From Roman to Turkish Baths and Finnish Saunas, the practice of bathing dates back more than 3000 years B.C. As long ago as prehistoric times, water was believed to have healing powers and the actual term spa is associated with water treatments. Bathing is attributed to cleansing the body of toxins, improving blood circulation and releasing endorphins. Unlike the urban spas of today that focus on pampering and aesthetics, nature spas are celebrated for their impact both on body and mind alike.
Recently, I have experienced the famed Scandinave Spa at Blue Mountain. Just two hours away from Toronto, this oasis is nestled in a forest of birch trees with magnificent views of the Niagara Escarpment. This only Nordic spa in Ontario, offers visitors a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city life. With facilities in Mont Tremblant (Quebec) and Whistler (British Columbia), Scandinave Spas provide a unique experience to get in touch with nature and yourself.
The Scandinave experience begins with a warm up of the body in an ultra-hot Eucalyptus steam bath, saunas or outdoor baths. The warmth opens up the pores and begins the detoxifying process. Then a plunge into a cold water pool rinses toxins from the skin and closes the pores. The cold water plunge also increases the heart rate and enhances blood circulation throughout the body. Following the warm up and the rinse is the relaxation at either a solarium, a hammock, or by an outdoor fireplace. In this stage the body re-establishes equilibrium and returns to resting state.
To enjoy the full benefits of the Nordic spa, the hot and cold sequence should be repeated three to four times. For my own experience, I only repeated the hot cold process twice before feeling a bit overwhelmed by the heat of the eucalyptus steam bath. So to relax and bring my body temperature back to normal, my next memorable experience was a nap in one of the hammocks set in the birch forest. What an amazing afternoon and experience!
While my Scandinave spa visit was on a hot early summer afternoon, I can only imagine how unique this experience would be in the winter. Blue Mountain Resort is best known for skiing and other winter sports, so I am intrigued how amazing the experience would be in the winter with steam rising from the 100 plus degree baths all over the spa!
Also on my weekend getaway agenda at Blue Mountain Resort was a fun hike up the mountain on a forest trail, and a day trip on the Apple Pie Trail including an hour long kayak down the Beaver River. There is so much to experience at Blue in the summer, and it’s also a wonderful destination for a weekend getaway with several high quality hotels right in the resort village. With only an hour and half away from Toronto, Blue Mountain Resort and Scandinave Spa are worth checking out.