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Copperhill Mountain Lodge Spa, Åre
Copperhill Mountain Lodge Spa, Åre
At the spa of Copperhill Mountain Lodge, you can enjoy a relaxing treatment or a swim.
Photo credit: Copperhill Mountain Lodge

Nordic Nirvana – experience Swedish spa resorts and sauna rituals

Swedish wellness and spa culture is rooted in tradition, dating back to the fifth century. Emphasising holistic balance, relaxation and well-being, it’s something even the pillaging Vikings enjoyed.

Today, many Swedish spa hotels and spa resorts offering a wide range of saunas and treatments are perfectly located in beautiful areas of the Swedish countryside.

Sauna bathing is a tradition deeply rooted in the Swedish culture up north and a rising trend in the cities. Aside from being a holistic health treatment, the 300,000 saunas across the country provide a place for social exchange between families, partners and friends. And with many different types of saunas to choose from, there’s one to suit every taste.

Whether by the sea, a lake or in a forest, Swedish spa hotels and spa resorts offer a harmonious connection to nature, eco-friendly products, locally sourced food, and invigorating outdoor activities. The country is also home to the world-renowned Swedish massage, which involves light, gentle strokes to calm and relax you. So what better place to indulge in one?

Swedish spas and saunas are not just relaxing, they are also great for your mind, body and soul. Here are some of the best health benefits of sauna and spa rituals:

  • Stress reduction and improved mood.
  • Enhanced circulation and cardiovascular health.
  • Reduced blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Detoxification and improved skin health.
  • Pain relief for muscles and joints.
  • Strengthened immune system.
  • Mental clarity and cognitive function.
  • Improved sleep quality.
  • Reduced tension headaches.
Tree branches hanging on the side of a wooden house.

Birch twigs at Kukkolaforsen, Haparanda

Using birch twigs to tap the skin lightly is a common practice in sauna culture to increase blood flow.

Photo: Kukkolaforsen

Most Swedish spa resorts and spa hotels provide towels, robes and slippers, but do bring your own swimwear and exercise clothes. For non-spa saunas, you may need to bring your own towel. And before you dive headfirst into a Swedish sauna, there’s something you should know – nudity is not uncommon and has traditionally been part of the sauna experience. To Swedes, there’s nothing odd or sexy about it. It’s rooted in the Swedish love for nature. But many saunas these days encourage you to wear a towel or swimwear (especially in a unisex sauna) to show consideration towards others. If you’re unsure what to wear, you can always check clothing rules beforehand.

18 of the best spas in Sweden

Here are some of the best spas in Sweden, starting off with icy Northern spa resorts and ending with coastal spas in the South. They all offer day spa packages and overnight packages, but there are a few exceptions (which are noted below).

Three people bathing in an outdoor pool during winter.

Aurora Spa at Camp Ripan, Kiruna

Camp Ripan offers a relaxing spa area with an indoor and outdoor pool.

Photo: Björn Wanhatalo/Camp Ripan

Aurora Spa, Kiruna

Kiruna, the northernmost city in Sweden, hosts a spa resort in an unforgettable environment. Instead of blocking out the winter, the Aurora Spa at Camp Ripan has integrated it into the experience. Wander between the warming waters of the indoor and outdoor pools, relax in steamy saunas, and experience a classic Swedish massage. If you’re lucky, you might even see the Northern Lights!

Two woman sitting in a hot sauna.

Kukkolaforsen, Haparanda

At Kukkolaforsen in Haparanda, you can try several types of saunas: a wood-fired sauna, a smoke sauna, Pirti's greenhouse sauna, a village sauna and a VIP sauna.

Photo: Kukkolaforsen

Kukkolaforsen, Haparanda

Capturing the spirit of the Swedish and Finnish Lapland regions, Kukkolaforsen is an experience and knowledge centre. With rustic accommodation, fishing, and 13 different saunas, this is the place to experience traditional sauna rituals. One can accommodate some 60 people, boasting the largest wood-fired oven in Sweden, and between sauna trips you can take a cold bath in the Kukkola rapids.

A woman walking towards an open bath in the snow surrounded by a wooden building.

Arctic Bath in Harads

The open-air cold bath at Arctic Bath in Harads.

Photo: Håkan Stenlund

Arctic Bath, Harads

For a more high-end Northern retreat, choose Arctic Bath in Harads. A serene and tranquil atmosphere where you stay in modern cabins located by the water or nestled among birch trees. Enjoy three saunas, two outdoor jacuzzis and a range of sumptuous spa treatments. There’s also an open-air cold bath, providing you with an invigorating experience – Swedish style.

