This was the first sauna I ever visited in Sweden, and I will always remember it with the thrill of being in a foreign sauna for the first time, in a foreign country, on my own. To come to Hellasgården, I took a short bus ride from Stockholm city center on a cold and dark November day, and arrived at a large field covered in snow. The whole area looked completely isolated from the hustle and bustle of city life, serenely waiting in the arms of nature.
Walking on, I had to enter one of the many wooden cabins, following the signs to the sauna. I was told by the lady at the reception to leave my boots outside the changing room, which looked like a high-school gym changing room to me. Minimum luxury, maximum practicality.
As I was disrobing myself piece by piece, I was trying to figure out whether it was allowed to be naked in the sauna or not. There were a few women in the changing room (I went on a week day), and I couldn’t tell whether they were wearing swimming suits. Sort of making an educated guess, I went in naked, with a towel wrapped around me. To my surprise, I discovered that the sauna was actually inside the changing room. And yes, other women were also without swimming suits.
The sauna itself was relatively large; but not very hot. I had to sit there a long time before I was warm enough to go out and jump on the icy water. The walk from the sauna to the lake is just a few meters, but in the cold, the distances feel longer. Indeed, I was even discouraged and scared to get into the water on my first try. But after the initial dip; I felt a rush of energy all over my body, and went into the lake a couple of times afterwards. That initial dip was the moment where I said “I wish I had done this earlier!” but I admit that it’s better late than never!
When I come here next time, I’ll try to plan some time for outdoor sports activities that are on offer; and come on a day where there’s an Aufguss and peeling session in the sauna. You can check the schedule for those here.
Good to know
- Nude sauna. No swimwear allowed.
- Women and men in separate areas. Some sessions are mixed gender.
- You can come with older children, but there are not many other options for them apart from the sauna.
- Price: $$$$$