Chill out, no sweat in Norway’s stunning floating saunas offering unique ‘glow’

Floating saunas are one of the hottest trends in Scandinavia – and Norway has some of the coolest new choices for recharging your batteries.

Locals, and visitors once we can travel again, can enjoy a warm sauna (“badstu” in Norwegian) experience combined with a refreshing dip in the chill waters below.

It’s all part of the Norwegian concept of kos – a rough equivalent of Denmark’s fabled hygge, with everyone “glowing with warmth, kindness, caring, togetherness and laughter’’.

Norway’s floating saunas are near rock formations, in cities and towns, on the majestic fjords and in the Arctic where the Northern Lights can dazzle or the midnight sun shimmers.

Some also offer compelling architecture that reflects their dreamy locations or urban vibes.

Here’s our pick of Norway’s floating sauna scene….

Oslofjord, Oslo

Oslofjord Sauna offers Stampen (tub), Maken (seagull), Skarven (cormorant), Anda (duck) and Havornen (sea eagle) near
the Opera House.

Green Boats Saunas are located at Aker Brygge, close to restaurants, shops and a museum and offer Aufguss, which is a
German-inspired sauna ritual that includes essential oil infused water, music and fanning.

Salt is a nomadic art project currently residing close to the Opera House and has three giant saunas that host music and lectures.

Kok (it means boil) is a boat with a wood-fired sauna that sails the inner Oslofjord.

Dalen, Telemark

Soria Moria is where sauna meets art as it glitters on Lake Bandak. It’s the first ­installation in a project called Tales of the Waterway, which focuses on artworks along the Telemark canal.


Pust (breathe) is one of the newest of Norway’s floating saunas – right in the middle of the Arctic city’s harbour – and is shaped like a traditional drying rack for fish.

Former fishing and whaling vessel Vulkana Spa Boat has been revamped to feature a sauna, hammam, saltwater tub, cold water pool, zen lounge, bar and dining area.

Activities include bathing under the Northern Lights or midnight sun, fjord cruises and “ski by boat” trips.


Wood-fired Heit (red hot) Sorfjorden Sauna, just south of Lofthus, opens up views of the fjord and its surrounding mountains and glaciers.

Guests are greeted by a sauna master who ensures there’s a personal experience.

Rjukan, Telemark

Located at the lake Kvitavatn with views towards Gaustatoppen mountain, two Gausta saunas are run by the Gaustablikk Mountain Resort which offers skiing, hiking, kayaking, fishing and biking.

Preikestolen Basecamp, Rogaland

Also known as Pulpit Rock, mighty flat-topped Preikestolen towers almost 2,000ft over Lysefjorden.

What started as a small, private farm where visitors could stay overnight has become a basecamp complex of accommodations and all-year outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, climbing – and floating saunas to unwind.

Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Way inside the Arctic Circle, SvalBad is in the harbour of the archipelago’s chief town. Both the float and the sauna itself are largely built with repurposed materials from old buildings and guests can enjoy a Polar Bear experience before taking the plunge in the icy water at 78 degrees north.


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