smoked-filled room may not be appealing to many, it is so popular in Estonia that it is now a UNESCO-listed tradition.

 

Website: www.saunamaailm.ee/saunakula 

Prices: £40pp - £62pp depending on house

Opening hours: Daily

Best cruises: Baltic Cities Cruises