Unique wellness retreats to beat screen fatigue

Source: Renee Altrov, Visit Estonia

Unique wellness retreats to beat screen fatigue

When we think of ancient Estonian wellness retreats, the first thing that comes to mind is definitely the sauna. Sauna is ingrained in Estonian culture and continues to be so for generations after generations. Estonians have inhabited northeastern Europe for millennia and picked up many ancient folk wisdom along the way to stimulate both their bodies, souls, and spirits in harsh Northern conditions. This includes fasting, sauna rituals, and the use of medicinal plants.

A lot of us are quite often in need of a break from screens and news outlets blasting daunting news at us on a daily basis. We invite you to take a brief, informed social media break this season and allow your mind and body to relax.

The smoke sauna traditions of Old Võromaa are marked as intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. You can try this ancient tradition on your very own skin at Mooska Farm , Maria Farm, and Laugu Farm. 

A traditional sauna session lasts at least three hours and the smoke sauna of Mooska Farm can comfortably accommodate eight people. The rich aroma of burning wood is complemented by a pleasant scent of birch whisks and sauna honey.

The sauna magic works in every season: peaceful winter stillness at Mooska Farm.

Photo by: Georgius Misjura, Visit Estonia

If you want to add a small layer of adventure to your sauna experience, you can visit the Vango Vetevaim smoke sauna that is located on a small island in the forest in West Estonia. The sauna comfortably fits five people and you can take turns between the sauna, jumping into the water and relaxing in the hot tub.

The hours after a sauna are for relaxing.

Photo by: Magnus Heinmets

Natural Health Centre Loodus BioSpa is located in the midst of idyllic South Estonia, where the pleasant climate and healthy spring water will restart your body. The spa is also known for their cleansing diets, fasts and rehabilitation programmes.

Energy Eco-Spa, located on the bank of the Navesti River, offers the opportunity to get acquainted with medicinal plants. Here you can touch and taste the plants and admire their beauty. It is also possible to get to know the traditionally used herbs, their cultivation, and use.

The first organic spa in Estonia is located a 15-minute drive away from the capital and is also home to the first beer spa in the country. In Organic Spa Harmoonikum, you can nourish your health and reduce stress in the beer baths, can drink craft beer in the bath and enjoy a selection of snacks to go with it.

Estonia has a number of rural spas offering spiritual getaways.

Photo by: Mart Vares

Tuisuliiva holiday home organises fasting and health camps in a natural, calm setting that is just a stone's throw from a sandy beach. Idyllic sunsets and mild sea breezes are sure to lift the weight right off your shoulders. Here you can take surfing trips on the sea, walks on the promenade, and enjoy a cultural program at Kabli Beach Café.

If you'd like to plan your whole trip around surfing then look no further than Surfhunt located on the shore of the Gulf of Riga. In addition to surfing, you can also take a ride on a stand-up paddleboard, rent a rowing boat, get a massage, ride a horse or order a small trip on a motorboat.

Bears can be watched from afar with the help of a guide.

Photo by: Jürgen Voolaid

Becoming aware of the natural environment and wildlife around you can help to restore one's wider connection to the world. The slopes behind Alutaguse have long been known as the land of bears. You can watch bears and other forest dwellers roam in their natural environment from bear watching towers. It is possible to book a walk on the Natourest bear study trail ran by an experienced tour guide as well.

Spending time in a forest is healing in itself.

Photo by: Alexander Gu

If you'd like to get a taste of history while on a retreat, opt for Vastseliina Episcopal Castle Pilgrimage House. They will introduce you to everything that is related to medieval pilgrims and pilgrimages, along with baths and massages offered in the confines of the historical castle.

Last but not least, built on the former forest guard site, Vango Wonderland is a special place. Here you can travel in the woods and listen to the sound of trees, meet a fox, a rabbit, or even a lynx. Sometimes, it might just take a forest walk to feel fully restored again.

Last updated : 14.03.2022

In category: Health & Wellness