Ice swimming in Lake Saimaa, Finland


The blue twilight on a winter’s evening, the starry sky above you and the mists and steams mingling above the surface of the lake; this is ice swimming in Lake Saimaa. What could be more refreshing?

Ice baths in Finland are substantial holes cut out of the frozen surface of the lake for an exhilarating dip in the ice-cool waters beneath. Once cut, systems get the water moving constantly so that it’s unable to freeze again.

Into the ice pool – an experience like no other

Taking a plunge into the lake in the sub-zero temperatures of the Finnish winter is an experience unlike anything else. Ice swimming, also known as “winter swimming” before the ice forms, is like a pleasant jolt to the system. In reaction to the sudden chill, the body pumps endorphins creating a feeling of euphoria, as well as having numerous health benefits including lowered stress, increased circulation and an improved immune system.

The thrill of ice bathing is ideally coupled with two trips to the Finnish sauna. One trip comes before the ice swimming giving you chance to find your courage and letting your body temperature rise; the second comes afterwards to help you warm up again and relax with friends or family.

Ice swimming in Mikkeli and Savonlinna – Excellent guest care

Ice swimming in Finland can be a lot of fun but should be approached with caution if you have health issues such as asthma or heart trouble.

Other than that, every step is taken to keep you safe and to let you get the most out of this unique experience; walkways and steps let you get in and out safely, and you should always be accompanied by an experience ice swimmer who can help you.

As well as holiday destinations like Oravi and Järvisydän, the regions of Savonlinna and Mikkeli have many renovated old farms turned into inns that happily create the Saimaa ice swimming experience for their guests. Check out local places to stay and other fun winter activities too, such as skating, skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing and snowshoeing!

Where you can try ice swimming in Saimaa?