Home #WHERETONEXT Scandinavia Swedish Serenity Escape opens with an underground sauna experience

Swedish Serenity Escape opens with an underground sauna experience

Visitors to Sweden are now able to enjoy the health and meditative benefits of a new sauna ritual, bathing in crystal-clear natural spring water 80 meters below ground.

The new experience is part of a new and exclusive Savouring Swedish Serenity itinerary created by Scandinavian travel specialists Off the Map Travel, which brings together a mindfulness experience of foraging, yoga and wellness – centered around the new Gruvfrun sauna ritual.

Visitors access this out-of-the-ordinary experience via a series of spacious tunnels and steps, which gradually descend to the experience below – all complete with and swimwear stowed safely in a bag.

“The sauna itself clings to the rock overhanging the crystal clear, emerald water below,” says Off the Map Travel founder, Jonny Cooper.

The experience itself connects with all the senses in a true mindfulness experience of story, song, temperature, and tranquillity. The whole experience is guided by sauna master, Elin Hietanen.

Cooper adds: “It is a truly magical experience. The gentle song as you emerge into the opening perfectly sets the scene, immediately transporting you to a place of calm.

“Elin has then designed a journey of storytelling, song, and of course – the sauna.

“Between sessions in the sauna, you can emerge back into the cave to cool down in the four-degree emerald water, or simply enjoy a moment of silence in the stunning cave.”

During the experience, local drinks and delicacies are available, including local cheese from a nearby farm.

“The whole experience is meditative. Cutting out the world around and immersing yourself deep underground allows you to connect with yourself, and nature, in a way that isn’t possible with the distractions of life above ground,” adds Cooper.

The new and exclusive itinerary also includes a stay at the luxury Sunnanhed Lodge, located in an area popular with Swedish musicians who come to the area to reconnect with pristine nature to inspire new music.

A meticulously renovated Scandinavian designer barn with soaring ceilings and expansive windows framing the natural splendor outside, the lodge serves as the perfect sanctuary for guests seeking solace and self-reflection.

Mike Lind, creator of the retreat, said: “At the heart of our retreat is the belief in the power of disconnecting to truly reconnect.

“We offer our guests the rare opportunity to unplug from the noise of their daily lives, grounding themselves in the beauty of nature and their innermost selves.”

A private chef, Görgen, is famed for his connection to the nature around him and for celebrating local produce. Having cooked for royalty and dignitaries, his culinary experience goes beyond just the taste as he retells local stories over dinner.  

The 5-day, 4-night itinerary costs £9999 per person, on a full board basis, based on 2 people traveling, not including flights.

This itinerary includes 4 nights at the Sunnanhed Lodge, full spa access, private transfers, all activities and all meals. For more information visit www.offthemap.travel.

Full itinerary:

Day 1:

Arrive in style for a 6 course dinner of local-only products

Your exclusive transfer whisks you away from Stockholm to the tranquil countryside of Dalarna. Upon reaching Sunnanhed, your host awaits, ready to welcome you with a unique ritual by the outdoor fire camp. Immerse yourself in the cozy ambiance while savoring homemade house tea and local delicacies. Take the afternoon to unwind from your journey and, if you wish, explore the picturesque surroundings of the Barn.

As an introduction to the local culture, your private chef will curate a delightful dinner for you, presenting a 6-course tasting menu featuring ingredients sourced exclusively from Dalarna. Embark on a culinary journey through the region’s flavors, accompanied by storytelling about the origin of each ingredient—all sourced within the country, achieving a 100% local product aim.

Day 2:

Simplicity of nature

Your day will commence as your host presents you with a delectable breakfast featuring freshly baked bread from an artisan bakery and locally sourced produce.

Following this, a tranquil nature walk in the forest awaits, led by your personal nature guide. The hike will lead you through the woods to a serene lake, where a simple yet delightful lunch will be prepared for you. Along the way, you can engage in blueberry picking (season permitting) and enjoy stories from your guide about the local area and its diverse flora and fauna.

The afternoon is yours to decide. Take a leisurely stroll to the lake for a refreshing swim or immerse yourself in a book by the expansive open window in the barn, surrounded by the soothing sounds of nature.

Indulge in an afternoon Swedish Fika provided by your host and perhaps prepare something delicious with help of your host with the berries you picked earlier in the day. As the day concludes, your private driver will chauffeur you to Bruntegården Restaurant for a sophisticated fine dining experience with views over Lake Siljan. End the evening with a sunset stroll out on the 628m jetty out on the lake.

Day 3:

Enchantments of Culture

Choose from three morning activities to start your day. Begin with a serene sunrise yoga session by the lake, guided by your private instructor, followed by a beachside breakfast. Alternatively, embark on a tranquil SUP board ride to explore a secluded island, with breakfast awaiting your return on the beach. If you prefer a cultural experience, join us for a private breakfast and meet Kärsti, the owner of a local family bakery. Afterward, enjoy a private tour at the residence of Carl Larsson in Sundborn. This stands as a symbol of Swedish interior design and familial heritage. Embark on a guided tour of the house to delve deeper into the lives of this renowned artistic couple and experience the vibrancy of their existence.

In the evening, your wilderness chef will treat you to a three-course sunset dinner, skillfully cooked over an open fire and inspired by local wildlife and produce from the surrounding area. Complemented by a well-curated wine list, this culinary experience includes foraging for ingredients in the forest with the chef before dinner, adding an extra connection to nature.

Additionally, you will be serenaded by the beautiful sound of kulning, performed by a professional singer. This ancient herding call is a traditional Scandinavian musical form often used to call livestock down from high mountain pastures.

Day 4:

Lakeside serenity

Following breakfast, prepare for a serene lakeside experience. Embark on a meditative canoe paddle to the opposite shore, where a secluded lakeside sauna awaits, offering a moment of tranquility. A lunch picnic on the jetty overlooking the water sets the stage, followed by a wood-burning sauna session with local herbs and a few refreshing swims to open up your mind and senses.

When you feel rejuvenated, your private driver will return you to the barn for afternoon tea. A private yoga session awaits in the afternoon with optional guided meditation session. As the evening unfolds, we will chauffeur you to Solgårdskrogen restaurant for a delightful dinner set in their enchanting gardens. Meals at Solgårdskrogen are prepared from scratch in a rural environment, using ingredients sourced from their own vegetable garden, the nearby forest, and local producers. The menu is influenced by the changing seasons, and during the warmer months, the focus shifts to the wood-fired grill.

Day 5:

A unique underground sauna experience

This morning, your driver will be ready to take you to your next destination or the airport. However, your Hello Sunnanhed experience doesn’t conclude just yet. Before you depart, you’ll have a final stop at the adventure mine.

Delve into the world’s most unique sauna experience with the transcendent Lady of the Mine sauna ritual, as a tribute to her essence that historically was an important part for the miners. Embark on a guided sauna adventure led by Sauna by Elin, where mystery and knowledge intertwine, momentarily transporting you beyond the constraints of time and space. Experience the exclusive Lady of the Mine sauna ritual situated 80 meters below the ground. Take a swim and cool off in the crystal-clear, refreshing underground lake. Lunch will be served after your sauna session, preparing you for your onward journey.