A person in an indoor infinity pool looking out through the big windows to the snow-covered forest.

Copperhill Mountain Lodge, Åre

Copperhill Mountain Lodge is located in the ski resort of Åre, right on the forest edge, 730 metres above sea level.

Photo: Copperhill

Copperhill Mountain Lodge, Åre

If you’re looking to combine your spa experience with skiing, Copperhill Mountain Lodge in Åre is a perfect option. Enjoy the panoramic mountain views as you choose between relaxing in the two indoor pools, the outdoor pool, or the two saunas. Feeling fancy? Book the private spa area to enjoy a few hours of luxury with friends and family or treat yourself to a relaxing massage after a day on the slopes.

Two people relaxing in the outdoor pool at Orbaden Spa & Resort in Hälsingland, watching the snow coated water view.

Orbaden Spa & Resort, Vallsta

Orbaden Spa & Resort is situated on the "riviera of Hälsingland".

Photo: Katarina Hansson/Orbaden Spa & Resort

Orbaden Spa & Resort, Vallsta

Further south, Orbaden on the Ljusnan Riviera has been a go-to spot for Swedes since the early 20th century. Focusing on the healing properties of water, Orbaden offers lake views, complimentary luxury spa products, various pools, saunas, and over 30 different spa treatments.

People in a warm outdoor pool in the snow.

Selma Spa, Sunne

Selma Spa has multiple pools and saunas where you can relax and calm down. They've also got Scandinavia's most extensive range of spa treatments.

Photo: Selma Spa

Selma Spa, Sunne

For a historical Swedish spa experience, visit Selma Spa in Värmland – Sweden’s first-ever spa hotel. Located next to the forest and overlooking a scenic lake, it offers various saunas, pools, spa treatments and exercise classes. You can also enjoy seasonal, organic dining in a quaint setting here.

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Sturebadet, Stockholm

Sturebadet is a bath in the centre of Stockholm with a long history. It opened in the late 1800s. Today it is a modern spa that offers baths, treatments, exercise and a restaurant.

Photo: Tuukka Ervasti/

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Sturebadet, Stockholm

Sturebadet, Stockholm

Photo: Tuukka Ervasti/

Two people lying in sunbeds in white bathing robes.

Centralbadet, Stockholm

Photo: Centralbadet

A pool area with sunbathing chairs and umbrellas in front of a wooden house with big windows.

Ellery Beach House, Lidingö

Photo: Ellery Beach House/ ESS group

Lounge chairs, sofas and tables next to an indoor pool in the spa of Smådalarö Gård

Smådalarö Gård spa

Photo: Hannes Söderlund

Day spas in Stockholm

If you’re planning on visiting Stockholm, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Sturebadet, a luxury spa oasis in the middle of the city, dates back to the 1800s. This day spa offers both a hot and cold bath, saunas, an aromatherapy room, exercise classes, and spa treatments from head to toe. A more budget-friendly day spa is Centralbadet, which dates back to 1904. Bathe in a hot or cold bath in the Roman section or relax in a unique Nordic sauna landscape. Both spas have restaurants that offer healthy food options.

If you want to opt outside the city, cosy Smådalarö Gård in the Stockholm archipelago invites guests to a rejuvenating spa experience. The spa hotel features heated outdoor pools, various invigorating sauna treatments, and the opportunity to enjoy refreshing sauna and cold baths in the nearby sea.

There’s also a trendy beach resort in Stockholm: Ellery Beach House. In this welcoming getaway located outside the city on the island of Lidingö, urban life feels far away. With its private jetty and 60s and 70s-inspired interior, you can experience a luxurious, well-equipped spa, as well as pool tables, running tracks, padel and boule courts. And the best bit – overnight packages are available!

A wooden dry sauna with large panoramic windows facing the forest.

Yasuragi, Nacka

The award-winning spa Yasuragi has several saunas and pools. If you want time for relaxation and recovery, this is the place.

Photo: Yasuragi

Yasuragi, Nacka

For an exceptional spa experience, visit Yasuragi – voted the best spa in Sweden at the 2023 World Spa Awards. Inspired by Japanese bathing culture, it offers serenity, beauty and harmony with outdoor hot springs, indoor pools and saunas. Enjoy activities such as Japanese gymnastics, yin yoga, sound healing, meditation and cupping. And indulge in one of the three Japanese restaurants before tucking yourself into bed for a harmonious night’s sleep.

