A look into a sauna illuminated with soft light. A woman wrapped in a towel is sitting on a wooden bench, while a man wrapped in another towel is lying at her feet. Both have closed eyes.
Relaxing in the sauna.

Defying climate warming.


While the climate warms up, modern technologies allow the jolly march of the saunas from their native Finland southward. Saunas may not have ventured to Małopolska long ago, but they have certainly settled in here for good, just like thermal baths. And they’re thriving.

A view of a hot pool surrounded by snow-covered trees. The centre of this vertical photo is taken by a woman in a swimsuit, turned to us with her back, standing in the pool.
Winter retreat.

The mountainous southern area of Małopolska, especially the region known as Podhale, is gaining widespread fame for its modern thermal baths offering spacious and varied pools. Each such centre has well-developed and excellently equipped sauna zones. There’s plenty to choose from. Some offer mountain views, while others were designed to resemble highlander huts from the outside. Inside, you can enjoy infrared baths, steam baths, herbal aromas – the possibilities are endless. Some advertise themselves as dragon caves or fiery saunas. Of course, among the numerous options, you also find Finnish saunas and Japanese saunas. Many such zones have also been opened in wellness hotels scattered throughout the region, including several in Kraków: the region’s central city.

If, in a typical Finnish sauna, your heart beats faster only for its latter element, that is the leap from the hot steamy room to the snow or exceptionally cold water, look for online information about places for ice and winter swimming in Małopolska. We practice it here enthusiastically in many not-too-deep mountain rivers: aficionados often recommend the Białka River Gorge by the road north from Białka Tatrzańska to Nowa Biała, as well as numerous bodies of water such as Czorsztyn Reservoir. Near most of these true paradises for sauna and winter swimming enthusiasts, you can find plentiful ski touring and Nordic walking routes, as well as scenic walks through beautiful snowy landscapes.

A very attractive winter swimming spot is Zakrzówek in Kraków, a former quarry inundated with crystal-clear water, recently expanded into a large recreational and bathing centre. The surrounding white walls have had the place dubbed Croatia in Kraków. Perhaps you’d like to compare the temperatures and views it offers to those you know from your favourite winter swimming spot?
Many of Małopolska’s thermal baths boast natural mineral water. The minerals are not only mined in the form of rock salt in Bochnia and Wieliczka, but also dissolved in large quantities in underground waters, just waiting to burst to the surface, improve our circulation, and put us in a good mood.

Our social media – Your guide to #WideOpen Małopolska. Follow us!

Małopolska has more to offer. Look and see: