How to celebrate the Estonian Year of the Sauna 2023?

The Estonian Year of the Sauna 2023 is a time to celebrate the sauna and all it has to offer. Now more than ever, during this year-long celebration it’s time to get naked and whisk away the evil spirits in a steaming hot sauna. What’s the Estonian Year of the Sauna 2023 and how can you enjoy the unique Estonian sauna culture? Let’s look closer.


Unique Estonian sauna culture

One of the best things to do in Estonia definitely enjoying a baking hot sauna. The sauna is a crucial part of Estonian culture and has been for centuries. As proof of that, on a walking tour in Tallinn Old Town, you can find “Sauna” street and even a medieval Sauna tower. The first written records of saunas in Estonia are found from the 13th century but in reality, the Estonian sauna traditions date back even more.

©Alexander Gu. Tallinn Old Town
©Alexander Gu. In Tallinn Old Town you can find Sauna tower. 

Did you know that in the very beginning, all the saunas were actually smoke saunas? The chimneys were added much later and are now commonly known as the “Finnish saunas”. But let’s rewind a bit and figure out what’s a smoke sauna. Since this type of sauna has no chimney, the smoke is let out through a window. They say the lack of chimneys maintains a higher temperature for a longer period of time. Smoke sauna is now mostly found in the south of Estonia, in Võru, and is listed by UNESCO.


Off to a great year of saunas

The Estonian Year of the Sauna 2023 couldn’t have started better. Estonian Anna Hints won the hearts of everyone at the Sundance Film Festival and got the best-directing award for her “Smoke Sauna Sisterhood” documentary. The women in the film open up about the issues and experiences of womanhood in a safe place such as the smoke sauna.

Renee Altrov. Smoke sauna

Nowadays saunas can be found in nearly every home and are used for relaxation, socializing, and hygiene. If you want to know more about the proper Estonian sauna etiquette then, no worries, we’ve got you covered. Read more here. In fact, there are 100 100 saunas in Estonia. This is one sauna per 13.3 people. The most saunas you can find in Tallinn and its surrounding county with more than 47 000 saunas there.


Celebrating the Estonian sauna tradition

One of the best ways to celebrate the Estonian sauna tradition is to visit a traditional sauna house, where you can enjoy the heat, steam, and relaxation. For that, you have a chance to join the Sauna Tour with a bog walk. Hiking in bogs is another profoundly Estonian thing to do, so by going on this tour you’ll get two birds with one stone!

Have a beautiful walk in a bog and then enjoy the hot sauna.

Another great way to enjoy the sauna is to take a day trip from Tallinn to Prangli island. Before heating things up in an authentic Estonian sauna right next to the seaside you’ll have a wonderful opportunity to get to know Prangli island by hiking. One of the traditional winter activities in Estonia is to hop into an ice hole or icy Baltic sea after a hot session in a sauna. Join the Hiking and Hot Sauna on Prangli Island trip to celebrate the Estonian Year of Saunas with us!


The Estonian Year of the Sauna 2023

The Estonian Year of Saunas 2023 will be a time to learn more about the sauna’s history and culture. It will also be a time to enjoy the many benefits of the sauna, such as improved cardiovascular health, stress relief, and improved skin health.

The sauna house on Prangli island.

So, what are you waiting for? Mark your calendars for the Estonian Year of Saunas 2023 and join in on the fun! Spend a day out of Tallinn and we’ll take you on a Bog Walk with Sauna Tour for a chance to try out the smoke sauna. Or you’d rather heat things up on an Estonian island off the coast of Tallinn? Hiking and Hot Sauna at Prangli Island will clear your mind, body, and soul. See you in the sauna!