Public spas, baths and saunas in Europe: readers’ travel tips

Our tipsters make a splash with steamy suggestions for hot water bathing from Finland to the Azores

Armed only with a towel, a bundle of firewood (in case stocks had run out), a pack of sausages and some spring water (to drink and throw on the stove), I went one evening with my Swedish friends to the tiny, do-it-yourself Sompasauna. Built by volunteers, it’s 15 minutes’ walk from the Kalasatama metro in Sompasaari, Helsinki. Free to use, it’s open day and night all year round and kept spotless. There are no lockers, showers or staff, so it’s real back to nature stuff. After enjoying the sauna, we went for a swim in the Gulf of Finland, then had a convivial barbecue with other visitors.

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