The place is a combination of traditional Finnish sauna and a nice terrace where you can enjoy food and drinks.
Rovaniemi has been missing a proper public sauna (except the ones in the two swimming halls), and many locals have been happy to hear that a group of entrepreneurs are planning to build one in a couple of years. Meanwhile, in summertime there's a public sauna available that not everyone knows of.
Ounasvaara, a famous tourist spot in Rovaniemi, has become even more favourite a haunt for the tourists and the locals alike for the open public sauna on the bank of the Kemijoki offers a sublime relaxation to anyone who wants to take a dip. And what is more – it is absolutely free.
The Ounasvaara Chalet of the Lapland Hotels has been running the sauna christened Kesärafla Sauna for the last two years. The Ounasvaara Chalet is set in the foot of the Ounasvaara Hill and only three kilometres off from the Rovaniemi city centre.
The log-built 35-person sauna with a terrace on the Kemijoki River amidst the kaleidoscopic landscape is a typical Finnish way of relaxing that offers a soft and enjoyable warming through the wood-heated stove, said the sauna staff.
It is open every day from 4:00pm to 8:00pm. Beside the sauna is a restaurant for the customers – in all, an ideal arrangement for taking pleasure in the Arctic summer.
The sauna was introduced in 2014 by the then Chalet Hotel Rovaniemi.
“We are getting overwhelming response from people and the demand for the sauna is growing by the day”, said Ounasvaara chalet’s Sales Manager Igor Karymov. He also previously worked for the Chalet Hotel Rovaniemi and was actively involved in setting up the sauna four years ago.
He said dozens of people from Finland and abroad rush to the place every day to use the sauna absolutely free of cost. The sauna management charges only five euros for a towel, if anyone comes without one.
Like the previous year, the sauna was opened on June 2 and will continue to cater to its customers till August 13, said Karymov.
The riverside facility is a combination of traditional Finnish sauna with good fresh food and cold drinks outside on its terrace. The hotel authorities also serve Lappish tapas snacks at the fireplace lounge, and a nightless night grill partying is available in the summer time.
People can enjoy the summer weather and the sunny days, swim in the river, ride a boat, listen to good music and much more, hotel officials said.
During a visit to the sauna in late June about 20 people were chilling out there. Among them were Marko Muikku from Kuopio, accompanied by his wife Päivi Muikku and their 12-year son Sisu Muikku. “The wood-burning sauna produces heat slowly and it is much more enjoyable and comfortable than the electric version”, Marko Muikku said. He found the facility “really fantastic.”
Juha Yli-Rahnasto, who serves juices and beer at the sauna restaurant, said on an average 50 to 150 people visit the place daily and the number of visitors are much higher this year compared to last summer.
City of Rovaniemi- Daily Finland Report