In the middle of the wilderness (Soomaa National Park, Estonia to be exact) sits a mythical floating sauna, built in 2017 by a group of talented students from the Estonian Academy of Arts and FLOODED Design and Making Summer School August 2017.
The project was overseen by B210’s architects, Sami Rintala, Hannes Praks and Justin Tucker.
The VALA, which means pour in Estonian, is a work of functional art complete with a built in ‘pool’ for cooling off directly from the hot room, or leil-room.
Though you cannot reserve the VALA or guarantee it will even be there when you arrive, the sauna has reportedly been looked after and now there is even a eco-hotel built by the students in subsequent years.
This site will serve as a ‘Check-in’ on the status of the condition and possible needs of the sauna for those who want to visit. The latest known visit came in August, 2019 when it was reportedly in excellent condition, visited by Tere of Estonian Saunas. You can see his blog about his visits and the history of the sauna here.
Make sure to check out the videos below.
Note the calendar is just to share when you will be going, so others know it will be occupied. There is no guarantee it won’t be occupied already, though it should be able to accommodate many guests simultaneously.
If you’d like to find this Estonian sauna then drive into Soomaa national park from Pärnu or Viljandi and park up near Riisa. You should then follow the Raudna river eastwards. Make sure you walk along the south bank — and not along the road on the north bank unless you fancy an extra swim with all your stuff. You will soon find VALA near the start of Tõramaa river.