This Fall and Winter, for an excursion to literally take your breath away, why not try ice swimming in the far frozen North of Europe? Not exactly what you had in mind? Well take a closer look at this Northern European tradition.
In keeping with Scandinavian and Baltic sauna tradition, ice swimming is about as invigorating a spa experience as exists. Not for the faint at heart, dousing in an ice hole or simulated icy immersion at 0 °C is all the rage way up North. In Finland, Northern Russia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, Avantouinti (Finland) ice holes are often maintained for the specific purpose. There’s even swimming events mirroring the Olympics, except one heck of a lot more chilly. (video below)
Many societies and clubs exist across Northern Europe and worldwide even which support Winter swimming and very diverse sports. The image below from Finland Latu’s site shows a warm ice swimming day evidently. There are many such societies and sites.
Helsinki to the far reaches of Eastern Russia, Winter ice bathing is more than an oddity, it is a tradition the is basically outside the “ordinary” – perhaps the greatest justification of all for the, dare we call it sport?
The video below illustrates the “uniqueness” of icy immersion.
For more intriguing images and info about Finnish sauna and the tradition of ice swimming, the reader should also visit this website. The image at top is from Yöpuun vuokramökit Ylläs Facebook profile. Take a look.