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Upper House, Gothenburg

Upper House Spa is on the 19th floor in the Gothia Towers in Gothenburg. The spa has an outdoor pool with a glass floor and a view over Liseberg Amusement Park.

Photo: Upper House

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An outdoor pool with views over Liseberg and Gothenburg.

Upper House, Gothenburg

Photo: Upper House

A wooden house with big panoramic windows in front of a small lake.

Arken Hotel & Art Garden Spa, Gothenburg

Photo: Carolina Ehn

An overview of the Treetop Spas wooden buildings among the tree tops.

Treetop Spa Hangout & Hotel, Gothenburg

Photo: Treetop Spa

Day spas in Gothenburg

On the West coast in Gothenburg, several day spas also offer overnight packages. Upper House Spa is a modern luxury spa on the 19th floor which features a hammam, steam saunas, dry saunas, exercise classes and soul-soothing spa treatments. And don’t miss the glass-bottom outdoor pool, and gym with the best view of the city.

Arken Hotel & Art Garden Spa offers you a sauna oasis, hot outdoor pools, light therapy rooms, many relaxing lounges, and a sun terrace where you can soak up the Nordic rays. For a one-off experience, Treetop Spa Hangout & Hotel offers award-winning relaxation high among the treetops. With indoor and outdoor pools, restaurants, and four bars surrounded by nature and stunning views of Gothenburg, this is the perfect weekend getaway.

A double bed in a hotel room with windows that look out to a red cabin and a forest.

Ästad Vingård, Halland

Ästad Vingård, one of Sweden’s biggest vineyards, is located in the Åkulla beech forests in Halland and boasts both a Michelin restaurant and the acclaimed Sinnenas Spa.

Photo: Kristian Sahlberg

Sinnenas Spa, Tvååker

Further south in Halland, Sinnenas Spa at Ästad Vingård offers Sweden’s only underwater sauna. Surrounded by one of Sweden’s largest vineyards on a stunning nature reserve, this spa and hotel offers guests a tranquil experience. And it’s topped off by a one-star Michelin restaurant that offers a Scandinavian tasting menu focused on locally sourced ingredients.

A group of four people, in white robes, walking on a wooden bridge towards the camera

Hotel Tylösand, Halmstad

The Spa at Hotel Tylösand has been named Sweden's leading spa several times. For example, you can try mixing your own scrub, biohacking treatments and vegan facials.


The Spa at Hotel Tylösand, Halmstad

Just a stone’s throw from one of Sweden’s most well-known beaches is Hotel Tylösand. Their spa has won multiple prizes for its innovative approach that includes biohacking treatments using lasers and infrared light, designed to aid wellness. Its treatments also include classic or vegan facial treatments, ecological sugar scrubs, a range of massages and more. You can even mix your own scrub in what is Sweden’s first spa lab.

An indoor pool where the light is dimmed. In the pool are illuminated art exhibitions with glass fishes.

Kosta Boda Art Hotel & Spa, Kosta Boda

The spa at Kosta Boda Art Hotel in the heart of the Kingdom of Crystal. In the pool is an underwater world with an art exhibition of glass fishes.

Photo: Klas Hjertberg

Kosta Boda Art Hotel & Spa, Kosta

In Småland, Kosta Boda Art Hotel & Spa lets you explore Sweden’s Kingdom of Crystal. Beautiful glass and glass art has been crafted in this region since 1742, and the spa plays on this by offering special spa treatments involving warm glass. There’s also a VIP spa, a modern gym, and three restaurants that showcase the regional glass art.

A couple are lying in a large bed next to large windows facing a beach and the sea.

Ystad Saltsjöbad, Ystad

Ystad Saltsjöbad is a hotel and coastal spa located right by the beach in Skåne.

Photo: Carolina Romare

Ystad Saltsjöbad, Ystad

On the southern tip of Sweden, Ystad Saltsjöbad is a coastal spa with a tropical rainforest theme. This lush and steamy retreat allows you to experience opulent spa treatments from around the world. Try the Dead Sea salt for a clarifying scrub, the Turkish hammam for steamy relaxation, the detoxifying Moroccan mud mask, and much more.

Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in this soothing aspect of Swedish culture. By doing so, not only will you experience the serenity of Swedish saunas and spas, but you'll also get to reap the health benefits they offer, many with a backdrop of a beautiful location.